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home : news : north central illinois   April 29, 2016

3/7/2013 11:13:00 AM
Lostant board cuts teacher, stops kicking in so much for L-P bound kids

High school 'tuition cap' lifted, affecting L-P
Lostant School Board recently voted to change its high school tuition policy. Lostant parents have three options to choose from when their child reaches high school. Students from Lostant School can go to Putnam County, Fieldcrest or La Salle-Peru Township High School.

L-P has a “significantly higher” tuition rate compared to the other two options, board president Mike Phillips said.

The school’s policy has been that parents opting to send their child to the most costly school are responsible for the difference in cost between that school and the second-highest priced school — up to $600.

The board voted last month to eliminate that cap and assess a fee for the entire difference, which will be about twice that amount.

“We understand that that’s a potential hardship for some of the parents,” Phillips said. “In order to retain the option of L-P, that’s essentially what we had to do.”
Phillips said the board considers the other two schools to be quality educational institutions, making them valid options for parents who are concerned about cost.
“It’s not something that makes money for the school,” Phillips said of the fee. “It just makes up the difference.”

Putnam County and Fieldcrest High School tuitions fluctuate, but are usually within a couple hundred dollars of each other, according to Phillips.

Amy Flanery
Lifestyle Editor

LOSTANT — The board of education for Lostant School had some difficult decisions to make at its last meeting. It approved a “reduction in work force” that eliminated 1½ positions, and removed the cap from the high school tuition fee.
“It was a very tough meeting for the board to have to do those two things,” board president Mike Phillips said.

The board voted to cut one full-time, non-tenured position and reduce a physical education teaching position from full-time to part-time. The full-time position to be eliminated is the junior high math teacher, since that was the last person hired.
“We had to go back and review the records to see who that was,” Phillips said. “We didn’t really want to let anybody go.”

The decision was made based on financial need. Phillips said the board’s goal is to provide the best education possible for the children of Lostant and to keep the school open.

“Essentially, what we need to do is check our spending at least until the property tax value goes up a little bit,” Phillips said.

Superintendent-principal Sandra Malahy said the problem is a lack of funding.
“Like everyone else, we’re facing shrinking revenues, unfunded mandates by the state and underfunded programs by the state,” she said. “The lack of state funding definitely has an impact on the revenue of our district.”

Malahy said the district has qualified math teachers already on staff, and she is working on rearranging the schedule to fill the gap.

In other business, the board approved a Response to Enrichment fundraiser to take place during the remaining school volleyball games. Malahy said the RtE students asked if they could raise money to purchase additional robotics equipment for the schools robotics and hydraulics lab. Lostant School’s RtE program serves grades 4-8.

* The board took no action in response to Tonica Grade School’s request to terminate the baseball intergovernmental agreement with Lostant School. The current agreement will remain in effect, so Lostant students will continue to participate in a baseball program with Tonica students for the 2013-14 school year.

Reader Comments

Posted: Thursday, March 7, 2013
Article comment by: Diane

I'm curious about the robotics part of this story. Can someone tell us what the kids are learning and doing in this area and also what their goal is in fundraising?

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