District 189 finalist for national grant, could receive millions of dollars

News-DemocratDecember 10, 2013 

East St. Louis School District 189 is one of only two school districts in Illinois to be selected as a finalist for the nationwide Race to the Top District grant. The other is Chicago Public Schools. The winner will be announced on or before Dec. 31.

The 31 national finalists, representing 80 school districts across 21 states, were selected from more than 200 applications the Department of Education received in October to demonstrate how districts could personalize education for students and provide school leaders and teachers with key tools that support them in meeting students' needs.

The grant award will range anywhere from $4 million to $30 million, depending on the size of the student population served.

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Grant School District 110 will host a town hall meeting to discuss the March 18 property tax referendum at 6:30 p.m. Wednesday in the gymnasium at Grant Middle School, 10110 Old Lincoln Trail in Fairview Heights.

The district is asking voters to approve an 85-cent tax rate hike, bringing the rate from $1.42 to $2.27 per $100 of assessed valuation. For the owner of a $100,000 house, Superintendent Matt Stines said the tax increase would cost approximately $8.25 a month.

This is the third time the district has asked voters to approve a property tax increase to be used for district operational expenses. If the referendum doesn't pass, Stines said District 110 will be forced to close.

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A Holiday Hilltop 5K run/walk will be held at 9 a.m. Saturday at Corpus Christi Church in Shiloh to benefit Katie Paulochik, an 11-year-old student at St. Clare Catholic School in O'Fallon. Katie is battling stage four Hodgkin's lymphoma.

The cost to participate in the 5K is $25 and $15 for the half-mile fun run/walk, which starts at 10 a.m. Participants can sign up the day of the event starting at 7 a.m.

For more information, visit www.corpuschristishiloh.weconnect.com.

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Belleville East High School's JROTC Club/Military Connections Group in cooperation with RNA Worldwide is hosting a free electronic recycling event from 9 a.m. to noon Saturday at the school parking lot off of Carlyle Avenue.

Individuals can drop off items that plug in or run off of batteries including computers, laptops, radios, all metal items, stereos, microwaves, appliances (large and small), audio visual equipment, CRT monitors, TVs, ink/toner, and cellphones. There is a limit of two TVs per vehicle. A $5 donation is suggested to benefit the Community Interfaith Food Pantry and the USO.

For more information, visit www.RNAworldwide.com.

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The O'Fallon Township High School Chamber Choir will perform during the candlelight worship service at 7 p.m. Sunday at O'Fallon United Church of Christ, 206 W. Adams St. The service is filled with traditional Christmas carols, poems, scripture and the sanctuary is illuminated with candlelight.

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Area school administrators rang bells Saturday at St. Clair Square to help the Salvation Army. The Kettle Campaign annually raises funds to assist people in a variety of areas including hunger relief, housing and homeless services. This is the second year members of Southwestern Illinois Association of School Administrators have volunteered to work with the Salvation Army. The superintendents and administrators who participated this year were as follows: Scott Harres, Wolf Branch District 113; Darcy Benway, O'Fallon District 203; Matt Stines, Grant District 110; John Bute, Central District 104; Jon Green, Millstadt District 160; Jeff Daugherty, Belleville Area Special Services Cooperative; Jon Tallman, Red Bud District 132; Julie Brown, Pontiac-William Holliday District 105; Susan Homes, Smithton District 130; Leigh Lewis, Triad District 2; Jim Helton, Waterloo District 5; and Peggy Burke, Whiteside District 119.

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