A proposal by the Belleville District 201 board of education to decrease the amount of time athletic directors and assistant athletic directors are available to work has since been rejected by the union that represents teachers in the district, but that didn’t stop residents from speaking out against the proposed change.
Currently, each high school has an athletic director and assistant director available for a combined six hours each day. Under the proposal the teacher’s union rejected, a second assistant director would be added to each campus but the the trio of athletic administrators would only be available in those roles for three hours each day.
Concerned attendees, many of whom have or had children in sports programs at the schools, worried that changing the structure of the athletic department was “unworkable” and could “downgrade” the district’s sports programs.
“(The proposal) may come back up at a later date during negotiations,” District 201 Superintendent Jeff Dosier said. “We have excellent extracurricular programs and opportunities for our kids, but at a time when we have to make cuts, we want to make cuts in the classroom last. Sometimes we have to make recommendations that we don’t necessarily like because we still want to hold the most importance on our teaching.”
The state’s continued balking on paying public schools what they’re owed doesn’t help, Dosier said, adding that when a school goes several years without receiving all the money the state has promised to pay it, “you run out of ideas” of what to cut to make ends meet.
The board also unanimously approved the template for an intergovernmental agreement between the district and the city of Fairview Heights pertaining to a Tax Increment Financing district north of Interstate 64 and west of Illinois 159. Under the template, the district would receive 25 percent of the TIF funds that Fairview Heights will capture and disperse among the taxing bodies within the TIF district.
“There’s a large piece of this TIF that’s a 72-acre plot of vacant land. This TIF will potentially provide incentive to development,” Assistant Superintendent Brian Mentzer said. “If that occurs, then you’re looking at your (tax) base increasing significantly so you are looking at the potential of increased revenue.”
In other action, the board:
▪ Approved the 2015-2016 calendar
▪ Approved the retirement and hiring of several employees
▪ Recognized two students who earned their Eagle Scout designations and three graduating seniors who were accepted into military academies.