10 Year Life Safety Survey
Transportation Funding - United School District covers 363 square miles, which requires a great deal of busing. State funding for transportation is half a year behind and prorated to 65% of eligible funding. The district runs 20 regular routes, 3 special ed routes, and 7 shuttle routes both morning and evening. In FY17, the district spent $1,174,597 on transportation resources. To date, the district has never charged for busing, including after practice busing.
In FY17, United tax payers were responsible for 69% of our district revenues, and other sources of local funding accounted for 8% more - meaning 77% of all of our funding comes from our own constituents. That percentage has gone up since 2010 when local funding amounted to 56% of our revenue. In the same time period, state funding has decreased from 32% in 2010, down to 18.5% in FY17.
Ed Funding Reform
Last spring, the Illinois Legislature passed educational funding reform, known as the Evidence Based Model. Through research, a group of educators along with legislators determined what the proper elements are to provide a proper education. From those elements, a financial adequacy target is determined, and according to that target, the state intends to make up whatever money a district is short of the adequacy target. According to projections, the United School District is set to receive an additional $34,000 bringing state funding to roughly $1,364,590.
Detrimental Pending Legislation
However, the Illinois General Assembly is in the midst of undermining all of the work done toward the Evidence Based Funding Model. A bill exists that would force local districts to pay the STATE's portion of the Teacher Retirement Pension annuity. The bill would phase this transfer of payment to the districts over a 4 year period after which, the United School District will be required to pay in the neighborhood of $460,000 that they currently are not paying. Clearly, this doesn't make the funding reform benefit United, or likely any district in the state.
Every Student Succeeds Act (replaces No Child Left Behind)
Federal Education Law in effect that will require accountability at the building level. The law provides a Quality Framework for districts to use to meet the requirements of the law. Each year, every school building will be given a designation based upon a set criteria. That criteria includes items such as: student growth (from year to year), chronic absenteeism rates, school climate, graduation rate, college and career readiness, and English/Language Arts, Science, and Math proficiency. Every school in Illinois will be awarded one of 4 designations, Lowest Performing, Underperforming, Commendable, and Exemplary. At this time, the state is revisiting what the proficiency exam will be for schools in Illinois. School designations will come out in October.
New Curriculum Offerings 2018-19
Intro to Psychology and Leadership Studies
Junior High Instructional Coach
BOOST Program Funding through 2022
The United High School is thrilled to be able to a recipient of the Illinois 21st Century Grant that funds several outside of school activities. Clubs have included cooking, art, robotics, broadcasting, ACT prep, fitness, and general tutoring. The Red Zone BOOST (Bringing Out Our Students Talents) program provides funding for activities outside of school ours so that our students have opportunities that aren't always offered via the general curriculum. United, through the work of the Regional Office of Education #33, has been granted an extension of funds through the year 2022.