Minooka High to seek Title 1 grant funds
By Kris Stadalsky For The Herald-News April 24, 2012 7:56AM
Updated: June 2, 2012 8:01AM
MINOOKA — Even though the Minooka High School Board hasn’t chosen to apply for Title I grant funds in the past, this year looks to be different.
The district could receive an estimated $50,000 in No Child Left Behind block grant funds, business manager Todd Drafall said.
“Given the current circumstances and the future projections of revenue for fiscal year 2013-2015, it appears the district should apply for federal title funds,” Drafall wrote in a memo to Superintendent Jim Colyott.
In the past, the grant funds came with too many potential limitations, making the money not worth the mandates.
Such was the case recently when the board followed the recommendation by Colyott not to apply for Race to The Top grant funds (RTT).
Board member Doug Kaufman asked if the board had any reservations about restrictions of the Title I grant.
“It’s money to add services for students, I don’t have concerns about that,” Colyott said.
“I think this is a prime opportunity to get more money for services when we are surrounded by financial cuts and reductions.”
The RTT grant allocations were much smaller, Colyott added.
If there are any issues with the grant money, the district could pull out of the program in a future year.
The Title I grant funds are earmarked for providing low-income students with services to help them perform better, Colyott said.
Title II grant funds to be used for quality of instruction, such as professional development for educators, may be available as well, he said.
A long hard look at district fees by the finance committee likely will result in an increase in registration, parking and drivers’ education for next year.
Before increasing fees, the committee researched what neighboring high school districts charge and how they structure their fees, Drafall said.
Minooka High has included sports and club fees in the general registration fee of all students.
The recommendation by the committee was to continue with the same type of fee structure for next year.
Board member Debra Warning questioned why the district doesn’t charge separate fees for clubs and sports.
“I think it’s a reasonable thing to ask those students and their families to participate (more) in the costs,” Warning said.
Jeff Wunderlich, board of education and finance committee member, said the committee looked at all aspects including high unemployment and lower-income families before making the decision.
Another factor included research indicating that students involved in school activities do better in the classroom.
The increase, if approved at the May 3 board meeting, will raise the registration fee from $190 to $210; driver’s education from $75 to $100; and student parking permits from $100 to $120.
The proposed increases would amount to an increase in revenue of $64,600.
Colyott recommended that anyone wishing to have input on the issue should email him through the district’s website, www.mchs.net, prior to May 3.