Palestine Unit 3 residents wanting to learn more about proposed budget cuts will have to wait a little longer.
About 20 parents, students and concerned citizens attended Tuesday night's school-board meeting. High school student Drew Halter read a letter he had addressed to Gov. Pat Quinn about the state's and Palestine's current financial situation. Eighth-grader Resa Fuller read her letter to Rep. Brad Halbrook, asking him to do his best to help the schools.
Superintendent Joe Sornberger presented board members with written copies of the suggestions and comments from last Thursday's informational meeting about the school's financial situation and proposed budget cuts. Sornberger said the board would have specific recommendations at the February meeting, and said there will probably be another informational meeting before final decisions have to be made at the March meeting.
Following the meeting, Sornberger did talk with several concerned parents and community members, hearing comments and answering the questions he could.
He said board members will be individually reviewing and discussing budget cuts and options before the board meets again. He said it is his job to gather information and make a formal recommendation to the board.
Sornberger said he welcomes community input on the issues. "Everyone knows where to find me. School. Home," said Sornberger. "Walk in and tell me."
Grade-school principal Sheila Mikeworth said several groups have approached her about fundraisers, and they have already scheduled fundraising nights at McDonald's and Monical's and a spring fish fry. Local restaurant owner Cynthia Bantican offered the use of the Village Inn on Sundays for fund raising breakfasts or other activities.
It was also suggested that any group wanting to have a fundraiser coordinate their activities with either Mikeworth or high-school principal Tangi Waldrop to avoid conflicts. Mikeworth also said she plans to get several of the various group leaders together to coordinate fundraisers.
Both principals congratulated students and faculty who participated in the Veterans of Foreign Wars Voice of Democracy program.
It also was reported the drama club would be having a dinner theater Feb. 23.
In regular business, the board voted to release the July, August, and September closed session minutes. The November minutes contain specific teacher evaluations and the board chose not to release those minutes. The board also approved destroying recordings of closed session meetings that were 18 months or older beginning July 2011.
Graduation for Palestine High School seniors will be Saturday, May 18, at 2 p.m. Graduation for eighth grade students will be Monday, May 20, at 7 p.m. The last day of school will be May 23.
After a closed session, the board hired Kathy Hand as a substitute bus driver.