O’FALLON – Members of the District 90 Board of Education learned their efforts to tighten their financial belts has paid off and resulted in an improved credit rating for the district.
Standard & Poor’s has upgraded the district’s credit rating from an A with a negative outlook to an A with a positive outlook. According to Superintendent Carrie Hruby the improvement is because of the district’s careful budgeting and reduced spending.
“We’ve reduced expenditures and really tightened our budget and the board is starting to build back some working cash. That was all seen very positively. When you go through that rating call from S&P they want to know about the stability of the area, what employers are in the area, where the district’s revenue to expenditure is at, where your reserves are, and what budget strategies you’ve taken and continue to take to reduce debt down and live within your means. They were really impressed,” Hruby said.
Additionally, the district received credit for improving their financial situation while in the middle of an uncertain situation as it relates to state funding.
“To improve your credit rating during a fiscal crisis like we’re seeing in the state of Illinois, to do this during this time is really a big pat on the back to the district. Even though there is a lot of instability at the state level, we, in spite of that, have managed to improve our credit rating,” Hruby said.
In other business…
The board voted to approve the issuance of general obligation bonds totaling $5.22 million to pay for the second phase of environmental upgrades to district buildings. Specifically, this second phase will pay for improvements at Estelle Kampmeyer Elementary School.
The board heard a presentation about the district’s current grading scale. Prior to the meeting, the cutoff for an A was 93 percent and many said the scale was too strict. After much discussion, the board decided to approve a new ten-point grading scale, effective next school year. Under the new scale, an A will run from 100-90, a B from 89-80, a C from 79-70, a D from 69-60, and F 59 and below.
Lex White of CSX presented a grant for $10,000 to District 90 to help pay for social programing for students. CSX has given to District 90 over the past five years to help the district develop programs which promote the integration and understanding of students with special needs.
Moye Elementary fifth-grade student Morgan Foster and Matt Weld won the district’s logo and tagline contest. They both received new Chromebooks as a prize. Weld will be auctioning his Chromebook back to raise money for the Fulton Junior High Art Club.
The Board of Education took a moment to recognize the Carriel and Fulton bowling teams, who were finalists in the state tournament. Only one pin separated Carriel student Jordan Peacock from the state champion. The Fulton girls team, made up of Elly Gordon, Carliegh McFarlane, Grace Braswell, and Natalie Heltne, won third place. The Carriel boys team, made up of Jeremy Walker, Tyler Stewart, Benjamin Hall, and Jordan Peacock, took fourth. Individual winners were listed as follows: Jordan Peacock (2nd), Natalie Heltne (7th), Grace Braswell (9th), Makayla Mersinger (10th), Claire Crook (14th), and Caleb Horton (15th).