Unit 5 Speculates On Classes Three Days A Week | WGLT

Unit 5 Speculates On Classes Three Days A Week

Mar 21, 2016

Normal Community West High School.
Credit Staff / WGLT

Part-time classes for older Unit 5 students could be coming to the district's schools.

Unit 5 parents and children begin this week knowing school will start at different times in the fall and buses will run different schedules. But, there are more cost-cutting measures coming, according to Unit 5 Superintendent Mark Daniel, including perhaps three-day-a-week school and charging more for activities and sports.

Another measure may be to take out a Working Cash Fund Bond and use it to buy more buses. Daniel says owning is less expensive than renting and would more than balance the interest cost of the bond.

Unit Five has already cut some courses and teachers.

"There may not be a budget until November and no funds will be released. Well, if that would happen that would put us in a phenomenal stretch of our current resources, to the point where I don't know, we would have to do something vastly different than just looking at co-curricular," Daniel said.

Daniel said if there is no budget and no funding for that long, some school districts are talking about closing. The Large Unit District (LUDA) association recently met to consider plan b options and to start to figure out how to speak with a unified voice to lawmakers and the Governor.

The State School Superintendent recently said that children are losing opportunities every day that they will never get back because of the budget standoff and funding inequities in Illinois. More than 60% of school districts in the state are deficit spending this year.

Daniel also says there is a possibility grade six through 12 students could go to school three days a week and spend the other two days in an online setting. He said such moves would not be good.

"I do not think this is benefiting us as a community. If do not have this type of (programming) and continue to innovate and creative in our programming, we will lose a generation of learners. We will not be able to compete globally. That's why this is so critical," Daniel said.
Daniel said school districts around the state and parents of children must tell lawmakers what they believe.