Superintendent's Note

From the desk of Jim McKay

Posted: April, 24, 2017 - 10:43am

State Budget Impasse

There is an effort statewide by many in a variety of public and private sectors including educators currently encouraging our state legislators to formulate and pass a responsible and responsive state budget. Below, are some of the consequences and concerns shared by many as a result of the current budget impasse.

All areas of society, including Illinois public school students, have suffered the consequences of Illinois’ financial problems over the past couple decades. For nearly the past two years, Illinois has operated with just a partial budget for education and “stopgap”or band-aid measures. These measures mean frozen and reduced budgets at local government entities, community organizations, and education agencies that support our families and communities. Even though education has been funded, schools and students still are negatively impacted due to the lack of certainty, inequitable funding and current unpaid bills from the state.

The state, by constitutional mandate, has the primary responsibility for funding its public schools but falls far short of covering even 50 percent of the cost.  Community High School District 117 receives 15.3 percent (8,527,321) of its total funding from the state, the balance is covered by local funds.  It is the job of the Governor and the Members of the General Assembly to create a comprehensive, balanced budget that supports all citizens, especially our students, our future.

As previously cited, Community High School District 117 receives 15.3 percent of our revenue from the state. The General State Aid payments (8.78%) are being paid on time, however the mandated categorical payments (6.52%) are not.  The categorical payments include expenses related to Special Education, Transportation and Free/Reduced Lunch support.  We have not received any categorical payments for this fiscal year, with the exception of one late quarter paid - from last fiscal year.

  Like any business, we need to know several months - preferably more - in advance how much
money we’ll receive so that we can make thoughtful spending decisions, from hiring staff to allocations for curriculum, maintenance and repairs, and much more for the coming school year.
Ongoing state financial uncertainty creates an environment where both residents and companies are not likely to stay or move to a state that has not passed a budget in nearly two years. This impasse hurts our current well-being as well as our state’s economic future.  Please share your concerns with our local legislators.  Click the following link to find your legislator. https://openstates.org/find_your_legislator/.

Yours in Education,

Jim McKay

post Archive
  • Posted: September, 29, 2017 - 7:56am

    Advanced Placement data show results of state’s focus on equity

    SPRINGFIELD – The College Board released non-accountability reports of Advanced Placement (AP), SAT, and PSAT results from Illinois students statewide. State Superintendent of Education Tony Smith, Ph.D., issued the following statement:

    “The Advanced Placement (AP) data released by the College Board show increases across the board in the numbers of students taking AP exams and in the percentages of students performing well. The State Board committed to increasing access to AP classes and exams, especially among underrepresented student groups. School teams across the state embraced…

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  • Posted: September, 7, 2017 - 3:07pm

    U.S. Department of Education approves Illinois ESSA Plan

    SPRINGFIELD, Ill. (WAND) - The Illinois Every Student Succeeds Act (ESSA) Plan has been approved by the U.S. Department of Education.

    Illinois State Board of Education officials say the state’s ESSA Plan incorporates feedback gathered from thousands of online comments and 100 in-person forums and meetings.  Under the Illinois ESSA Plan, multiple indicators of school quality and student growth will be collected and examined, and will be used to help schools perform better under a plan that specifically meets their unique needs. 

    Additionally, the Illinois ESSA Plan…

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  • Posted: August, 9, 2017 - 11:44am

    Welcome Back and While You Were Away

    Let me be the first to say welcome back, we are honored and happy to serve you and our communities!
    I would like to welcome the incoming Freshman Class of 2021!  We also welcome our upperclassman and anyone new to Community High School District 117; we truly look forward to ensuring that every student is offered the opportunity to grow and learn in a positive, safe, and engaging environment. Our dedicated and talented staff strives to realize our mission of Igniting the Passion and Discovery of Every Student.  We are very proud of our unwavering commitment to student growth…

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  • Posted: August, 7, 2017 - 4:55pm

    State Funding for Schools

    I want to provide residents of Community High School District 117 information regarding state funding for schools in Illinois for the 2017-18 school year as you may be familiar with this issue through the news media and other sources.

    Due to the inequality associated with the current Illinois school funding formula and its significant adverse consequences particularly to school districts with the greatest economic need, the legislature has developed a new funding formula designed with evidence based criteria to equitably support state funding for schools.  To date, the legislators…

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  • Posted: May, 31, 2017 - 11:36am

    EVERY STUDENT SUCEEDS ACT (ESSA)

    ISBE submitted the ESSA State Plan for Illinois to the U.S. Department of Education (ED) on April 1, 2017.  On April 10, 2017, ED identified a section of the plan that it considered incomplete.  This section included measurements of interim progress for academic attainment, graduation rate, and English Learner proficiency.  In the plan submitted on April 1, 2017, ISBE stated that it intends to develop measurements of interim progress based on three-year baseline data and that this data is currently unavailable due to not having three years of data from which to determine a baseline…

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  • Posted: April, 24, 2017 - 10:43am

    State Budget Impasse

    There is an effort statewide by many in a variety of public and private sectors including educators currently encouraging our state legislators to formulate and pass a responsible and responsive state budget. Below, are some of the consequences and concerns shared by many as a result of the current budget impasse.

    All areas of society, including Illinois public school students, have suffered the consequences of Illinois’ financial problems over the past couple decades. For nearly the past two years, Illinois has operated with just a partial budget for education and “stopgap”or band-aid…

    read Post
  • Posted: January, 5, 2017 - 11:51am

    Community High School District 117 asks the voters at the April 4th Election

    The Board of Education passed a resolution (December 8, 2016) that places a question on the ballot of the April 4th, 2017 election.  The question asks voters of the District whether all Board Members should be elected At-Large.  District residents will have the opportunity to cast their vote regarding this question at the Tuesday; April 4th, 2017 consolidated election.

    The reason for the question stems from the current difficulty in sustaining representation from the unincorporated areas of the District.  Since at least 1965, it has been required that the unincorporated…

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  • Posted: November, 28, 2016 - 1:59pm

    Positive Power of Our Schools

    The holiday season should be a positive, sentimental and enduring time filled with family gatherings and friendship.  Unfortunately, too often, this idyllic time is not enjoyed by our students or families but rather represents a time of struggle both financially and emotionally.  Compounded with the unprecedented negative rhetoric of recent political campaigns and the ongoing pockets of civil unrest, in our country, our students may be even more vulnerable. 

    That is why it is critically important to reaffirm the strength and positive power of our schools. Community High…

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Ignite passion and discovery in every student
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    Community High School District 117

    1625 Deep Lake Road

    Lake Villa, Illinois 60046

    Phone: 847-395-9001

    Fax: 847-395-7553

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    Antioch Community High School

    1133 Main Street

    Antioch, Illinois 60002

    Phone: 847-395-1421

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    Lakes Community High School

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    Phone: 847-838-7100

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