Finance and Facilities
5A: Establish a legislative action committee to advocate for school funding and reduce unfunded mandates
6A: Establish and implement a capital improvement spending plan that prioritizes expenditures for health, life safety, technology and maintenance projects to minimize the cost and maximize sustainability.
Summary of major milestones:
Finance - Under the Finance and Facilities Strategic Goals, two committees were formed. The Finance Committee has focused their efforts on legislation, advocating for school funding, and reducing unfunded mandates.
Facilities - The other major focus area was the development of a capital improvement spending plan that prioritizes expenditures for health, life safety, technology and maintenance projects to minimize the cost and maximize sustainability.
Recent Accomplishments July - Dec 2019:
- Legislation: Senate Bill - 1226 was signed by Governor Pritzker in August 2019. Woodland advocated for this bill which dismantles the Charter Commission and moves the responsibility of hearing appeals on school openings, closings and renewals to the Illinois State Board of Education (ISBE).
- Prairie Crossing Charter School (PCCS): Woodland is currently involved in litigation against the Charter Commission regarding the renewal of Prairie Crossing Charter School (PCCS). The State Superintendent tasked PCCS with clarifying/defending their almost non-existent transportation plan as well as their lottery system by Oct. 30, 2019. ISBE awarded the 5-year renewal of Prairie Crossing’s Charter and Woodland Administration is in the process of fact finding to learn more information from ISBE as to their renewal determination.
- Illinois Association of School Board (IASB): Woodland introduced three new resolutions to IASB seeking charter school legislative change, all of which gained support and approval from IASBO at the Joint Annual Conference in November. IASBO will introduce and support the resolutions during legislative session with the goal of passing all three.
○ Legislation creating a new funding methodology in line with Evidence Based Funding for State Authorized Charter Schools
○ Legislation that allows host districts to participate in the renewal process
○ Legislation that defines the expectation of charter schools to educate at risk students
- Building Improvements: The HVAC work at various buildings, and the air conditioning project at Primary was completed during summer 2019.
- Transportation Office: In Sept. 2019, the Board of Education approved a partnership with Wold Architecture and Engineering to develop plans for a new Transportation Office. The Transportation Department has been housed in a temporary mobile unit since 1996. Due to the facility’s state of disrepair, a permanent solution is needed.
- Energy Efficiency: The Sustainability Committee conducted an electric device audit at all buildings in Dec. 2019 to identify areas where the District could become more energy efficient. The committee will evaluate the data in Jan. 2020.
Finance - With the renewal of PCCS, Woodland will focus on a legislative solution regarding funding. A meeting with the Illinois Network of Charter Schools (INCS) is scheduled for Jan. 16 where Woodland wants to discuss the possibility of a joint legislative solution. If Woodland and INCS can find common ground, Woodland will use the spring sessions as a starting point for potential change.
Facilities - The solar project will advance in 2020 with solar panel installation to begin in June. The new transportation office will also be constructed in the summer of 2020.
Strategic Plan Accomplishments and Coming Attractions Report, Jan. 23, 2020