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Unit 10 School Board Approves Tax Levy

By Stephanie Malench

A public hearing was held regarding the 2020 Tax Levy as required by the truth in taxation laws prior to the Collinsville community Unit 10 School Board held its monthly meeting on December 21.

The Equalized Assessed Value for the 2020 tax rate increase over 2019 is expected to be 9%. This amount was calculated by Chief School Business Official  Uta Robinson by taking the following facts under consideration: bonds, TIFs, IMRF change, EAV history, revenue sources, new construction in the township and budget requirements in the 20212022 school year.

Fiscal Year 2022 will see a bond payment towards $2,296,864 for the Series 2020 bonds and the end of TIF District #1 deferments on December 31, 2021. The IMRF employer contribution rate will be at its lowest level since before 2012 at 10.68%.

The EAV has been steadily increasing over the last four years, with a 2019 rate of 3.76%. State and township multipliers are expected to be close to one for this cycle. The Collinsville Township Tax Assessor’s office reports an increase of $7 million in new construction this year, yielding a 3% increase and an expected multiplier close to one.

When all the factors are taken into account, it is recommended that the district will levy $36,500,695 more than last year, but the change in tax rate will be a savings of $16.13 on a $100,000 home over last year.

During the regular meeting, Superintendent Dr. Brad Skertich and the members of the board recognized Joyce Biegert for her work over the last 10 years with the Tote Me Home Program. Due to COVID-19, the award was delivered to her earlier in the day at Biegert’s Jewelry on Main St.

Biegert originally hoped that she would be able to send food home with five students in Unit 10 each weekend to help their families when the students were unable to receive breakfast or lunch at school. The program now serves pre-designed menus home with over 90 students each weekend.

Recognition was also given to the school district’s health care workers for the role they have played in dealing with the extra demands of the pandemic on top of their regular duties monitoring vaccinations and tending to cuts and scrapes on a daily basis. Each health care worker received their award at the school they are assigned to.

In the Superintendent’s report, Skertich announced that students would attend 100% remotely January 4-8, then transitioning back to the hybrid schedule the week of January 11. Collinsville Area Vocational Center and Pre-K students will begin attending Tuesday through Friday in person, as well as specific students who have IEPs the week of the 11th as well.

Benchmark assessments are expected to begin shortly after the start of the second semester to monitor student academic growth. Students will still fall into three categories (above grade level, at grade level or below grade level), although learning losses have been recorded nationwide since students missed the entire fourth quarter last school year across the country and few districts have gone back full time the first semester of this year.

There is also an increased need for social emotional supports and interventions that will last beyond this academic year as a result of reduced interaction with their peers. Supports offered will include adjustments to curriculum and lesson plans to fill in gaps and reteaching; continued Title 1 interventions for reading and math; continued English learner supports; before/after school tutoring; social emotional supports/counseling; and summer school and jump start programs.

Student Board Member America Gutierrez-Trejo gave a report via Zoom to the Board about her projects at Collinsville High School during the first semester. Gutierrez-Trejo’s main objective for this school year is to get students to feel comfortable speaking up and asking for help from adults or their peers when they need help.

On December 9, Gutierrez-Trejo sent out an appreciation form via email to CHS students so that they could let anyone in the building know that he or she is appreciated. On January 4, Gutierrez-Trejo will be sending out another email to students asking them how they are doing mentally and emotionally with the stresses associated with the pandemic and day to day life.

School Board members approved the 2020 Tax Levy discussed during the public hearing as well as approved the revised E-learning plan which included an expanded section on technology.

The board was also presented with a policy update of modified graduation requirements and waving mandated testing for the spring should the attendance schedule be altered again.

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