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Mt. Pulaski , Illinois
April 2, 2011     Times
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April 2, 2011

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Is the school district looking at.forced consolidation? By Mike Lakin I took the above question to Super- intendent Phil Shelton. Governor Pat Quinn's been talking about Illinois having too many school districts and that kind of talk makes school districts like ours a tad bit nervous. Supt. Shelton summarizes that the governor wants to cut school districts from 868 to 300 in Illinois. He goes on to say that if the governor wants to cut school districts, it can require districts to consolidate into K-12 districts. Mt. Pulaski took the K-12 step in 1975 It created one school district for both elementary and high school. That's one school board and one superintendent. Keep this in mind while Supt. Shelton continues (he was on a roll). As of right now, there are 388 unit school districts in Illinois. That's a single school district combining ele- mentary and high school districts into one board and one superintendent. As of right now, there are 101 high school districts in Illinois. That's 101 school districts for just 9-12. That's 101 high school boards and 101 superinten- dents. As of right now, there are 378 elementary school districts in Illinois. That's 378 school districts for just K-8. That's 378 elementary school boards and 378 superintendents. The 378 separate elementary school districts funnel students into the 101 high school districts. Looks like just creating 101 unit districts should eliminate 378 school districts and 378 superintendents. Supt. Shelton said looks like it, doesn't it? But... no. Many of these separate elementary and high school districts are in Cook County. And the governor has told those school districts that they do not have to worry about being con- solidated. What the governor is looking at is reducing the small schools outside of Cook County. SChools judged by their student population. What the governor has called for is creating school districts based on population. The smallest a school district could be is one serving a population of about 30,000 people. For Logan County, that's a school board serving Logan County and a single high school district. That's just applying the governor's number. It just happens that Logan County's popula- tion is 35,000. Supt. Shelton believes the state is working to financially "starve" school districts. First to go will be districts that are too dependent on state funds and have not been responsible over the years with local funds, Mt. Pulaski is not in this category. In his opinion, Supt. Shelton sees Illinois as too diverse geographically and socially for a one-answer solution coming from the State House. It would not be possible for the state to draw new school district boundaries and impose those new boundaries on the state; taking in the geography - social factors. But the wildcard in this draw- ing of boundaries is local legislators that haven't exactly been able to stand up to other members of the legislators. A curious thought here, according to Supt. Shelton, is this might all be a diversion. While people get fired up over local school consolidation, they aren't as fired up over the state income tax increase. He called it the, "start a fire in the garage - so I can steal the TV from the living room" way of doing politiCS. As Supt. Shelton concluded - "We have to monitor the governor and leg- islature to see where this question is headed." Chief Freer ran the vehicle ID # through the com- puter. It came back that the driver was suspended. Driver had insurance (I k-ow. I was surprised as you). He also had a Sangamon County traffic citation, but no license. The driver said he had a "Dee-kater" attor- ney (Was it The Decatur Lawyer?'M... Don't know) and his DUI was dismissed and everything was taken care of. Well now. At that precise moment in time it was not taken care of. Arrested. Off to jail. Bond was $1500. Bet his first call was to that "Dee-kater" attor- ney who took care of everything. Chief Freer ran the vehicle ID # through the computer. It came back that the owner was wanted on a Macon County warrant. The owner happened to be the passenger, not the driver. The warrant was for a small claims case. Bond on the small claims was $500. But wait. There's more. A second warrant popped up. U.S. Marshals wanted him for a probation violation on a robbery conviction. Last seen, he was in the county jail awaiting the arrival of the federals. Life can take some interesting turns.., can it not... Powd iomaace AO Inc D L vt Pulssk, li. 6258 Bus: 217-79Z 3371 .dern;)oweli corn Break a leg. Culligan Water Products Like a good neighbor, State Farm is 'Y lllIlll! I-I __ _.I rttceKepon By Mike [akin Officer Todd Bauer issued a ticket for failure to reduce speed to avoid an accident. It was a reaz-ender on 121. No injuries. Chief Freer investigated what was thought to be an attempted break-in. It looked like someone tried to kick-in a door Closer inspection showed the wind had caught the door, broke the hydraulic closer, and damaged trim at the bottom of the door. Officer Todd Bauer arrested a Belmont Street resi- dent on a Logan County Warrant. It was for a small claims case. Officer Kyle Veech responded to a call from G- Mart. Employees stated an individual had entered the store and caused a disturbance. Officer Veech talked to the individual who, shall we say, made as much sense as Charlie Sheen. The individual was told he was banned from G-Mart and would be arrested for trespass if he returned to the business. Chief Freer responded to an accident on Washing- ton Street. Vehicles bumped when one backed into another No injuries. Officer Kyle Veech investigated... A brewing argu- ment between high school students ended on the stairs when one kicked the other down said stairs. A battery complaint report was filed with the state's attorney's office. better water, pure and simple; Water Softeners Iron Filters Bottled Water Joel & Deanna Jacobs Eddie Combs 31s N. Chicago St. - Lincoln 735.4450 Mt. Pulaski Times An alert citizen called in a report to Officer Josh Pharis. The citizen reported a white van speeding at a high rate of speed north on Vine that ran the stop sign at Vine & 121. Although the driver was cleverly disguised in an orange ski mask, his name was embla- zoned on the side of the van. Additional' alert citizens calledin reporting the incident, adding - they had been run off the road by the masked hombre. Officer Josh Pharis took a report from employees at Dollar General that an individual driving a white van (see above) had been in the store "acting weird". He had purchased a prepaid cell phone earlier and had returned demanding a refund. When told they could not refund his money, he became angry and threw the phone in the trash and left. He then returned and said he had hit the employee's car. He then said he did not hit it and sped off. There was no damage to the employee's car. Officers Pharis and Kylereech went to the individual's residence to talk with him. When they told the individual they wanted to talk to him about his driving and the General Store incident he became upset and ordered them out of the residence. The officers told the individual if there were further issues they would be back. Officer Kyle Veech was advised of a possible DUI. As he responded, he observed a van repeatedly cross the centerline of the roadway. Pulling the van over, the driver refused to consent to any field sobriety test. Logan County deputies arrived and assumed author- ity for the traffic stop. Small Engine Repairs Lawn Mowers-Weed Eaters-Snow Blowers & more General Auto Maintenance Oil Changes-Brake and Belt/Hose Replacement M0wer.Tiller Tune.Ups $41.99 (Plus Parts) Hours: Mon. & Fri. 9am - 4pm Tues. & Thurs, 6pm - 9pm 523 S. Spring St. - Mt. Pulaski 217-414-2271 e-mail - April 2, 2011