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Iowa City and other school districts across the state predicted to grow
-- GRACE PATERAS, The Daily Iowan

Iowa: March 31, 2015 -- The fifth-largest school district in Iowa isn’t the only one expected to grow over the next 10 years. The Iowa City School District’s growth is a combination of progression, birth rates, and survival rates in Johnson County. School Board President Chris Lynch said the district has been aware of these estimates for a long time, which is why construction of new schools and additions to others has been a recent priority. “We continue to see significant growth in the district,” he said. There were 13,050 students enrolled in the district for the current school year, up from 12,774 last year. The three new elementary schools being built, a upcoming new high school, and other school additions have been a result of data from annual reports on district growth, Lynch said. To accommodate the growth, he said, the more students in the district means the more funding they bring in, which allows the district to hire more teachers. “Providing an excellent learning experience for our students is our main goal,” Lynch said. “We want our students to have an excellent learning environment.” The district’s budget for the growth comes from a variety of taxes. A little more than half comes from state taxes, and a little under half comes from local property taxes. Five percent is funded federally. “Remember that the facilities master plan is based on most extensive community plan,” Lynch said. “So far we’re on schedule and in budget.”

Review calls for change in management of Anchorage school facilities
-- Tegan Hanlon, Alaska Dispatch News

Alaska: March 31, 2015 -- A newly released review of the Anchorage School District's facilities operations highlights numerous deficiencies in how the district estimates the costs of capital projects, how it secures funding for those projects and how it manages them. The review, made public Tuesday, offers 28 recommendations on how the district could improve, including filling critical job vacancies on a timely basis, noting that the top facilities position went unfilled for three years. ASD administrators and the Council of the Great City Schools presented the review at a special School Board meeting Tuesday afternoon -- a week before the April 7 municipal election, when voters will decide the fate of a $59.3 million school bond to pay for capital projects at eight schools. Mike Abbott, ASD's chief operating officer, said Monday that the special meeting was called because the school district did not want to create the perception that it held back the review’s findings until closer to the vote. Under typical protocol, the administration would have presented the findings at the next School Board meeting, scheduled for the day before the election, Abbott said. In its 14-page facilities review, the council said the school district did some things well. It praised ASD for the competent, hardworking and dedicated employees within the Facilities and the Maintenance and Operations departments, as well as its six-year facilities plan. It noted that ASD had a robust preventive maintenance program as well as a strategic plan that called for high operational efficiency. But the council also found items it didn’t like. For one, the review said the school district’s Facilities Department went three years without a director. During that span, the department lacked an executive to champion capital projects and maintenance programs, the review said

Some Eastern Connecticut school playgrounds getting upgrades
-- John Penney, The Norwich Bulletin

Connecticut: March 29, 2015 -- Several Eastern Connecticut school playgrounds will be receiving upgrades thanks to a series of recently approved state grants. The State Bond Commission this month approved funding for early childhood-related projects in Plainfield, Sterling and Lisbon, many of them focusing on student recreation. In Plainfield, part of an $81,902 grant will be used to add handicap-accessible playground equipment outside the district's Early Childcare Center, which includes students from the Readiness and Head Start programs. A canvas-draped shell will be replaced with a gazebo-style shaded area, and a second play area will get a new ramp and fencing, said Rena Cadro, district director of curriculum and grants. "These are the type of upgrades we couldn't do without grant money," she said. "We're looking to do the upgrades within the year." Barbara Tetreault, head teacher and assistant director of the Readiness Program, said approximately 63 preschool students are on the playgrounds on any given day. "The students go outside three times each day, weather permitting," she said. "It's really important at that age that the children have chances to go out, expel some energy and be healthy."

Savoy residents want their voices heard
-- Nicole Lafond, The News-Gazette

Illinois: March 29, 2015 -- Seven years and several subdivisions ago, back when the population of Savoy was closer to 5,000 than 10,000, a group of concerned parents held a series of neighborhood meetings about a common complaint in the village. Residents were sick of being told that Champaign's Unit 4 district would eventually build them a shiny, new elementary school, and tired of staring at the empty lot in the middle of the Prairie Fields neighborhood, the someday site of Carrie Busey Elementary. There was talk about packing up and leaving for Unit 7, just a few miles down U.S. 45 in Tolono, which would have welcomed a wave of new students with open arms. But after researching all that goes into an official detachment — petitions, public hearings, a vote by the regional board of school trustees — that talk never went anywhere. Carrie Busey opened on Savoy's Prairie Rose Lane in 2012 and for a while, all was well. But for some, that forgotten-by-Unit 4 feeling is back in Savoy, this time over the contentious, $144 million school facilities proposal that will be put before voters in nine days. Some in the village are concerned about the priciest item in the package — the $94.5 million construction of a new Champaign Central High School in northernmost Champaign, even farther away from Savoy. For others, the frustration has more to do with the village's voice — or lack thereof — in discussions and debates about future facilities. "We would have thought with how important the referendum is to the school district and our students that there would have been some kind of information session from a Unit 4 representative here in Savoy so that residents and voters could have a chance to come out and hear what everything is all about," said Savoy Village Manager Dick Helton. "This is a community of 7,400 people that is part of the school district and it seems like we are just one segment of the entire population that is just forgotten about."

Schools in favor of Gov. Dayton's pre-school proposal if they have space
-- Nathan Bowe, DL-Online

Minnesota: March 29, 2015 -- Area school superintendents agree that getting 4-year-olds into the classroom on a regular basis is a good idea, but some say they don’t have the space to implement the proposal. ADVERTISEMENT VIDEOPRINT White Earth Reservation Tribal Council WHITE EARTH RESERVATION TRIBAL COUNCIL LOVE WORKING WITH CHILDREN? BECOME A TEACHER AT THE CIRCLE OF LIFE SCHOOL. COMP SALARY & BENEFITS! VIDEOPRINT Northwest Technical College NORTHWEST TECHNICAL COLLEGE 88% OF GRADUATES ARE HIRED IN THEIR FIELD OF STUDY, OR CONTINUE TO PURSUE A BACHELORS DEGREE PRINT Join Our Growing Team! JOIN OUR GROWING TEAM! HIRING ENTRY LEVEL GENERAL LEDGER ACCOUNTANT! COMPETITIVE COMPENSATION AND GROWTH OPPORTUNITY! PRINT Family Healthcare FAMILY HEALTHCARE SEEKING A DENTIST FOR NEW, BEAUTIFUL & MODERN FACITILY! GREAT PAY/BENEFITS + TUITION REIMBURSEMT. VIDEOPRINT Mayville State University MAYVILLE STATE UNIVERSITY COMPLETELY ONLINE, ACCELERATED RN TO BSN PROGRAM FOR CURRENT RNS NOW ACCEPTING APPLICATIONS FOR FALL VIDEOPRINT Rural Minnesota CEP RURAL MINNESOTA CEP JOB FAIR APRIL 9 3-6PM COME JOIN US PRINT CUSTOM EXECUTIVE HOME IN PRESCOTT AZ NO MORE FREEZING IN THE WINTER! VIDEOPRINT Voyager Industries VOYAGER INDUSTRIES VOYAGER INDUSTRIES, BRANDON MN SEEKS A MARKETING COORDINATOR VIDEOPRINT White Earth Reservation Tribal Council WHITE EARTH RESERVATION TRIBAL COUNCIL LOVE WORKING WITH CHILDREN? BECOME A TEACHER AT THE CIRCLE OF LIFE SCHOOL. COMP SALARY & BENEFITS! VIDEOPRINT Northwest Technical College NORTHWEST TECHNICAL COLLEGE 88% OF GRADUATES ARE HIRED IN THEIR FIELD OF STUDY, OR CONTINUE TO PURSUE A BACHELORS DEGREE PREVIOUS NEXT VIEW ALL OFFERS | ADD YOUR BUSINESS Gov. Mark Dayton wants to spend about $348 million, nearly a fifth of Minnesota’s budget surplus on creating a universal preschool program for Minnesota’s 4-year-olds. That would make Minnesota one of just a few states to offer universal, full-day pre-K. In a nutshell, here’s what the local superintendents said: Frazee-Vergas has the space available and welcomes the opportunity to expand its existing programming for 4-year-olds. Waubun-Ogema-White Earth will have to do some tweaking but has some extra space in its early childhood center and could make the proposal work. Detroit Lakes and Lake Park-Audubon just don’t have the room to expand to cover all 4-year-olds for five hours a day. Detroit Lakes hopes to solve the problem through a school construction project.

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