Tuesday, February 26, 2008

Five File for School Board Seats

Three incumbents and two others filed Monday for three three-year seats on the Board of Education, a small field in contrast to the 11 candidates who sought the seats in 2005.

That year, Agurs Linward “Lenny” Cathcart Jr., Bridget Rivers and Vickey Sheppard won out over eight contenders. In the April 15 school board election, the incumbents face only Yolanda Van Fleet and Jaclynne Callands in the contest for three seats.

The school budget for 2008-09 will also be on the ballot. At a work and study meeting tonight (Tuesday, Feb. 26, 2008), the budget will be discussed. No details were included in the agenda for the 7 p.m. meeting in the Plainfield High School conference room.

The budget is for the school year that begins July 1. School officials are forecasting tight times ahead as state aid to the Abbott districts will flatten out or possibly decrease in future years. Currently, the Plainfield district gets more than $99 million in aid and only asks local taxpayers to kick in about $18 million toward the cost of running schools.

Changes in the school funding formula will be one of the challenges faced by incoming Superintendent Steve Gallon III when he takes office July 1. The district is also remedying faults found in state monitoring earlier this year.

--Bernice Paglia


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