District 117 eyeing District-Wide Re-Boundary Process

By Gary Scott on April 24, 2017 at 1:04pm

After months of discussions and public meetings, Jacksonville School District 117 is looking at a district-wide re-boundary process.

Superintendent Steve Ptacek originally presented the two choices of a limited-impact process versus a full-fledged, district-wide process, and looked at five different scenarios in which district boundaries could be re-drawn.

Ptacek joined WLDS’ “What’s On Your Mind?” program this morning to talk about where the board currently sits.

He says after analyzing the staffing impact, the limited re-boundary process was no longer an option.

“The last step that I needed to do was a staffing analysis, and those numbers show that this limited-impact process is just not possible. For instance, the big numbers right away, South, Murrayville and Eisenhower are all the exact same in the five scenarios. When you remove all those students from those three schools, the changes in the number of empty desks was so glaringly against the taxpayers when you talk about having to pay for teachers-per-student ratio,” says Ptacek.

Ptacek explains how the board ultimately came to this decision.

“You’re talking about a staff-to-student ratio that would require one of two things: tremendous hiring of staff, and staff is eighty percent of the district’s budget, or a lot of splits where we have third and fourth graders in the same classroom, which we don’t think is an educational advantage for those students. The conclusion came down to: we’ve got to do a district-wide re-boundary process,” explains Ptacek.

To learn more about the district-wide re-boundary process, you can hear our full interview with Ptacek on our website at WLDS/WEAI.com.