The District 117 Committee on the District Wide Boundary Process is getting closer to making a decision on the new boundaries for the district.
District 117 Superintendent Steve Ptacek joined our WLDS’ AM Conversation to discuss the process, and how community feedback has aided the committee: The second scenario was actually developed by a community member that came to the committee. We were kind of stuck on how to find a different way to try to draw the scenarios with the goals we had established: capacity goals, equity goals, etc.; minimizing the impact to the community as much as possible. We were kind of stuck. We thought we only had one scenario. Then someone from the community came and said, “Have you thought of this?” I didn’t know if it was going to work, but I ran the numbers and it ended up becoming the second viable scenario. So, we’re listening to people.”
Ptacek says that getting a decision made as early as possible is important for several reasons, but making the right decision is even more important: We would like to get it done as early as possible to give people the time to prepare, and for us to develop a transition plan. We want to work with the people this year that are going to be moving to new schools next year. We’re planning on potentially having students visit the new schools, get to know the teachers, visit some of the other students. We want to make that transition as convenient and comfortable as possible and the earlier the better. But, if we have to wait a couple of months to get the best options possible we’ll do that.
During his time on AM Conversation, Ptacek also gave a few thoughts on Senate Bill 1: My biggest concern is that they define that we had to change the funding formula attached to the budget and the income tax increase. There’s ways that they could have done it with our past funding plan that we wouldn’t be holding people hostage because we have a brand new funding option that has to be done. I don’t get it. You don’t put yourself into a corner by changing things the way they did, and now they’re gonna have to run into something… I have had the time to analyze whether it’s fantastic of not. It’s just that how it’s gone through, it seems very willy nilly.
To hear our full conversation with Ptacek, click here.