The Hancock-Henderson Quill, Inc.

What's Going On At West Central

This last week I received this cheery letter from West Central Community Unit District #235 stating and I quote: "The finances of the district remain positive. Revenues exceeded expenditures in all major operating funds and fund balances increased in almost all our funds.

At the conclusion of the 2006-2007 school year, the district had achieved review status (second highest rating) in the financial profile prepared by the Illinois State Board of Education."

However, on Dec.19th the superintendent and board asked for a tax levy increase of 12.32%-thank goodness, 7 citizens offered testimony and the board reduced it to 4.9%. What is going on?

If everything was positive financially, why was such a huge amount proposed?

Reading further in the cheery newsletter, we citizens are told that the results of the PSAE test "is not where they would like them to be" and all of us should check out the statistics on the school website (; we are not informed what they are.

In looking up the page on the Internet, I found the following for 11th grade: Reading 52% while state average in 58%, but further investigation says that Reading in low 29% and 8%. I don't profess to understand all these numbers, but going further down in the report is a table listing 11th Grade percentage of students meeting college readiness standards.

Here our school rates the following: English 51%, Math 15%, Reading 30%, Science 13%-meeting all four=9%. What is going on?

I realize that not everyone is going to college, but everyone will have to read and deal with math their entire life.

I'm sure the teachers are trying hard and need support of parents for everyone to be successful. One of the reasons I voted for the new district was to provide more opportunities to all students-basic as well as advanced.

Are we doing that?

Maybe we, as taxpayers, need to begin to pay more attention to what is happening at West Central and hold board members (our representatives) accountable for what does happen.

Wanting the best for students and teachers,

Virginia Ross