Monticello school district residents will have a chance to vote on funding for a high school renovation on the March 20 ballot.

MONTICELLO – There are no surprises in the financial picture of the Monticello School District at the midway point of the fiscal year, said Superintendent Adam Clapp.

“Revenues are tracking just like we expected them to in the budget,” he told the school board last week. “State payments are being made on time. The CPPRT (corporate personal property replacement taxes) which are figured by the Illinois Department of Revenue are coming in as expected. To date, we have received $13.6 million, which is on track with our budget. Typically, April and May are the state’s biggest disbursements.”

Corporate personal property replacement taxes (CPPRT), which are revenues collected by the state of Illinois and paid to local taxing bodies to replace money that was lost when their powers to impose personal property taxes on corporations, partnerships and other business entities were taken away.

Clapp expects to get around $20 million in CPPRT revenue this year.

“Expenditures are on track as well,” he said. “We have several projects that we approved in July and August that will be completed in June 2023, so we will be paying those in this fiscal year. Those projects are reflected in our budget.”

There have been no surprises or unexpected expenditures during the first half of the fiscal year.

“I’m very happy with where we are financially,” he added.

Class sizes

“We are monitoring the class sizes in each school,” Clapp said. “As it stands right now, and the numbers stay consistent, we will likely add a section for third grade for next year.”

Currently there are six sections of second grade and five sections for third grade.

“We are anticipating adding a sixth section for third grade.”

Clapp said the goal is to keep class sizes for the earlier grades – through third grade specifically, around 20 or under. Grades four through six often are a little bigger – up to 23 or 24 students for average class size.

District report card

Clapp reported that the district remains among the top in several categories reported under the state-issued District Report Card.

“I am already very biased in believing in the Monticello School District, but it is nice to have some data to back that up,” he said.

Clapp said that in almost all categories, Monticello compares favorably with similar districts such as Mt. Zion and Mahomet-Seymour.

With about 10 area comparable schools, Monticello is ranked fourth in enrollments, third lowest in tax rate and second highest in average salaries.

“Even though we are generally happy with where we stand in places such as test scores relative to the other schools, we are always looking for ways to do better,” he said.

He is reviewing the report card with administrators and staff to look for areas to improve.

Facilities update

Clapp said the turf project is moving forward. The dirt from the soccer field and football fields have been removed and curbs have been poured at the soccer field.

Ryder to transfer

The board also approved the transfer of Amanda Ryder from White Heath Elementary to Washington Elementary to replace Emily Weidner, who has accepted the superintendent’s position at Cerro Gordo. That will be effective July 1.

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