Geneseo Schools allow parents to voice concerns regarding masks

Beth Welbers
Geneseo Republic

The Geneseo School Board met Thursday August 12.  The Board were hosts to an estimated 40 concerned parents, some with school aged children in tow.  Many were holding signs calling to "Unmask our Children".  A number of parents were given an opportunity to address the Board regarding the decision to adhere to the Governor's mask mandates.  

Lance Neal, one of the attending parents, compared the overreaching of the Governor to that of Communist China.  

Sara Reed , another mother with three children in the Geneseo school system, stated that she was terrified of things ending up like last year.  Quarantine was not productive, kids just were more frustrated  Should things go that way, please live stream or record the lessons via video.  Parents and teachers must collaborate, and be proactive, not reactive. 

Sara Castro, a nurse with Unity Point who holds a Masters in Public Health, supports masks and the Board's decision to adhere to the IDPH guidelines.  She pointed out that in the her hospital, 27 inpatients were diagnosed with the Delta variant.  She urged families to maintain proven strategies of masks, social distancing, and hand washing.

The group stated that they had petitions signed by over 800 people to allow the students to have the option to go without masks. 

Superintendent Brumbaugh stated that they had an outstanding first day of school, with kids happy to be back.  The District will change according to the metrics whether they will loosen or tighten up restrictions based on local findings. 

Tim Gronski gave the tentative Budget and Forecast for the next fiscal year.  It did not include the expenditures associated with the Vocational Center.  The Fiscal Year 22 projections show a $1.1M deficit, and that deficit decreasing over the next three years.  Fiscal Year 23 projections are $885,000, FY 24, $745,000 and FY 25 $490,000.  The Board was also notified of an  increase in the District's credit rating, due to the fact that they had more than 180 days cash on hand, and have proved fiscal stability. 

Superintendent Brumbaugh congratulated the staff on the successful first day of school.  The District would stand to lose $6.5M in state funding if they chose to go against the Governor's mandates.  The participation for student athletes in the IHSA would also be curtailed by going against the mandate. The expanded Summer School program also appears to have met the needs of students who had fallen behind. 

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