Cambridge to retain pre-K program, school board learns

Sandy Hull
Cambridge Elementary School

    Pre-kindergarten will be retained as a full-time program at the Cambridge Elementary School since Illinois will reportedly increase funding for early childhood education, according to Tom Akers, superintendent of schools.

    The announcement was made during the Cambridge School Board meeting Wednesday, July 14.

    “If the district dropped the program, the funding could not be applied elsewhere,” he said. “I would rather help children younger than five years old without getting money than not having done so.”

    A tentative budget with $4,878,159 in revenue and $4,865,439 in expenditures was approved by the board.

    Even though the tentative budget was approved, Akers said the budget will have to be amended next spring because of so many uncertainties.

    A hearing on the budget is set for 6:45 p.m. Thursday, Aug. 19, at the grade school Bright Beginnings room.

    Akers said the district ended this year with a $28,399 deficit in the education fund, but $13,790 to the good for all funds.

    “That’s very, very tight but still an amazing team effort,” he said. “At one point I anticipated a $35,000 deficit, but overcame the challenge with the cooperation from teachers who dealt with the word no and didn’t complain about it.”

    According to Akers, the new education fund shows a $4,151 deficit because of salary increases.

    The board also approved a new head lice policy change. Students found to have lice will be sent home, but those with nits or lice in the egg stage will be allowed to stay in school. The school nurse will work with the families to treat them and will inspect the students when they return to school.

    The board also:

    • Hired Adrienne Lavin, a 2004 graduate of Cambridge High School, as a cheerleading sponsor. She is a guidance counselor intern in AlWood and a substitute teacher in Cambridge.

    • Certified that Route 81 remains a traffic hazard to keep the district eligible for funds to bus students north of the highway that cuts through Cambridge. The board agreed to send letters stating that is is a serious safety hazard.