GIFFORD – The Gifford school district has been awarded the Bright Star Award for the third consecutive year.
The award is presented by the independent company SchoolSearch and goes to districts in which students' academic performance ranks in the upper one-third of Illinois school districts but where per-pupil expenditures rank in the lower one-fourth of Illinois school districts.
Eighty-one of 869 Illinois school districts are recognized as Bright Star recipients.
2009 Illinois Report Card data, the most recent available, is used in the ranking.
Student achievement used in the ranking is based on the average percentage of meets/exceeds in reading and math on the Illinois Standards Achievement Test.
The state average for the percentage is 80.06. The Bright Star Award sets the standard at 87.73 percent or higher. Gifford's score was 90 percent in reading and 94 in math.
The state average operating expenditure is $10,417 per student. The average per-student expenditure at Gifford Grade School is about $7,428.
The school board last week approved the recently adopted three-year Gifford Education Association contract. Both the education association and the school board had approved the contract previously, but the action had not been formally voted on. The new contract will provide a 3.75 percent raise for 2010-11 and 3.5 percent the following two years.