Westville teachers get average 4% raise in new contract

WESTVILLE – School officials approved a three-year contract with the Westville Education Association Wednesday that includes an average 4 percent raise each year for union members.

Superintendent Jim Owens said the agreement, which runs through 2011, is good for the district and the board.

Teachers in need of aid can find some online

CHAMPAIGN – Teacher Lindsey Little wanted civil rights novels to use in her eighth-grade reading and writing class at Jefferson Middle School, but the school's library didn't have enough of the books she needed.

She learned about a Web site called DonorsChoose from a fellow teacher. It allows teachers to post requests for classroom materials or supplies, and individual donors can choose to donate to the requests they find most compelling.

DACC graduation set for 7 p.m. Friday

DANVILLE – Danville Area Community College will confer 300 associate degrees and certificates to students this year.

About 100 graduates will participate in this year's commencement ceremony, at 7 p.m. Friday at the Mary Miller Gymnasium on DACC's campus, 2000 E. Main St., Danville.

Unit 4 vote places tax on ballot

CHAMPAIGN – Voters will see a countywide sales tax question on the November ballot.

The Champaign school board unanimously approved a resolution calling for a vote on a 1 percent sales tax increase. It is the 12th of 14 school districts in the county to pass such a resolution.

Mattoon-based company reports drop in net income

MATTOON – Consolidated Communications Holdings had a 20 percent drop in net income and 27 percent drop in earnings for the first quarter of this year, compared with the same quarter a year ago.

The Mattoon-based telecommunications company on Thursday reported first-quarter net income of $3.7 million, compared with $4.6 million a year ago. Earnings amounted to 13 cents per share, compared with 18 cents per share a year ago. Revenues were up a healthy 27 percent, and after operating expenses were deducted, the company enjoyed an 11 percent increase in income from operations.

Rantoul board vows to lower taxes if measure OK'd

RANTOUL – Rantoul Township High School board members pledged Monday night to eliminate a portion of the high school's property tax if voters approve a proposed countywide sales tax for education.

The school board directed Superintendent David Requa to draft a letter to the Champaign County Board pledging to abate 18.12 cents per $100 equalized assessed valuation in bond property tax money if the sales tax goes into effect.

Danville seeks money for busing

DANVILLE – John Duprey chooses to drive his children, 8-year-old Mackenzie and 6-year-old John, to and from Meade Park Elementary School every day rather than let them walk.

That's because Duprey, who lives in the 100 block of Oregon Avenue, doesn't want his kids crossing busy East Main Street, even when there's an adult crossing guard present.

Georgetown hearing draws opponents to school holiday change

GEORGETOWN – After a hearing that drew about a dozen community members, school officials on Monday took no action on a proposal that would have given them the option to have students attend school on Veterans Day.

The hearing was held to get public reaction on a proposal to request that the state board of education allow the district to hold regular school days on the next five Veterans Days.

Alternative academy details will be presented

CHAMPAIGN – The Champaign school district will host an information night to talk about its alternative academy, set to open in the fall.

The information night will be from 6 to 7 p.m. Tuesday in Pavilion Room C at the Champaign Public Library, 505 S. Randolph St.

Unit 4, teachers plan contract talks

CHAMPAIGN – School and teacher union negotiators in Champaign will meet later this month to discuss the contract proposal teachers have made.

Contract negotiations began this week for Champaign teachers, whose three-year contract will expire at the end of June.