The Moline-Coal Valley School District has a new Superintendent. Dr. David Moyer spent the last two years as a Superintendent in Wisconsin, but also worked for several school districts in the Chicago Suburbs early in his career.
On Thursday, September 13th, Dr. Moyer heard from parents and community members, who were eager to share their thoughts -- and concerns -- about the school district. Budget burdens throughout the state have made staff sizes smaller and class sizes bigger, among other things.
"The state has some challenges and we've heard about these in the past and we're going to continue hearing about them in the future," says Mike Wennekamp, a parent who attended Thursday's Open House.
And a bigger burden may be on the way from the State Capitol. Some legislators want school districts to pay for their own employee pensions to help Illinois get $83 billion out of debt.The pension reform debate will continue when the legislative session starts in January. But Dr. Moyer is optimistic. He says he doesn't think there's enough support in the Legislature to pass the pension costs onto local school districts and taxpayers.
However, he says it's these state-wide challenges that make local ones even tougher to handle.
"We have to find ways to effectively communicate these things to the public and that's not always easy to do," he says.
Dr. Moyer says he's developing plans to refocus the district on improving our students in the classroom instead of worrying about what's happening in Springfield.
"If we use that as the basis for how we make those decisions, hopefully we will be able to make some of those tough decisions and still serve our students and community well," he says.
Parents say they're looking forward to the future, as well as taking part in it.
"I think we all have a role in helping guide that future and when they ask for our input and our advice to get in there and roll up our sleeves and do that hard work to make what's good even better for the Maroons." says another parent, Lisa Powell-Williams.