Rockford Public Schools

"School buses" by Flickr User JohnPickenPhoto / (CC BY 2.0)

Around 100 Rockford Public Schools bus drivers picketed in front of the district’s bus terminal at 2000 Christina Street.

They chanted: “No Green, No Yellow,” warning of a possible strike if contract negotiations continue to drag on between the district and AFSCME.  The main sticking points include requests for higher wages and concern over employee contributions to health insurance.

AFSCME members spoke out at a Rockford school board meeting Tuesday and held a march  in favor of higher wages for bus drivers, paraprofessionals, and food service workers.  

Current wages for bus drivers are $16,181, $14,280 for paraprofessionals and $11,373 for nutrition services workers. Advocates  say current these levels aren't enough to adequately support  families, and believe Rockford Public Schools can afford higher raises.  

Rockford Public Schools

Negotiations continue in Rockford  between the Public Schools and property owners to expand into areas around Lincoln Middle School and Kishwaukee Elementary School. 

The Register-Star reports Board members learned of four negotiated purchases Tuesday night near both sites, while eminent domain authority was approved for two lots on Second Avenue. 

Winnebago County Must Pay $626K From Tax Overpayment

Apr 26, 2016
Winnebago County

Winnebago County is still working on a way to repay the $626,000 it owes the state after a tax error. 

The mistake occurred when the Department of Revenue overpaid thousands of state districts for their 2014 Personal Property Replacement Taxes.  The funds would normally go to Winnebago County’s general fund and retirement system, but this year’s will need to be partially repaid.  County Administrator Stephen Chapman is frustrated at the state’s lack of a repayment plan.      

Rockford Schools Receive $400,000 Grant

Mar 31, 2016

Rockford Public Schools received a $400,000 grant from the Chicago-based Joyce Foundation. 

The funds are part of a greater effort by the organization to improve student educational opportunities, particularly as they relate to college and the job market.  In choosing Rockford, the foundation zeroed in on the district's Academy program, which, in addition to standard instruction, provides career-based learning through company visits, job shadowing programs, and more elaborate capstone projects.