Summer is ending

OK, the temperatures that we're supposed to see (Excessive Heat Warning through Thursday night) would seem to indicate that we're still in the depths of summer. However, over at Orchard Farm Elementary School they are having open house tonight and school starts on Wednesday. And my baby girl is starting first grade this year!

We attended the first PTO meeting of the year last week at the new Discovery School, which Orchard Farm was able to build in the southern end of the district due to passing a no-tax increase bond issue a few years back. The need for the additional space became quite apparent last year when they had 7 classes of Kindergarten. Holy Cow! That was a lot of kids. The elementary school on the main campus was utilizing all rooms available for teaching space.

The bond issue is only going to go so far though. One of the things that is really hurting the Orchard Farm school district is all the TIFs that the St. Charles city council has given out in the last five years. The city council has really built up the Fountain Lakes Industrial Park, but money is not flowing into the school district because of the TIF.

And over in the St. Charles School District, they expected to receive a one-time, $1.2 million payment in lieu of taxes in 2008 from Cullinan Properties, the company building a mixed-use center at the site of the former Noah's Ark hotel. The district still has not received the payment, although it's in the budget for the 2010-11 year.

According to the Suburban Journals (http://is.gd/eadvu), there is going to be a meeting between the St Charles City Council and the Orchard Farm, St. Charles, and Francis Howell School Districts to "improve communication." The meeting is over in the St. Charles School District's administration center at 400 North Sixth Street at 6pm on Tuesday night.

I'm not sure if it is open to the public or not, but I would anticipate the discussions to be about as hot as the weather.

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