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In this April 19, 2016, file photo, Bloomington Area Career Center fire science student Victoria Ketterer, a Central Catholic High School senior, is timed by her instructor, Nick Isaacs, a retired Bloomington assistant fire chief, as she practices for part of the firefighter combat challenge that was part of the SkillsUSA state competition.

BLOOMINGTON — Tuition at the Bloomington Area Career Center will be unchanged for the 2018-19 school year, following approval of the tentative budget by the Bloomington District 87 school board on Wednesday night.

Tuition will remain at $1,300 for all programs except the metals course taught at Heartland Community College, which is $1,400.

The budget approved for the Bloomington Area Career Center shows projected total revenue of just under $1.7 million and projected total expenditures of just under $1.4 million.

District 87 is the fiscal agent for the McLean-DeWitt Regional Vocational System, which includes the BACC.

Tom Frazier, director of the BACC, told the board that projected enrollment for 2018-19 is 609 students, the highest he recalls. Several programs have waiting lists, he said.

Of the projected 609 students, 110 to 115 will be at satellite locations such as a cosmetology school. The rest will be at Bloomington High School.

The career center serves students from 14 high schools.

“It's a positive challenge to try to accommodate more students,” said Frazier.

He said space was found at the high school to add another section for emergency medical technician students and an additional section for certified nursing assistant students was made possible by locating an additional clinical site.

Last year, there were more than 140 CNA students, said Frazier. He said CNA students have a good track record of passing the state exam needed to become certified.

In other action, the board approved an amended budget for fiscal 2018, which added a total of $750,000 in spending authority for the education, operations and maintenance, and transportation funds and Illinois Municipal Retirement Fund.

District 87 Superintendent Barry Reilly said the money provides a “cushion” — and legal authority to spend the money, if necessary — but he does not expect the district to have to spend the money. If it isn't spent, it remains in the respective funds.

Fiscal 2018 ends at the end of this month.

The meeting was the last one for retiring Assistant Superintendent for Curriculum and Instruction Cindy Helmers, who first came to the district in 1985 and has been an administrator since 1995.

Reilly said, “Cindy is leaving her mark on the district and that will be felt for years to come.”

He said her legacy includes a popular summer STEM camp, initiated last year for students interested in science, technology, engineering and mathematics.

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Contact Lenore Sobota at (309) 820-3240. Follow her on Twitter: @Pg_Sobota


Education Reporter

Education Reporter for The Pantagraph.

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