Quincy vocational-technical center to host public hearing on Illinois vo-techs

Posted: Feb. 21, 2013 10:29 am Updated: Mar. 14, 2013 2:15 pm

Herald-Whig Staff Writer

The Quincy Area Vocational-Technical Center has been selected as the site for a public hearing on the impact of career-oriented vocational centers around Illinois.

Mark Pfleiger, director of the center, said the hearing will be sponsored by the Illinois Department of Commerce and Economic Opportunity as way to gather public input about concerns regarding funding, transportation and support for the 24 centers.

After he found out that a state task force associated with the Department of Commerce and Economic Opportunity was planning to conduct hearings at various locations statewide, Pfleiger contacted state Sen. John Sullivan to express his interest in having the vocational-technincal center serve as a hearing site "so the voices of Western Illinois could be heard."

Pfleiger told the Quincy School Board on Wednesday that he recently learned the Quincy center was picked to host a hearing, but he hasn't yet heard a date for the event. He hopes the hearing will be sometime this spring before the school year ends.

Pfleiger said a public tour of the center will be held in conjunction with the hearing.

More details will be announced later.

In other action at Wednesday's meeting, the School Board heard a report about the Curriculum Committee's recent review of various initiatives under way in the district to help students succeed in school.

Board member Steve Krause, who presided over Wednesday's meeting in the absence of the board's president, Bill Daniels, said he has gained a better appreciation for some of these programs since he began serving on the Curriculum Committee.

Krause, whose four-year term on the board will end after the April elections, said one thing he will take away from his service on the committee is that "reading and reading comprehension are incredibly important, and this board has to do everything it can going forward to continue to support Reading Recovery in this district."

Krause said the Reading Recovery program has had a "significant impact" on students and should be preserved at all costs because "reading is important" for success in other subjects as well, such as math.

"It's hard to do math problems and deeper-cognitive math problems if you don't know how to read and comprehend the problems you are doing," he said.

The board also:

º Agreed to seek bids for $416,009 worth of life-safety projects to be carried out next summer. The biggest project on the list calls for spending an estimated $162,000 to resurface the lower parking lot at Quincy High School and construct a concrete pavement bus lane. Some lights will be installed as well.

º Agreed to seek bids for trash collection and recycling services. The bid specifications call for a one-year contract with the board having the option for two one-year renewals.