Decentralization May Have Little Impact on Galesburg School District

Officials with the Galesburg School District are claiming that neighboring school’s considerations to decentralize from the Knox Warren Special Education District won’t have a large impact.
The KWSED formed years ago so smaller districts could pool their resources to assist students with special needs.

Several districts now have either decided, or are considering, the possibility of hiring their own teachers, paraprofessionals, and psychologists.

Currently, those neighboring districts pay the going compensation rate for the Galesburg School District, but many are under the impression they could lower their costs by managing the services themselves.

The District 205 School Board yesterday approved leaving 14 staff positions with District 205 unfilled due to several former employees signing contracts with the Williamsfield or Abingdon-Avon School Districts.

Human Resources Director Diane VanHootegem tells WGIL the co-op has been beneficial in the past.

“Currently they have a lot of input and options there,” Van Hootegem said.  “But if they want full control then they would have to decentralize to do that.”

Because Galesburg is a relatively large district compared to the other co-op participants, it would have little impact on District 205.

VanHootegem says Galesburg has enough special needs students and programs to make hiring special education program staff and psychologists worth the costs.

Monmouth-Roseville, Abingdon-Avon, and Williamsfield have already considered leaving the KWSED.

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