Mundelein school districts finalizing details of staff-sharing deal

Officials at two Mundelein-based school districts planning to share key administrators to save money are close to finalizing the financial details of the deal.

The arrangement between Mundelein High School District 120 and Mundelein Elementary School District 75 is scheduled to begin this summer, ahead of the 2019-20 school year.

The Mundelein High board agreed last week to cover 57 percent of the salary and benefit costs for the staffers who will be employed by both districts. District 75 would be responsible for the remaining 43 percent.

The District 75 board is expected to vote on the plan Aug. 20.

Under the deal, Mundelein High Superintendent Kevin Myers will take over as head of the District 75 administration. Three other District 120 employees - Human Resources Director Shane McCreery, payroll manager Kim Aredia and administrative assistant Ana Ortiz - also will start working for both districts, and more dual employees are possible.

"The two boards will also explore combining the two business office staffs and adjusting responsibilities," District 120 spokesman Ron Girard said.

The dual-district employees will continue working at the District 120 headquarters, just west of the high school. Some District 75 staffers are relocating to that office.

Specific financial estimates for the deal haven't been determined yet, Girard said. They could be presented in August.

Officials with the two districts announced the plan to share Myers' superintendent services about a year ago. The move was timed to coincide with the recent retirement of District 75 Superintendent Andy Henrikson.

The District 75 and District 120 boundaries overlap but aren't contiguous. District 75 is one of several elementary districts that feeds students into the larger high school district.

Mundelein High School is the sole school in District 120. District 75 has four buildings: the Lincoln Early Childhood Center, a preschool; Washington Early Learning Center, an elementary school; Mechanics Grove Elementary School; and Sandburg Middle School.

The districts have cooperated in other areas and began sharing technology staffs several years ago.

Proponents have said sharing administrators will allow the districts to save money on personnel and spend more on student learning.

The move also will allow educators to develop an aligned curriculum for elementary, middle and high school students.

Dan Swartz, District 75's assistant superintendent for teaching and learning, said he's excited about the change.

"I think there's a lot of possibilities to work together for the best interests of the kids and community," he said.

While remaining autonomous, the District 120 and District 75 boards will meet together July 16 for a team-building session. An Illinois Association of School Board representative will lead the program.

Several joint meetings will be held annually, Girard said.

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