The Hidden Expenses of Grants

With more than three decades of experience in education, Michael Kuzniewski, EDD, leads J.S. Morton High School District 201 as superintendent. Dr. Michael Kuzniewski recently wrote an article entitled “All That Glitters Is Not Gold” for Update, a magazine published by the Illinois Association of School Business Officials, which discusses the hidden expenses of grants.

When applying for and using grant funds, educational institutions should consider the following expenditures to determine the grants’ real value.

Preparation costs: Schools may not be able to afford full-time grant writers, which then requires staff members to research, plan, and write the applications. This takes employees away from fulfilling their primary job functions. Ultimately, a school is paying an employee to perform a different job function without any assurance that the grant will be approved, and other areas of operations may suffer from lack of attention.

Management expenses: Educational institutions often overlook the necessity of grant management. As a result, administrators and clerical support personnel tend to take on that responsibility. Despite being overburdened, these individuals may require a stipend to complete the task.

Evaluation and reporting fees: Many grantors require grantees to list goals they have accomplished. Hiring an evaluator to collect the data and write the report is an additional expense, and it is not uncommon for institutions to lack budget.


Budget Achievements at J.S. Morton High School District 201

Michael Kuzniewski, EDD, the superintendent of J.S. Morton High School District 201, oversees professional development and facilities planning. In addition, Dr. Michael Kuzniewski is tasked with budget management.

J.S. Morton High School District 201 has enhanced its educational resources and opportunities over the past six years. This is due in large part to creating balanced budgets that eliminate unnecessary expenditures, while leveraging grant resources, such as the School Maintenance Grant and Energy Efficient Grant, to make improvements.

During the 2014-2015 fiscal year, the school district bought new computers, including laptops, upgraded its wireless systems to give students greater access to various online tools and technologies, and renovated Hoffman Stadium. Properly budgeted dollars also expanded its advanced placement (AP) program. Through open enrollment, the school district ensures that all students have a chance to challenge themselves and establish a sound future in academia. In fact, 23 percent of students in the class of 2014 scored 3+ on at least one AP exam. This was 3 percent higher than the national average.

To learn more about J.S. Morton High School District 201 and its budget, visit

J. Sterling Morton High School District 201 – Free Microsoft Office

With more than 25 years of experience in educational leadership, Dr. Michael Kuzniewski currently serves as the superintendent for J. Sterling Morton High School District 201 in Illinois. Dr. Michael Kuzniewski leads the district’s efforts on strategic planning, budget management, and student success.

The Board of Education at J. Sterling Morton High School District 201 recently announced that it will offer Microsoft Office to all freshman, sophomore, and junior students to advance its objective of providing students with improved learning opportunities. By giving students free access to this costly software package, the district will facilitate the success of its students regardless of their family’s financial resources.

Students will now be able to use their own devices to compose papers in Word, craft presentations in PowerPoint, take notes in OneNote, and create spreadsheets in Excel. Using their school credentials, students can install Microsoft Office on as many as five compatible Macs and PCs, as well as five tablets. J. Sterling Morton High School District 201 explains that the Office subscription will be valid throughout the student’s enrollment and the program’s existence.

Keys for Superintendent Success

A graduate of Nova University, Michael Kuzniewski earned a doctor of education in educational leadership and has more than 30 years of experience in the field. Since 2010, Michael Kuzniewski has served as the superintendent of JS Morton High School District 201 in Cicero and Berwyn, Illinois.

The head of a school district, the superintendent balances the needs of its schools with the requirements of the district’s community, students, parents, staff, and board of trustees. Meeting the needs of all of these groups can be a difficult, time-consuming process, but by understanding some key tips, a superintendent can manage them successfully.

Strive to be clear. Communication is important when dealing with any group, but it is especially important when describing a vision for the school district as a whole. People are more likely to support goals and objectives when they can understand and appreciate them.

Strive for equality. Especially important when communicating with the board of trustees, ensure that all members receive updates regardless of how often they deal directly with the superintendent. Similarly, communicating only with the board is a surefire way to alienate and aggravate the other groups.

Strive for leadership. Perhaps the most important part of a superintendent’s job, leadership guides the actions of the district and all of its groups. Leadership can also help solve issues that arise throughout the year and helps ensure that both the district and the superintendent meet their goals.

Professional Learning Communities Encourage Collaboration

JS Morton High School District 201 superintendent Michael Kuzniewski has a wealth of experience molding Advanced Placement, mentoring, and professional development programs. In addition, Michael Kuzniewski played an integral role in creating and implementing Preparing for the Academic Success of All Students (PASAS), which leverages the professional learning community (PLC) model to enhance processes and team collaboration.

Fostering collaborative learning environments, the PLC model encourages collective creativity, shared leadership and personal practices, and supportive conditions. Together, these practices establish an ideal setting for students to grow academically. Proper integration also reduces isolation among teachers, making it easier to achieve common goals.

When creating a professional learning community, school administrators must take into consideration the significant challenges involved, such as developing a PLC environment. Simply having a goal to become one, with workshops to support the mission, is not enough. Creating a PLC takes time to achieve because it focuses on continuous growth and improvement.

Progression toward a sustainable PLC involves helping staff and faculty realize the importance of collaboration. In action, this can involve regular meetings among staff to discuss problematic areas and determine how to alleviate issues. This approach makes all parties accountable and eliminates the need to place professional development responsibility solely on one person.

Rotary International Holds 2015 Convention

Since 2010, Michael Kuzniewski has served as superintendent of J. Sterling Morton High School District 201 in Cicero, Illinois. Outside of his professional pursuits, Michael Kuzniewski works closely with several community groups, including his local Rotary Club.

Recently, more than 14,500 Rotary members from over 150 countries gathered in Sao Paulo, Brazil, for the 2015 Rotary International Convention. The four-day event, which took place June 6-9 at the Anhembi Convention Center, gave attendees the opportunity to form partnerships with other Rotary members, celebrate Rotary’s recent successes, and learn about new Rotarian projects.

In addition to networking and learning activities, the 2015 Rotary Convention included presentations from several renowned speakers, including Dr. Oscar Arias Sanchez, a Nobel Peace Prize winner and the former president of Costa Rica. The event wrapped up with a speech from Rotary International president K.R. Rivindran and a performance featuring Brazilian pop singer Ivete Sangalo.

Following the success of the 2015 Rotary International Convention, Rotary organizers are already busy planning next year’s event, taking place May 28-June 1, 2016, in Seoul, South Korea. For more information, visit