Slide in Oak Park school rankings affects property values

Opinion: Letters To The Editor

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I believe that you should have found a more serious picture of the District 97 board president [Oak Park schools settle on referendum tax hike, News, Jan. 19].

I can understand that people with children going through District 97 may be able to understand the needs as may have been detailed, but all I see is a smiling person and another $600 annually I will lose while knowing that the district has lost rank in state standings over the 32 years I have been a villager. Thus, there is no return on my investment.

I would be happy to give it and more if I had a guarantee that rankings would improve as a result, with a money-back clause if, after a year, they have not. My home has lost marketability because of the decline in the school system.

Jim Pabin
Oak Park

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Enuf is Enuf from Oak Park  

Posted: February 13th, 2011 10:35 AM

Increasing school funds can be accomplished w/o increasing property taxes. Decommissioning the TIFs will return property tax revenue to D97. According to the village (Special Meeting, 01.24.11), the DTOP TIF balance thru 2018 is projected to be $26M, for which they plan extensive street beautification ($18.2M), development incentives ($6.5M) and grants ($1.3). Instead of bricks streets and developer subsidies, TIF decommissioning would return 32% of the $26M ($8.3M) to D97 between now and 2018.

Mary Ellen Eads from Oak Park  

Posted: February 13th, 2011 10:11 AM

We can do something about school rankings--and we definitely should. The problem is that an increase in the school portion of our oppressively high property taxes is not remotely a guarantee of improved rankings, improved quality, improved anything. Except improved salaries unconnected to actual performance perhaps. And more bureaucracy. I find it ironic that a community which strongly supported President Obama in 2008 seems completely unaffected by his repeated calls for education reform.

Patricia O'Shea  

Posted: February 12th, 2011 6:34 PM

@CTT. I came for the schools. Otherwise I would have stayed in the city. Many people my age...(under 40 with pre-shool age children) moved her for the schools and proximity to the city. Were it close to the city with crummy schools I wouldn't have come.

CTT from Oak Park  

Posted: February 12th, 2011 4:37 PM

There we go again. The park district plans a referendum and they cry people come to OP for its parks. The library plans a referendum and they cry people come to OP for its library. And now of course the schools cry people come to OP for its schools. Poll after poll shows that OP'ers move here from out of town for one reason, its location. Two major hospital centers, UIC, law offices downtown, and two els and a train. The second place finisher is always quality of life, the shaded streets.

john mall  

Posted: February 12th, 2011 2:59 PM

this is an outrage!!!!!! oak park needs to get super serious about this problem before we turn into detroit. since there is clearly nothing we can do about r school rankings i suggest a realistic solution: build a a giant water park in oak park. people will come from miles around to visit r water park, sending property values SKYROCKETING

Enuf is Enuf from Oak Park  

Posted: February 12th, 2011 9:44 AM

Oak Park attracts most residents with 1) quality of education, 2) proximity to Chicago, 3) mass transit, and 4) a diverse housing stock. The vested interests of residents are based on these assets, and the return on our investment is expressed in terms of educated children, property values and access to Chicago jobs and culture. The priority for village policy needs to be the preservation and enhancement of these assets to protect our vested interests, not development projects and brick streets.


Posted: February 12th, 2011 8:47 AM


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