Vote no to help keep Oak Park affordable

Opinion: Letters To The Editor

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Many of us understand that the last three years have been a very difficult economically for Oak Park. Higher taxes to fund a fiscally irresponsible school District 97 will place more hardships on those in our community who are unemployed, retired or those who are on the employment bubble.

Oak Park has seen its population drop in the last 10 years and its traditional minority population has decreased. Oak Park's affordability is hurting its diversity. Higher taxes will keep away young families and force others in our community to move out. I moved to Oak Park 11 years ago because of its particular sense of community, and I want to keep that alive. That is why I am voting no on the District 97 referendum.

Noel Kuriakos
Oak Park

Reader Comments

10 Comments - Add Your Comment

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Some Kid  

Posted: April 5th, 2011 10:17 PM

Without acting, culture, and art the kids lose their soul. They'll have a brain for sure but no real being. wheres our outlet? The place we turn to when were feeling down? Its not there anymore. We'll turn to achohal and drugs, just to get an escape. While loosing out artistic balance we have lost what it feels like to blow off steam, to gain confidence, feel pride. I can't vote. I can't help my education. So please, try and help my fellow peers.

Sarah from OP  

Posted: April 5th, 2011 9:58 PM

Noel, You questioned why D97 does not make cuts in its math and science curriculum. Well, the district must adhere to state standards. NCLB dictates that students take standardized tests in math, reading, and science; therefore, these subjects will not, and should not, be cut. Walk in the shoes of a teacher or administrator and you will understand the severe pressure that schools are under: they must operate under an almost entirely unfunded federal mandate--NCLB.

George Gross from Oak Park  

Posted: April 5th, 2011 9:41 PM

It looks like the District 97 referendum will pass. It should be legally challenged if the numbers presented by the tax assessor were inaccurate. The voter turnout was very low. Thanks Noel K. for trying to educate the OP voters.

OP Resident  

Posted: April 2nd, 2011 11:16 PM

You may be voting no, Noel, but don't assume all OP residents will be. I, for one, have already voted yes.

Noel Kuriakos  

Posted: April 2nd, 2011 11:01 PM

Also, the board or the admin never explained why music & arts were being cut instead of math or science. They gave a explanation for cutting foreign language (it was ineffective). Where is the explanation for the cuts in music & arts? Why are didn't cut a little bit from every program so that no one program suffers. Why not a 3%-5% comp reduction across the board? OP residents are reasonably educated people we will be voting NO. A NO vote will force the board to make rational cuts.

Noel Kuriakos  

Posted: April 2nd, 2011 10:54 PM

They gave an elaborate presentation back in 2010 about the funding options & settled on working cash bonds. Then they did the bait & switch in JAN to limiting rate inc (this was covered in the 2010 pres but was passed over). Why didn't they keep the working cash bond option & just reduce the size of the bond. The inc tax inc by the state in Jan didn't make the limiting tax inc any better than the working cash bonds. Yet they chose to hire lawyers to write misleading ballot language. Why?

Curious  

Posted: April 2nd, 2011 10:39 PM

So back last year (2010) -- at least by November if not before in previous years -- when the Board was talking about needing a referendum, you weren't concerned then? Or was it you hadn't been reading about it, or how did you miss it? I can't imagine you just found out about all this after the filing deadline. You seem so concerned about getting this referendum defeated, it makes me wonder why you haven't been involved before. Just seems odd.

Noel Kuriakos  

Posted: April 2nd, 2011 10:37 PM

The only honest answer that I can come up with is that the series of decisions of the current board in 2010 and 2011 reached a tipping point earlier this year. By that time the deadline to file had passed. When this referendum fails, I hope the current board members do the right thing or let others lead.

Curious  

Posted: April 2nd, 2011 10:07 PM

Noel, I have seen your name over and over again and know that you are leading the "no" cause. Why did you choose not to run for school board? With the ideas you have presented, I am curious why you are not more involved in the process itself.

Bill Moor from Oak Park  

Posted: March 22nd, 2011 7:08 AM

Of the candidates running in all the upcoming Oak Park elections, is there a list that identifies those who have identified themselves as against the/any tax increase. Or is there a single source--some ad hoc organization--that could supply me with such information?

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