D97 board thanks community for involvement

Opinion: Letters To The Editor

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The members of the District 97 Board of Education would like to express our appreciation to the citizens of Oak Park for the time, effort and energy they have invested in studying the proposed limiting rate increase that will appear on the ballot on April 5. If passed, this increase of $38 per $1,000 on a property tax bill will offer the district a long-term, sustainable solution for managing our structural deficit and provide funding that will be used to improve the quality of the educational experience for our students.

We want to acknowledge the spirited debate residents have engaged in the past few months regarding important topics such as state funding, pension reform, health care costs and tenure. While Illinois public school districts do not control these issues at the local level, we openly discuss their impact on academic instruction and overall operations on a regular basis at the board table. It is our hope that members of the general public will join us for these conversations moving forward.

We also recognize that the opinions and perspectives shared about the referendum have been as diverse as the village in which we live. Regardless of the outcome of the election, we will continue working with the entire community to help the children who attend our schools excel both in and out of the classroom.

Please join us at the polls on April 5 as we vote to determine the future of public education in Oak Park.

Peter Traczyk, Peter Barber, Rance Clouser, James Gates, Michelle Harton, Jennifer Reddy and Bob Spatz
District 97 Board of Education

Reader Comments

15 Comments - Add Your Comment

Comment Policy

JennyWren from Oak Park  

Posted: April 4th, 2011 2:36 PM

Get out and vote -- don't be apathetic because you think that another tax raise is inevitable. Force the village to look at other methods of revenue enhancement like consolidation of duplicative entities, and find out where $90 million in TIF funds were spent. D97 is still getting an increase no matter what. For a change, let's try something other than asking more money with no mandate for real cuts to match the devaluation of property.

Voted No from Oak Park  

Posted: April 1st, 2011 5:25 PM

If you don't vote you have no right to complain! Educate yourself. Whether you are for or against something on the ballot.

Already Voted No from Oak Park  

Posted: April 1st, 2011 5:20 PM

If you don't vote you cannot complain! Exercise your right. Whether you are for or against. We are very lucky to live in a country where we have this privilege. Get out and educate yourself and your neighbors!

Aware Voters  

Posted: April 1st, 2011 5:11 PM

I think all of those other candidates for office - Village, Triton, D200, Library, etc. - would hope that voters in Oak Park would care enough to find out what is going on on April 5. Same with the energy proposal from the Village. The D97 referendum is just one of many important issues being addressed at the polls. If residents don't care enough to stay aware and participate, well...

The Board Thanks You For Your Involvement from Oak Park  

Posted: April 1st, 2011 3:37 PM

Yes, we The Board thank you (all 20% of you) that even know that there is a Referendum on the ballot or that April 5th is a day to vote for anything. We specifically chose this day to confuse and annoy you and allow the 5,000 families with kids in district 97 to be revved up, while the rest of you are clueless. We thank you all (snicker, snicker) for your involvement. Now go back to sleep...at least until your tax bill is due (evil, maniacal laughs)...c'mon, we have to obey our OPTA bosses!!!

epic lulz  

Posted: March 31st, 2011 5:07 PM

First of all, "@epic lulz", stop entering to whom you're directing your comments in the "name" field. It makes it difficult to follow the dialogue, and it's just plain creepy. Second, what am I wrong about? Are you saying that Noel has *not* been laid off? Are you saying that you weren't mocking him for having time on his hands?

@epic lulz  

Posted: March 31st, 2011 4:57 PM

You're wrong. Carollina Song, referendum supporter, and Noel K (and his wealthy wife) are essentially neighbors in the historic district. They both live in houses I can only dream of/ What people have in the bank has little to do with how they feel about the obligation to fund public schools. You'll find people who are hurting (my family) and those who are doing well voting yes together. It's the right thing to do as a community and for the future. And has nothing to do with income level.

Already Voted NO from Oak Park  

Posted: March 30th, 2011 9:08 PM

To epic lutz - Totally agree with your comment! This is not the time to ask for this increase. It should be a time to open dialogue on how to fix not band aid the issue of funding education. But again, this is the lovely State of IL, ranked near the bottom on this issue!

epic lulz  

Posted: March 30th, 2011 8:48 PM

After further consideration, the ugly mocking of someone who has been laid off has knocked me off the fence and placed me firmly in the NO camp. Now is simply not the time for D97 to ask for a tax increase, especially one which is regressive and disproportionately effects those least able to pay. Try again in a couple years, and you'll have my support.

epic lulz  

Posted: March 30th, 2011 8:36 PM

What is find most interesting in the D97 debate is how those who are well off and have weathered the recession are pitted in favor of a tax increase against those who are in dire economic straights, those who have been laid off and/or are struggling to make mortgage payments. To see someone on the well-off pro-tax increase side mock someone who is struggling financially signifies a new low in this whole debate.

@ Noel  

Posted: March 30th, 2011 8:25 PM

To @ Noel: *Yawn*

To @ Noel  

Posted: March 30th, 2011 8:14 PM

Expecting teachers to earn a reasonable wage, that the community within which they teach can afford is not "hating" teachers. Your comment reads like more emotional rhetoric from a "YES" voter, than providing any useful or helpful facts. Perhaps it is because there are no actual facts to support this increase?

@ Noel  

Posted: March 30th, 2011 6:11 PM

Noel, I've been looking through the posts and constantly see your name. What is it that you do? Wish I had a job that afforded me the luxury of posting a comment every few minutes. How much do you make? You seem VERY concerned about how much a teacher makes. But seriously, why do you hate teachers so much? You know, in many different countries (Singapore comes to mind) they revere their teachers. They pay them excellent salaries and the parents and community even listen to them! What a concept!

Interested in the Results  

Posted: March 30th, 2011 4:17 PM

Noel, you are probably doing more to pass this referendum than anything being done by the YES folks. Thanks and keep up the rants!

Noel Kuriakos  

Posted: March 30th, 2011 1:15 AM

Why didn't the board address the fact that yr after yr it consistently spent more than revenues even when tax levies increased by 50% over the last 10yrs while the CPI only increased by half that rate? Why didn't the board ask for pay cuts of 3%-5% from D97 employees instead of asking for a ONE YR pay freeze. Why didn't the board tie pay (market rates) to performance instead of indexing wages to CPI & naively paying the median collectively bargained rate?

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