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