Vote yes, avoid financial crisis at D97

Opinion: Letters To The Editor

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I am proud to say that I voted yes in support of the District 97 referendum today. My reasons for doing so were both emotional and rational.

Emotionally, I cannot imagine living in a community where elementary school children did not have the opportunity to explore and learn about art, music, theater, foreign language and sports. Where librarians and gifted and talented teachers were not valued. Where "just the basics" was good enough. I moved to Oak Park five years ago because it was a thriving, diverse community that valued families and education. I don't want to disappoint my children with anything less.

Rationally, I believe that the district has been financially responsible and truly needs the money that it is asking for. I make that statement after taking the time to educate myself by reading the district website, by exploring the websites of the campaigns both for and against the referendum, and by attending a referendum forum at Beye School.

Unless the referendum passes, the district will not be able to make payroll in just a few years. They are on the brink of a financial crisis. A national debate is raging over collective bargaining agreements and pension reform, but in most cases, there is little that can be done in the short term at the local level. District 97 is doing the best it can with what it has.

The time is now to act in support of our teachers, our children and our community. Vote yes for the District 97 referendum. For an average cost of just $1 a day, you'll be glad you did.

Kelly Pollock
Oak Park

Reader Comments

67 Comments - Add Your Comment

Comment Policy

TellingItLikeItIs  

Posted: April 5th, 2011 10:04 AM

@Parent: Of 46 large elementary districts in Cook County, OP is 4th in instructional expenses and 19th in wealth, as measured by property tax base per student. We are not the affluent community you think we are; we only spend like one.

Already Voted NO from Oak Park  

Posted: April 5th, 2011 9:35 AM

@Parent - If my kids were still in school here I would have to take a serious look at my budget to decide if I would support this. Seems like you do not have to worry about such things. I would have to make cuts, so maybe I don't keep up my property? Sure, that will help property values too!!!

Curious  

Posted: April 5th, 2011 9:16 AM

Maybe it's because the Supt. actually does meaningful work?

steve  

Posted: April 5th, 2011 9:07 AM

Why does District 97 superintendent make more money than U.S house of representative members and senators?

JennyWren from Oak Park  

Posted: April 5th, 2011 9:01 AM

Not everyone in OP is affluent-we're a diverse community, remember?The highest taxes in the Western Suburbs don't discourage buyers of the largest homes, but folks looking for $300K home ARE discouraged by $10K in property taxes and it makes it harder to sell a small home,regardless of good schools-they are good in LaGrange and Elmhurst too.OP needs to adjust budgets to new property values so that OP does not become a surburb of the very rich subsidizing housing for the poor and no middle class

Parent  

Posted: April 5th, 2011 12:45 AM

@ Already Voted NO from Oak Park. Ensuring that the schools stay competitive WILL bring in new home buyers. Many move to Oak Park because of the schools, despite the higher taxes. On good way to stop home buyers is to take away programs and resources that give the school an edge. So, your kids have already been through school... I wonder what you would have voted if you had kids still in school? I guess we'll never know. Oak Parks an affluent place, as long as the things that make it so stay.

Noel Kuriakos  

Posted: March 31st, 2011 7:57 AM

We know teacher evals do not include assessment scores of students & any measure of learning outcomes. Yet teachers & librarians get their raises. BTW, I also have done research into education for the last 10 yrs & is not entirely based on my personal anecdotes.

Noel Kuriakos  

Posted: March 31st, 2011 7:53 AM

@EJ, total cost of ipads, purch price, implementation, training, etc is well over the $15K. That is every day math. Anyone who has implemented technology knows this. You still have NOT stated how it will improve teaching effectiveness & learning outcomes. Will it guarantee that all 10 schools will make AYP this year? NO. Will it guarantee our minority students will close the achievement gap to their white peers? NO. Will admins feel cool using the latest tech. YES. How will taxpayers feel?

Just the Facts from Oak Park  

Posted: March 31st, 2011 7:52 AM

@Noel - but to be fair Noel, you just ripped D97 because we need to use verifiable metrics to measure things. In the very next post, you state "comp system is not commiserate with their value add" based entirely on your own anecdotes about growing up without a librarian. It can't be both ways. If we don't have the metrics, fine, but the lack of metrics doesn't prove that compensation is out of line with value add.

Noel Kuriakos  

Posted: March 31st, 2011 7:47 AM

@Bravo, why not talk about facts & data instead of anecdotes & ad hominem attacks. I don't think your mother would be proud of your behavior here. I went to a school without a library from k-5 yet I was in the top 10% of my HS class @ Niles North HS. I received two degrees from UofI in Champaign & a MBA from UofChicago. School libraries & librarians are not the source of long term success for most of us. Do they add value, YES. But the comp system is not commiserate with their value add.

Noel Kuriakos  

Posted: March 31st, 2011 7:40 AM

When we spend tax payers $$ we need to make sure that it is put to the highest & BEST use. The only way to do this is to measure outcomes. If you can't measure using verifiable metrics then we are left to use subjective data. Subjective data leads to mis-allocation of scarce resources. There is no accountability. It increases total costs & leads to fiscal crisis, like what is happening @ D97. That is no way to run a 2st century school sys. Shame on anyone who supports the status quo.

Noel Kuriakos  

Posted: March 31st, 2011 7:36 AM

Yes I have been to D97 schools (Mann & Julian) & yes I have seen teachers use their laptops. How many teachers have updated their lesson plans using their laptops? How many of them have posted their lesson plans online? How many of them ask their students to email their papers (K-5)? Last yr my daughter's 2nd grade teacher Mr. Arensdorff did an EXCELLENT job using technology (no smart boards). He leveraged what he had & is a model of what every teachers should be doing with computers.

No parents? from Oak Park  

Posted: March 30th, 2011 7:50 PM

@Bravo. Your post includes this: "I'm trying to keep the ones we HAVE." Alright, then why not have D97 again re-open contract, reduce salary expenses by 5% and THEN limit future overall salary/benefit increases to CPI (which they'll more or less automatically receive from property taxes, etc.)? This is why D97 is today in a bind - they've spent significantly more than the large revenue increases that they've been receiving over the past 10 years. Then D97 can keep all librarians, etc.

No parents? from Oak Park  

Posted: March 30th, 2011 7:12 PM

@Bravo. Your posts praise the glory of "librarians." This "logic" suggests that we can't have enough of them. No, we don't need to bus the kids to OPPL for computers, 95% of D97 families already have them at home. And most books are checked out from OPPL - the books at D97 libraries are sparse in comparison and "SWAN" doesn't exist. D97 needs to take a close look at all non-classroom functions or we'll have more and more referendums. Have a nice day.

Already Voted NO from Oak Park  

Posted: March 30th, 2011 7:05 PM

Agree with comment from No Parents?! I have raised my kids here and would love to be able to afford this for the children and have voted yes. This is not solving the problem of funding our schools. Triton is already rumbling that they will need more money! Very frustrating!

Bravo @ to Noel  

Posted: March 30th, 2011 6:57 PM

Did I say we needed MORE librarians? NO. I'm trying to keep the ones we HAVE. Did I say that students would be IRREPARABLY HARMED? NO, I did not. OPPL does have computers and librarians. But seriously? Do you want to pay for a school bus to take kids over to OPPL? And they don't even teach these basic skills (research, technology, and library) that school librarians do. Stop with the transferring of jobs. Public librarians and school librarians do different jobs. It's not a "wash".

No parents? from Oak Park  

Posted: March 30th, 2011 6:41 PM

@Bravo. Nothing personal, but you are using a memory, in a period of extreme financial hardship for many, as a rationale for people to pay more in taxes. I don't think of you as a "heartless idiot," but I'm requesting that you take the pain and suffering of others in to consideration. Your logic is that we need MORE librarians and that our children will otherwise be irreparably harmed if this doesn't occur. Don't parents play a role? Doesn't OPPL have computers, books and librarians, too?

Bravo @ to Noel  

Posted: March 30th, 2011 6:30 PM

@ No Parents: I didn't want to get personal with other posters and start name-calling...but (as in the words of a child...you started it). I have two words that describe you: heartless idiot. Perhaps you didn't have any parents to teach you any manners?

No parents? from Oak Park  

Posted: March 30th, 2011 6:14 PM

@Bravo. No parents growing up? No wonderful teachers prior to 3rd grade? No librarian at the local library? No siblings to influence you? Grandparents? Is your point that you'd be semi-illiterate today without "a full-time librarian" when you were younger? Are you suggesting that if we only have 1/2-time librarians our children, most who learn to read from parental involvement today, will be illiterate? Your comment suggests that each school needs 2-3 full-time librarians, right?

Bravo @ to Noel  

Posted: March 30th, 2011 6:00 PM

Vote no and you could be taking away not only a wonderful memory from a child, but also a defining moment. PS: a full-time librarian helps with reading comprehension and helps instill a love of reading.

Bravo @ to Noel  

Posted: March 30th, 2011 5:59 PM

I guess you could say I was a reader always, but I didn't become a READER until Mrs. Taylor introduced me to "The House of Dies Drear". I was in third grade and it was a huge book in my eyes. She told me to try it even though I protested that it was just too much for me to read for my book report. I finally took the book and was hooked! I read it in less than a week and I was sooooo proud of myself. I still remember this twenty some years later. Continued...

Bravo @ to Noel  

Posted: March 30th, 2011 5:58 PM

I wanted to add my last two sense in about libraries. As you can tell, they hold a very dear place in my heart. My mom was a librarian at the middle school, high school, and finally, college level. Not only was my mom an important influence in my life, so was my elementary school librarian, Mrs. Taylor. I can still picture her (though a little fuzzy) in her skirt suits with a scarf around her neck. Continued...

Already Voted NO from Oak Park  

Posted: March 30th, 2011 5:30 PM

2 homes on our block on market over 1yr and reduced price 2 times. Another is rented because it could not sell. Lived here over 30 yrs never seen it this bad to sell property. Raise the Taxes! That will surely bring in the buyers!

Bravo @ to Noel  

Posted: March 30th, 2011 5:19 PM

Please take a look at this study about libraries and librarians: http://docs.google.com/viewer?a=v&q=cache:Jb3J2moGZngJ:www.islma.org/pdf/ILStudyFactSheet.pdf illinois study libraries&hl=en&gl=us&pid=bl&srcid=ADGEESiAipLbHs7ChxG3mFXyr9JdmXQJ1dJ8ec2_Iy-rsz6fI-GIzrDZqE3p7E38SVcbxiUxXPtfcVC0sGhFCZaGEtu9TW4p5Mj_35BqFzJCBLjqy3I6pwdGTmva9m5oZUvm3bhZnVEr&sig=AHIEtbQ8jb7hBCu6ReSmGoFvOhOsMjGjVQ.

Who Knew? from Oak Park  

Posted: March 30th, 2011 3:28 PM

@ Noel...I'm intrigued by your assessment that teachers need laptops just to check their email. Have you ever stopped by a D97 classroom to watch a teacher in action using his/her laptop in conjunction with the Elmo to make the lesson even more helpful and meaningful for the kids? Sure, teachers might check their email after school. They SHOULD b/c that is the #1 way to communicate with parents as parents often request it. Many parents demand almost instantaneous responses, too.

@Undecided,Noel,Taxpayers United from Oak Park  

Posted: March 30th, 2011 2:59 PM

The TPU/Noel cite only the most highly paid teachers. George Rogers (retired) taught my son at Brooks & was worth every penny. I later transferred my son, trading mathematics rigor for a smaller Catholic school. He has told me that concepts covered in Rogers' 6th grade class are the same as what is left on the board from the 8th grade math at his new school. Many decry the high pay of teachers while complaining about America's lack of competitiveness in math/science. You can't have it both ways.

chet21 from Oak Park  

Posted: March 30th, 2011 2:53 PM

@CJ. Fair enough pt, but when have you ever based any program on "net revenue"? Second, it does appear as if this is another D97 "feel good" program. How so? It sounds good, but, gosh, our studies show no benefit! I NOW wish to apply a similar cost/value metric to MD Dept, K-5 Spanish, Librarians (someone wrote that children will be damaged if they don't have a full-time librarian!?!), etc. and move forward. There are "needs" and their are "wants" - with limited resources. How do we proceed?

E. Jackson  

Posted: March 30th, 2011 2:15 PM

Chet - I guess I am still not sure what your issue is with the full-day kindergarten program, especially if it nets revenue.

chet21 from Oak Park  

Posted: March 30th, 2011 2:09 PM

@Stupid. Please stop with your personal attacks. Noel has presented more thought-provoking comments than any one on this ref. Do I agree with all of them? No. But I also don't agree with everything that my wife says - and I don't proceed to personally insult her. I use a pseudonym not to mask personal insults - like yourself - but to shield my children. I give credit to Noel for being upfront. If you're going to insult, at least sign with your name. I'd prefer, though, that you just be civil.

chet21 from Oak Park  

Posted: March 30th, 2011 2:02 PM

@EJackson. Alright, it is NOT "statistical" (it was cherry picking" in the report) and you can overlook it based on this summary in the report: "Finally, the analysis was performed for African-American students as well as those who qualify for free or reduced lunch, with the following results. Although differences between the groups can be observed, there is also quite a bit of variation between students, with the net effect that any observed difference is not statistically significant."

Tom Scharre  

Posted: March 30th, 2011 1:52 PM

Okay, let me re-"paraphrase" that: "An average dollar here, an average dollar there, and pretty soon you're talking real money." But, OMG, it's just O.P.M. (Other People's Money).

Stupid is as Stupid Says  

Posted: March 30th, 2011 1:28 PM

@GoNoelGo - Do you know what teabagging is and do you consider it a compliment or insult?

Go Noel Go!  

Posted: March 30th, 2011 1:21 PM

Seems like every time Noel posts, another Yes voter is born! So keep 'em coming with the teacher-hating teabaggery, Noel! Pretty soon we'll ALL have iPads!

E. Jackson  

Posted: March 30th, 2011 1:15 PM

Chet - I took the DIBELS quote from the bottom of page two of the report on full-day kindergarten. It is in the Kindergarten teachers report section.

chet21 from Oak Park  

Posted: March 30th, 2011 12:56 PM

@EJ. Where did you obtain your info for 12:35 post - especially quote about DIBELS? MC Dept needs to be revamped? Why do we need it all? Why do we need more years of all-day kdg analysis? DIBELS concludes no ed benefit. Just say "it makes money" and let it go at that. To me this is just another example of "sounds good" and so, like K-5 FLES, MC Dept or whatever. D97 is spending more than most school districts and OP taxpayers are struggling AND THIS IS "statistically significant!" Thanks.

Enuf is Enuf from Oak Park  

Posted: March 30th, 2011 12:47 PM

@TomSharre ... I was in complete agreement with your point in using Sen. Dirksen's quote. I have always found it amusing when pro-tax advocates try to equate any tax increase in terms of a daily Starbucks cup of coffee. This tactic is known as 'creeping normalcy', which describes how tax increases can be regarded by the public as tolerable if viewed individually and incrementally, but regarded as objectionable when viewed in aggregate during the same time period. AKA: death by a thousand cuts.

E. Jackson  

Posted: March 30th, 2011 12:35 PM

I guess my question, chet, is if the program is netting revenue or ends up being cost neutral, is helping kids with social, emotional and physical development, and "DIBELS scores are higher for selected students in need of additional help," why is it a bad thing?

E. Jackson  

Posted: March 30th, 2011 12:31 PM

I also agree that the MC Dept. needs to be revamped, and will be anxious to see the impact of the restructuring process (believe they cut $100K and a couple positions). As for the data from the report, the district reps who presented it that evening said they will need a couple years (implementation district wide took place in 2009) of study and analysis to provide more concrete data on the program. I'll wait to reserve judgment, especially on a program netting revenue.

E. Jackson  

Posted: March 30th, 2011 12:25 PM

While it is surely a factor in the Lincoln construction project, I don't believe the implementation of full-day K is driving it. Plus, I believe approximately $700K for the project is coming from ARRA money. I agree that FLES can be a stronger program. However, since I believe foreign language benefits student learning, I would prefer to see the impact of restructuring the program and investing in it rather than cutting it.

chet21 from Oak Park  

Posted: March 30th, 2011 12:16 PM

@EJackson. I can't argue the "positive revenue" aspect (but what about Lincoln expansion costs?), but then, logically, you should agree that since FLES K-5 has "negative revenue" it can be eliminated? M-C dept? Also, regarding all-day kdg, reread your posts. You use phrases such as "it is anticipated" and "pleased to" and "seem comfortable," etc. That's not serious analysis, but fluff. They HAVE data - it does NOT provide ANY ed benefit. None. So, instead, we get "fluff" phrases. Do you agree?

E. Jackson  

Posted: March 30th, 2011 11:50 AM

You can access information about the benefits of foreign language by visiting http://www.referendumyes.com/world-language-programming-in-d97-qa/.

E. Jackson  

Posted: March 30th, 2011 11:47 AM

The full-day K program has generated a net gain of more than $1.2 million the past three years. As for the MC Dept, I would assume the restructure is based upon the district's efforts to make it more cost efficient and effective. As for the foreign language program, Mr. Traczyk acknowledged that one of the reasons it has not been as effective in years past is that it has had its budget cut repeatedly.

E. Jackson  

Posted: March 30th, 2011 11:44 AM

While early analysis of DIBELS testing information does not show statistically significant gains in scores, it is anticipated that scores will improve as curriculum refinements are made in the program. Finally, the program has provided positive revenue since its inception.

E. Jackson  

Posted: March 30th, 2011 11:43 AM

From the same report - Teachers are pleased to have more time to work with their students, students seem comfortable in the full day setting with less rush and more time to work on academic and social skills, and parents have been pleased with the earlier introduction to full day school. First grade teachers are also noting that students are coming to school better prepared for learning right away and that skills are being met at an earlier time.

chet21 from Oak Park  

Posted: March 30th, 2011 11:32 AM

@EJackson. I read the link on all-day kdg. Here's the main conclusion: "Again, these results are not statistically significant." This was in reference to testing (DIBELS) and included all kids and blacks. Yes, people "thought" that the kids were "better" but, gosh, DIBELS showed no educational benefit at all. "Feel-goodism" seems to be the primary motivator behind millions in expenses for D97. Doesn't it "sound" like all-day would bring improvements? It didn't. Does M-C dept or K-5 FLES?

Kelly Pollock from Oak Park  

Posted: March 30th, 2011 11:29 AM

I did my research. Note that I said, "At an average cost of $1 a day." I found that the median (not the same as average, I know) property tax paid in OP in 2009 was around $7,000. So the increase would actually be less than $1 a day for many people. Yes, taxes in OP are high. But not everyone pay in excess of $10,000 a year. That's why I said "average." Some will pay more, some will pay less.

Undecided  

Posted: March 30th, 2011 11:29 AM

I posted this on another thread as well. Just another perspective since it seems most letters this week are one-sided. http://www.ntui.org/news-releases/taxpayers-oppose-huge-oak-park-school-district-97-property-tax-increase-referendum

Tom Scharre  

Posted: March 30th, 2011 11:15 AM

@Enuf I take your point, but please note I was "paraphrasing" to address Ms. Pollock's dollar-a-day argument. Dirksen's actual quote was, "A billion dollars here, a billion dollars there, and pretty soon you're talking real money." (Just for the record.)

E. Jackson  

Posted: March 30th, 2011 11:00 AM

You can access the report on the district's full-day K program by visiting https://v3.boardbook.org/Public/PublicItemDownload.aspx?ik=30785400. As for the Lincoln construction project, I believe a large portion of that is being paid for using ARRA money. In terms of the Multicultural Center, that is being restructured regardless of the outcome of the referendum, which I believes includes cuts in funding.

E. Jackson  

Posted: March 30th, 2011 10:54 AM

@Let me - According to the D90 Web site, French is taught in grades 5 through 8 so they must think there is some benefit to foreign language instruction. Do you know for sure they don't do any hands-on learning using their schoolyards? Also, they are still studying the option of implementing full-day K. As for the D97 full-day K program, there was a report delivered in November that described some of the benefits. The program also resulted in a net three-year gain of $1.2 million.

Enuf is Enuf from Oak Park  

Posted: March 30th, 2011 10:52 AM

Dirksen's quote needs to be updated to account for inflation. A Starbucks cup of coffee is the currency used today to justify tax increases. Summing the tax increases from federal, state, county, and local taxing agencies within the past few years, we are now paying the equivalent of about 7 daily cups of coffee. At today's rate, Starbucks coffee (latte, tall) is $3.00, or about a $1,000/year. "A cup of coffee a day here, a cup of coffee a day there, and pretty soon you're talking real money."

Let me get this straight from Oak Park  

Posted: March 30th, 2011 10:31 AM

Wait, one more thing, I forgot to include the multi-cultural department! Good thing we have that - it, along with all-day kdg (which is now requiring a multi-million dollar expansion at Lincoln), have eliminated the achievement gap, right? Is there a "throw mud up against the wall and see what sticks" dept for D97? Is there ANY evaluation of programs to see if they, y'know, provide value/work? D97 spends $13K per student and we still can't match our peers? And they want MORE money?!?

Tom Scharre  

Posted: March 30th, 2011 10:29 AM

To paraphrase the late U.S. Senator Everett Dirksen (IL, 1950-1969): "A dollar a day here, a dollar a day there, and pretty soon you're talking real money."

Let me get this straight from Oak Park  

Posted: March 30th, 2011 10:24 AM

Hmm, reading thru recent comments I've learned the following: if our children don't have, from age 5, full-time librarians, foreign language, outdoor learning opportunities, all-day kdg, etc - they will not be able to excel as adults. Right? How can RF elementary and OP parochial kids manage without most of this stuff? C'mon "young parents," where is the data showing that all-day kdg has brought improvement to your kids compared to previous D97 cohorts?

E. Jackson  

Posted: March 30th, 2011 10:20 AM

Anyone who is interested can access that article by visiting http://www.oakpark.com/News/Articles/02-15-2011/Oak_Park_and_River_Forest_librarians_want_to_improve_student_research.

E. Jackson  

Posted: March 30th, 2011 10:19 AM

In addition, Bravo, per a recent article by Terry Dean, the librarians from District 97 are working with their counterparts from districts 90 and 200, as well as the Oak Park and River Forest Public Libraries, to figure out how to share resources more effectively and implement a program in all of their facilities to help students research better online.

Bravo @ to Noel  

Posted: March 30th, 2011 10:09 AM

Don't you think the students will be wondering where their librarian went? A librarian working two schools will never have enough time to work with all the grades. So, which grades will suffer? Which ones are more important? What are you going to tell little Johnny next year when he is all excited about using the computers and checking out books at the library? "Oh, sorry little guy, the librarians made too much money and we had to teach them a lesson."

Bravo @ to Noel  

Posted: March 30th, 2011 10:09 AM

Librarians must have a master's degree. They teach research, library, and technology skills. Since general ed teachers have to spend their time focusing on reading and math, library is the only time students are exposed to these skills. If you don't think these are valuable skills, then by all means, vote no and see the quality of the schools plummet. Longfellow and Lincoln are the largest schools with about 550-600 students. They see all of these kids every week at least once, if not more.

Bravo @ to Noel  

Posted: March 30th, 2011 10:08 AM

Finally! Someone sees the importantce of librarians. I too am sick of hearing about the $100,000 librarian. Yes, there was one last year...she worked in the district for 36 years. She's gone now. Please stop bringing up things that are irrelevant to this year's budget. That is OLD news. Move on. There are four non-tenured librarians (all non-renewed now) that make maybe $50,000. The others might make a little more since they've worked in the district for a few years, but definitely not $100,000.

E. Jackson  

Posted: March 30th, 2011 9:01 AM

When I asked the district for the information, I was sent a PO for 22 iPads that cost a total of $14,150. I also believe the total number of evaluations or related activities such as observations that had been conducted at that time (a couple weeks ago) was between 290 and 295. These are evaluations or observations of multiple employees conducted by more than 20 administrators so doing a few a day doesn't seem that far fetched to me.

to Noel  

Posted: March 30th, 2011 8:43 AM

I am tired of hearing your 100K librarian story. Do ALL librarians in all the D97 schools make $100K? Perhaps one librarian does because he or she has been a teacher for 25 years? Is that the case you are forgetting to mention, Noel? Also, librarians at the Oak Park Library do not take a room of 20-25 kids and teach them how to use a computer or the library or how to research. And librarians don't do that once a day, they do that many times a day. Give some credit, Noel, to D97 staff!

@E. Jackson  

Posted: March 30th, 2011 8:37 AM

How much did the iPads cost (with software and such)? How many evaluations have been done? (More than 300 is a pretty open figure.) Not sure how many school days we have had, but that would equate with about three evaluations/day. Is that figure for all of D97 or per iPad?

E. Jackson  

Posted: March 30th, 2011 8:32 AM

Ah, Noel, glad to see you continue to spread the misinformation. I know for a fact that the iPads cost less than $15,000 and have been used for more than 300 evaluations or evaluation- related activities such as observations since the start of the year.

A bit more accuracy please from Oak Park  

Posted: March 30th, 2011 8:09 AM

I wish people would also stop saying there would be "no more music/art/foreign lang." The kids will continue to have general music in all grades, instrumental music in 6-8, and art/foreign language are still in the middle school elective list. If we want it, theater can still be well supported via donations-which is how much of it is done now.

@Kelly  

Posted: March 30th, 2011 7:25 AM

I really wish people would stop saying this will cost an average of a dollar a day. That is NOT true. D97 simply used an example based on a $10,000/yr tax bill, but no one has said that represents the tax bill of the average OPer. In any event, google "if I save a dollar a day" and consider how much you might have for your child's college fund if the money went there instead of to D97 (which will already receive an increase to the more than $13000/students it spends if the referendum fails).

Noel Kuriakos  

Posted: March 30th, 2011 2:14 AM

Voting NO is supporting our kids education. It forces the board to do its job. It tells the district not to spend $30K on ipads, $200K on laptops for teachers (just to check email. $20K on nice to have smartboards, $600/mo for Sup car allowance, pay the medical ins for admins, out of state travel exp, millions on school grounds beautification etc. The district will get 3% annual inc in tax levies & needs to manage its expenses within these generous constraints.

Noel Kuriakos  

Posted: March 30th, 2011 2:10 AM

Check your facts. D97 has been deficit spending yr after yr while tax levies have inc 50% (twice the rate of CPI). $ went to comp for D97 emps even though four of our schools failed AYP last year. Do we need $100K librarians in D97. Out own public lib does not pay that much. Do we need $100K admins when there the pool of admins is higher today due to massive layoffs in education? The opportunity costs of paying high salaries means less resources for kids. Higher taxes will not solve this.

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