As framed in its recent editorial, Oak Park and River Forest High School needs to better police “border jumpers,” non-residents from surrounding villages looking for a high school where their children can get a decent education. From liberal-minded Oak Parkers, this approach is myopic. It reminds me of Tip O’Neil’s critique of Ronald Reagan’s policies: “I’ve got mine and the hell with everyone else.”

In our new “us v. them” Trumpian world view, the Journal’s approach makes sense. From a statewide public policy point of view, it is a disaster. How on earth have we created an educational system based primarily on real estate taxes determining access to quality education — and success in life — based on a zip code? 

Can’t we ask our politician friends to work on cross-border, non-real estate tax funding solutions that do not discriminate between the haves (Oak Park) and the have nots (our surrounding neighbors)? Other states have done just that, but Illinois, as usual, pulls up the legislative rear.

Jack Crowe

Executive director, Year Up – Chicago

Oak Park resident

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