Elections 2013

Your source for Oak Park and River Forest election news

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By Rosie Powers

Digital Editor

Click on a race below to follow our coverage and learn more about the candidates.

Oak Park Village president

River Forest Village president

River Forest Village trustee

District 200 Board of Education

District 90 Board of Education

Oak Park Public Library board

District 97 Board of Education

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Reader Comments

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middle school parent  

Posted: April 9th, 2013 5:12 PM

Tutoring is absolutely a factor. Kids who can't afford private lessons are competing with kids getting math tutoring starting in 3rd or 4th grade. It's not that the students are stupid, but a fraction of them are getting private instruction. As long as parents subsidize the system, it's a sweet deal for everyone involved. So the achievement gap widens every year. And everyone is surprised every year.

OPRF Parent  

Posted: April 2nd, 2013 7:37 PM

Thanks Speedway. You are so helpful but I am way beyond my math years. But I know many math tutors who work full time tutoring OPRF honors/AP math students. Welcome to Oak Park, like it or not.

Speedway from Oak Park, Illinois  

Posted: April 2nd, 2013 6:52 PM

Just so you don't think I'm heartless, check out the Kahn Academy online. It's free, it's a tutorial, it's for everyone. It could help with your math issues.

Speedway from Oak Park, Illinois  

Posted: April 2nd, 2013 6:26 PM

To OPRF Parent, pay for your own tutor.

OPRF Parent  

Posted: April 2nd, 2013 5:58 PM

I couldn't agree more, Speedway, about the need for tutors for honors AND AP students, but it's a fact if you want to check it out. As far as paying for it, most students have tutors but there are a few unfortunate students who are in those classes and can't afford one. Maybe it would be fair to help those students who are in need and trying to do the class on their own. And if we want to talk about achievement gap, perhaps if all kids could afford tutors, there wouldn't be a gap.

Speedway from Oak Park, Illinois  

Posted: April 2nd, 2013 5:09 PM

Furthermore, If I see another tax levy for OPRF HS while they are still sitting on their pile of undeserved wealth, I'll be at every el stop, farmers market, and at your door to collect signatures on a petition to have that money returned. We really should have this on the referendum on the 9th.

Speedway from Oak Park, Illinois  

Posted: April 2nd, 2013 5:01 PM

@ OPRF Parent, Have you considered that an honors student who needs a tutor perhaps does not belong in an honors class. Also, what makes you think it should be the taxpayers responsibility to pay for it. As far as the reserve goes, I want my money back!


Posted: April 2nd, 2013 4:52 PM

@Doug: Not only are the reserves high (highest in the state?), but with today's interest rates - you get no return on them. @OPRF Parent: Per my AP/Honors kids (and the parents that I'm friends with), very, very few of their peers had paid tutors. @Done: latest Springfield plan is not proposing that school districts fund the BK pension funds. Bottom line? Return a large portion of the money stolen by the OPRF board back to the taxpayers - NOW!

Doug from Oak Park  

Posted: April 2nd, 2013 2:50 PM

While the OPRF reserves do seem high, there are several capital programs in the works. I would rather see a build up of reserves to have the money to pay for these types of programs than have to issue bonds. If nothing else, you make money on reserves, bonds cost money.

OPRF Parent  

Posted: April 2nd, 2013 1:31 PM

@Speedway, obviously you don't have kids at the high school. Almost all the kids in honors/AP classes have tutors. Wanna get rich in Oak Park? Become a tutor (especially math) for high school students. Or even middle school. I am still laughing at your naivete.

Done from Oak Park  

Posted: April 2nd, 2013 1:06 PM

How about a referendum to use some of the money to fully fund the pension shortfall for D200? Or is that going to be the reason for the next big increase?

alberg from Oak Park  

Posted: April 2nd, 2013 10:28 AM

The High School just spent a ton on the swimming pool. We are building a new pool, have torn down the sled hill, and will be spending $millions more at Ridgeland Commons. We tore down the Aldi's (instead of remodeling it as promised) and are building a new gymnastic facility. It's about time that we give PRIVATE providers of community services an opportunity to provide them, continue to pay taxes, and charge the same or less for their services than the government providers. VOTE NO!!!

Not holding my breath  

Posted: April 2nd, 2013 8:21 AM

I voted yes on the pool. The HS needs updated facilities, the community needs it, it's a 2-for-1. FYI this ref was the result of all those pages & pages of signatures from the Farmers Market, etc. last summer. It's nonbinding so take the results either way with a grain of salt. Even if it gets majority "yes" votes, I'm not expecting it to be built any time soon.

Speedway from Oak Park, Illinois  

Posted: April 2nd, 2013 7:28 AM

I think there should have been a referendum on the ballot about returning at least half of the balance in the general fund. That would give all property owners around $3000 each.

Speedway from Oak Park, Illinois  

Posted: April 2nd, 2013 7:25 AM

To What - Do you really think someone in honors and AP level classes need tutors? At this time the HS is hoarding $133 million dollars and still passing yearly tax levies. That money should be returned to the taxpayers after paying off any debts and fully funding pensions.


Posted: April 2nd, 2013 6:09 AM

So we are voting yes to use OPRF funds to build something for the community? I don't see that. Maybe someone can enlighten me on what I am missing here? I would so much rather the funds be used to help students struggling at that school or for the honors/AP student whose parents cannot afford tutors.

John Butch Murtagh from Oak Park, Illinois  

Posted: April 2nd, 2013 12:21 AM

We have been badgering D200 to use some of their large reserves for several years now. The referendum would result in spending money on a facility that will benefit Oak Park and River Forest. While many were hoping to get some of the D200 reserves back in taxes, I think the pool, athletic facility, etc. is an asset that is beneficial. So I will vote Yes. Worth noting is that if the vote is NO, the money goes back into D200 reserves.

Bridgett from Oak Park  

Posted: April 1st, 2013 11:27 PM

Here's the wording of the referendum: "Shall the District 200 Board of Education spend a portion of its cash and investments, which currently exceed $111 million to fund a year-round, public, indoor, aquatics and fitness center for all Oak Park and River Forest residents?"

Bridgett from Oak Park  

Posted: April 1st, 2013 11:23 PM

Yep. I just did an Internet search and found a list of all the Referenda for Suburban Cook County elections on April 9th. If you scroll to the bottom of the page, under #200 ( the school district) you'll see it... http://www.cookcountyclerk.com/elections/2013elections/Pages/AllReferenda.aspx

alberg from Oak Park  

Posted: April 1st, 2013 10:41 PM

I just heard today that there will be a referendum on the ballot next week for us to approve spending $Millions to build new swimming and fitness facilities with the surplus at OPRFHS. Is this true? If so, why isn't it being reported?

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