Saturday, January 07, 2017

Get it Done School District 112

It has been many years, a referendum, some studies, and plenty of Chaos that has proceeded lack of current direction by our elementary school district 112. After the denial of the 200 million dollar referendum the board had committed to closing some schools in 2017 and getting the over population of underutilized school buildings under control with BDR3. It has been a well accepted premise that several schools need to close since the school populations has dropped.

A mistake was made by putting together the 2.0 committee last summer without sufficient time to reevaluate and study alternative scenarios for the 2017-18 school closing/boundary transition. There was just not enough time to get any change done and start to transition into the 2017-18 school year. Political pressure on the board and new board elections seemed to precipitate a total collapse blamed on the superintendents resignation but was just a basic surrender of the reigns of power directing the collapse of the 2017-18 BDR3 plan.

I have no intention to get involved at a micro level and am not going to appear at any meeting on this issue but am just dismayed at the unfolding of events and actions of the board of education. The 112 Board was elected to deal with these issues of how to continue to provide excellent education to our children and work through the financial models that were presented and agreed to that demonstrated solvency for our future. What I will say is that there is a tremendous burden on the property taxpayers of Highland Park and Highwood that needs to be addressed by this school board. Throwing your hands up in the air and giving in to parents in Ravinia and Elm Place so they can have one more stab at the apple does not do it folks!

There are many other ideas that could reduce costs like a unified school district with our High Schools, more integrated intergovernmental cooperation on maintenance, landscaping, and non education function partnerships with other governmental bodies. Administrations do not have to be so robust for a population of our size. What is the optimum size for a unified school district? Will the State of Illinois require districts to consolidate in the near future? What happens when the State of Illinois freezes the property taxes next year. Is this how you prepare for that event?

Get real and Get to work on these issues because they wont get solved by continuing to kick the can down the road for the next guy or gal. Really it is more like a Gorilla or Elephant than a Can here folks. Wake up and move on this issue before it cripples the core education of our children.