Both District 67 Referendums Fail

The facilities referendum lost by only 21 votes; results came in after midnight.

Voters rejected both of Golf School District 67's referendum requests Tuesday, and parents and supporters who had gathered to watch election returns said they'll have to try again.

One of the questions on the ballot asked voters to approve funding facilities (buildings and grounds) and the other question asked for money for operations (staffing, etc.). 

For a time, from about 11 p.m. until midnight, it looked like the facilities referendum might pass. It had only a seven-vote deficit, with one more precinct left to come in.

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John Frake, one of the referendum supporters who gathered at Giordano's to watch returns come in, said at that point he thought it could still win.

When that precinct finally reported results after midnight, they defeated the referendum by 21 votes. The tally was 639 against, 618 in favor. 

The operations referendum lost by a wider margin, 662 to 553.

"I'm sure this (a referendum) will happen again. It's too important to let go of," said Kristina Otte, one of the supporters. "We all have kids in school. They all need to be in a safe, protective environment and have programs that will prepare them for high school."

Shawn Phillips, another parent and supporter, noted the results showed a solid base of voters in favor. 

"I think we're going to have to redouble our efforts," he said.

Parent Chris Hoffman credited Otte and Frake for their efforts.

"They worked tirelessly on this," she said. "They wanted to make sure everyone knew what the issues were."

Facilities referendum

If it had passed, the facilities referendum would have raised $9.7 million for the school district to make repairs to its two buildings, including heating, cooling and plumbing repairs. It would also have permitted reconfiguration of the building entrances to create better security and build a gym/multi-purpose room at Hynes Elementary School. 

For the owner of a home in the Morton Grove portion of District 67, the facilities referendum would annually have raised property taxes $31 per $1,000 of taxes paid. 

For the owner of a home in the Niles portion of the district, the facilities referendum would annually have raised property taxes $34 per $1,000 of taxes paid. 

Operations referendum

If it had passed, the operations referendum would have raised $1.1 million for the school district, according to its website. The district was asking for the money to maintain its current level of staffing, according to its website.

It would have cost homeowners in the Morton Grove portion of District 67 $47 per $1,000 of property taxes paid, and it would have cost homeowners in the Niles portion of District 67 $51 per $1,000 of property taxes paid. 

Cuts are expected

The district's website outlines cuts it expected to make if both referendums failed. They include a reduction in personnel, cuts to programs, a reduction in bus service and other cost-cutting moves.

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PJEM March 23, 2012 at 01:40 AM
I'll second that Golf Student. My kids will not even consider that an area to play when given the choice. Ever thought about running for the school board?
Golf student #2 March 23, 2012 at 04:18 PM
Gina,if u learn one spanish you don't need to learn another.Anyone that speaks spanish will understand it.Spanish doesnt only help you for government and welfare jobs.Being a doctor or a lawyer can learn spanish too not Greek.
Golf Student March 23, 2012 at 04:28 PM
All I'm doing is speaking the truth and what should have been done.
Kevin Beiksa March 24, 2012 at 12:54 PM
Don't just wish for it. Get off your butt and do it. Teachers did not write the contracts. They were offered these contracts by board members like India. People put in office by about 300 - 400 voters to quote his numbers. If your blood is boiling so, why don't you do something? These contracts are what the voters (you) signed off on! Duh?
Jeff D March 24, 2012 at 03:23 PM
John, the reason I try to stay away from these chat boards is " people like you ". John, I have an idea to help you Wake up !! Let's put you thru the school system all over again. Hynes now offers pre- school , FYI, let's start there. Kindergarten is full time so you should be good, I will pay all your lunches, I also will pay for whatever meds you should be on due to your condition. Go to Hynes from Pre- school thru 4th. I will speak with Mrs. Westly personally to get you in. Then get back on these chat boards & THEN give us your comments. From the time you got on the chat you bad mouthed the school district, the towns involved , your neighbors & everyone in the entire school system. You are way off !!!! You are talking about ancient history, only God knows how many years ago. You admitted you had " issues " back then & still seem to have them. Don't you think it was you & your parents at fault, maybe you should re think that. I can't speak for Golf yet, I will be able to next year, but you have no clue as what goes on in Hynes. The entire faculty not only cares but they love our children !! Yes LOVE !! My first grader & my fourth grader get the best of everything while at school. Think before you type / speak & maybe you won't sound so " out there". You have no kids , you don't know what goes on the schools now. You don't know your neighbors, maybe they don't want to know you ?!?! You say there are no block parties, maybe you are not invited ?!?!
Jeff D March 24, 2012 at 03:36 PM
We are at every parent teachers conference for both boys, I go to field trips every year for both boys, I attend every musical event my son is involved in. I PAY FOR HIS TRUMPET . The entire faculty is loving & caring. Look into how well the district ranks, we have top notch schools. If you don't like where you live , guess what you can always leave . We pay to live in this area for a reason , a better education for our children, I know we get it. As far as the teacher calling kids names , the parents who know the teachers name should be reporting it over & over , not hiding from it. If things went farther than that as stated above the authorities should have been called, but I don' t know if that is ancient history also. Let's focus on today & not decades ago. If there is a problem teacher that is abusive make it point to get the issue addressed , not say I won't mention the name.
Golf Student March 24, 2012 at 08:14 PM
District 67 is honestly my favorite district. It's great in education, caring, helping and teaching. All the teachers are always there for every student. All the teachers say we are always here for our students and we don't care what grade. We are here to help you and to help you learn. Sometimes we do spend our money in a stupid way like building the two new parks at Hynes. We could have used the money to help both Hynes and Golf with the leaking and plumbing issues. Spanish is very important at this age (12-14). 7th-8th grade Spanish gives us a booster to Spanish in high school. Gina, I do agree with the fact that tech is very important and so is Spanish. Both are very important in the future because Spanish is one of the most spoken languages in America and technology is going to improve in the future. So both Spanish and technology are important.
Golf student #2 March 24, 2012 at 08:47 PM
Tech was important 2 years ago but i dont know how building parks n making 3D figures on a program is important.
Golf Student March 24, 2012 at 09:24 PM
I agree.
Golf Student March 24, 2012 at 10:09 PM
But referring back to Gina's comment about how Spanish is not mandatory and tech is, I thought about it for awhile and I came up with the idea that both tech AND Spanish are very important for the future. And I'm talking about the tech involving the use of Google Docs, research on the computers, etc. Not Inventor 2012 and building 3D figures with materials. Spanish can help with any career because there are a LOT of people in America whose first language is Spanish. I know many people whose first language is Spanish. Everyone is my family who graduated from college took Spanish from middle school and through out high school and college and they have gotten many great job opportunities.
Glenn Posner March 25, 2012 at 09:08 PM
Speaking of input, Don, if you feel this paltry voter turnout was "adequate"...based on past apathetic behavior, then we have more issues at hand than our schools. To live here and not participate is actually worse than a "no" vote for our school's needs.
Glenn Posner March 25, 2012 at 09:19 PM
It's a shame. We fought the good fight. These issues will return, rest assured. They will not go away. No referendum in over 40 years with award winning, highly recognized programs and successes, and we have adults voting their wallets and tossing out the baby with the bathwater. Keep the faith. We have nearly 80,000 families between Niles and MG, with multiple voters in each house, yet a scant 1100 showed up at the polls with the voting nearly divided. Rest easy young person, these issues will be revisited. Often "extra" pork is put in a proposed bill. These are called "earmarks." Perhaps voters felt this referendum had too many "earmarks."
Teacher March 27, 2012 at 04:52 PM
Hello fellow residents..I have been reading your messages on the board and I am honestly happy that the referendum did not pass. I am a teacher myself in another district so I understand the challenges that school districts are facing with finances. The number one cost for ANY and ALL school district are salaries. That is a fact. It is also a fact that D67's teachers have the highest paid salaries in Illinois!! here is a good link to look at what the district pays its teachers and how it compares to other Illinois school districts: http://www.illinoisloop.org/salary.html#ats You will see on this website, "The 100 highest-paid school administrators in Illinois in 2006 had salaries ranging from $205,590 to $380,227. Here are the 17 who made more than a quarter million dollars for the year: Marks Linda R $316,874 GOLF ESD 67 !" WHY???? Here are the teacher salaries for Golf 67: http://www.familytaxpayers.org/salary.php This is all public information..get informed!! District 67 may have been a great school district, and I LOVE our community, but it pales in comparison to other northshore districts (Glenview, Wilmette, Deerfield etc) and those teacher salaries start at about $20,000 LESS than D67s!! Why? The quality of teachers that are at D67 are no where near as good as the other districts. The teacher union is destroying our community! The teachers will never leave because they will NEVER make as much money as they do here..
Teacher March 27, 2012 at 05:11 PM
We must not let a referendum pass. If anything, the contract should be thrown out and salaries should be comparative to those in neighboring districts and teacher salaries should be cut! Don't forget, we will not only pay their salaries but also their pension which will be based on salaries that are in the 100K range... How many Golf 67 residents make 100K a year AND get a state pension?? Here is another really good link. Open the files and you will see Niles Township Elementary comparisons.. they have documents that show comparison of student performance, teacher salary, facilities expenses, pupil expenditure etc. and I think you have no problems in voting AGAINST a referendum: http://www.skokie69.k12.il.us/index.php?option=com_k2&view=item&id=914:niles-township-elementary-comparisons Be informed! THEN decide. Everything you need to know about contracts are public information. Search the websites or ASK administrators for the info. THEY HAVE TO give it to you. It is YOUR money. Don't let these teacher's unions brainwash you into thinking you don't care about the students if you don't support the referendum...YOU DO CARE!...it is the UNIONS that only care about their OWN bottom line...trust me on this..i'm a member of one (not by choice!) I hope the best is provided to our students...they are all good kids :)
GOB March 27, 2012 at 05:43 PM
Hello "teacher". This post seems to be filled with inaccurate facts and outdated information that is useless to the conversation. Why? Linda Marks was four superintendents ago. How does that link help our district now? And can you please provide the salary schedules that show that teachers in Glenview, Wilmette, and Deerfield have starting salaries that are $20,000 less than district 67? My guess is you can not, because I'm pretty sure you made up that statement. Aren't the teachers in those schools that are so much better than ours in unions too? How are they managing not to "destroy the community"? What criteria are you using to compare the quality of teachers in district 67 and those other districts? What are you basing the statement that "it pales in comparison to other northshore districts" on? I would hope you could back up some of these claims, and I'll be interested to see how, or even if you do so. Yes, the referendum failed, and now we need to move forward, AS a community. We need concrete ideas and open minds, not baseless mudslinging. If you're not going to bring anything real and useful to the conversation, then perhaps you shouldn't bring anything at all.
Christine March 27, 2012 at 05:48 PM
Teacher, thank you for the links. Wow. That is really eye-opening.
Teacher March 27, 2012 at 06:42 PM
You are welcome! Please pass the information around. Its really important that parents and community members are informed to make the best decision for our community.
Teacher March 27, 2012 at 06:51 PM
GOB, I agree with you that Linda Marks was 4 superintendents ago but this district has a history that we should not forget. As for the salaries, that is all pubic information. You can go to any school district and under their employment or human resource section you will find the teacher contracts and you can see the salaries teachers are paid as well as the stipends they get for coaching or running clubs.
GOB March 27, 2012 at 07:05 PM
You are absolutely correct that we should not forget the past, however we should not let it keep us from moving on into the future. We should learn from mistakes, not just keep looking back at them with disdain.
GOB March 27, 2012 at 07:11 PM
As for the salaries, thank you, I am aware that they are public information. My questions still remain the same as before. What actual evidence have you uncovered to back up those claims that I had questioned previously?
grandpa March 27, 2012 at 09:48 PM
We should also LEARN from the past and have a solid PLAN for moving into the future. Einstein said that the very definition of insanity is to do the same thing over and over and expect different results. It seems as though District 67 has continued to ignore repairs while spending like a drunken sailor on salaries while hoping that things would improve by throwing referendum money at the situation. Hope is a powerful thing... but it can be misused. In 1775, Patrick Henry warned, “it is natural to man to indulge in the illusions of hope. We are apt to shut our eyes against a painful truth, and listen to the song of that siren till she transforms us into beasts.” The ravenous beast is the 80% of the budget used for salaries and benefits. Until that beast is tamed the painful truth is we will continue to face a continually worsening situation
Former Hynes/Golf Student March 30, 2012 at 04:50 AM
17 teachers with a salary over $100,000.00! Can anyone explain why a librarian is making $130,058.00??? I'm not saying that the former superintendant's salary was not out of line, but she did run two schools, wrote many, many grants for the district, handled 9/11 perfectly & had a very important job, but a librarian @ $130,000.00 +? Does anyone else have a problem with this one?
Nikki Crisan April 16, 2012 at 04:46 PM
It is completely outrageous that my daughter will be going to half-day kindergarten instead of full day. 2 and a half hours a day which is less then what she goes to now in preschool. Cutting math and music etc. children wearing jackets in school are you kidding me! We live in the suburbs paying property taxes. Property values will go down and neighborhoods will become unsafe.
Deadcatbounce April 16, 2012 at 07:34 PM
Right from the district website ... Financial Information for Golf SD 67 - IL is currently under construction. Please come back later. That is sad
Donald India April 16, 2012 at 09:39 PM
My first thoughts were the district was removing the various pre-referenda reports or was completng weekend maintenance. But then I went to golf67.net and the Financial Information is there with all the pre-referenda reports. So try again.
Christine April 20, 2012 at 01:36 AM
If anyone is interested in exploring other options for pre-school or kindergarten, St. John Brebeuf School in Niles has full day pre-school and kindergarten. They also have before care and after care if needed. Class sizes are small and the teachers are great. They're having a Fun Fair tomorrow (Friday, April 20th from 6-9 PM). It would be a great opportunity to have fun with your kids. Ask for a tour of the school if you're interested in checking it out. Mention that you read this post on the Patch and get your choice of a free snow cone or bag of popcorn. The school is located at 8301 N. Harlem Avenue (Near Harlem & Main St. in Niles)
Z April 28, 2012 at 10:08 PM
As a new homeowner in Morton Grove, I would absolutely support adding nearly $1200 to my annual property taxes, if there were some real checks and balances on the money. (Based upon this article and the numbers provided that is what my increase would be) Speaking very generically and ignorantly, how a facility can deteriorate to a point that students are allegedly wearing jackets and there are major leaks, and allow for increased pay for teachers/staff that are not based on student performance, is disappointing and backwards. I am a product of Hynes, Golf and Niles North. The mere fact that my wife and I are seriously considering private schooling is sad to me, considering I had great experiences at these schools. However, I am not going to place my child and future children in schools that make themselves appear to be in dire straits and apparently make piss poor decisions. Perhaps I need to be more involved.
Christine April 28, 2012 at 11:07 PM
Dear Z, if you are considering private schooling, please consider St John Brebeuf School in Niles. They are having an Open House on Sunday, May 6th from 10 am - 2pm. I think you'll be surprised at all they have to offer. It is well worth the money.
KARMA November 07, 2012 at 08:59 PM
As a parent who al 3 kids went to 67 I have seen many good teachers and many bad teachers who left their impact on my children both postive but sadly more negative. As a past board member, I saw this coming, warn the board about over spending on salaries and always stressed to save the money for the school , kids, and not the teachers' wallets and administrations' wallets. As an educator I teach 15 min away from Morton Grove and MY district does not have these ridiculous salaries, but the lowest, yet we meet AYP every year!! WE have over crowded classes and our test scores are HIGH too So better paid teachers do not EQUAL better education, it EQUALS wasteful spending and buildings now falling apart. Maybe these CARING LOVING teachers should have salaries cuts to give back to the school, building repairs and the children if they truly went into education for the love of teaching kids and not making SIX FIGURE SALARIES....I KNOW I DID!!!!
Linda Eick March 04, 2013 at 11:52 PM
First, let me state that everyone who is bashing the teachers and their salaries, to please think for a moment. If any of us were offered raises and great benefits, would we really tell our employers "No thank you. The company has been far too generous and in fact, I would love to give some back if at all possible!" Somehow I think we would all answer no to that. Next, everyone who has commented on this site has only been able to do so because of teachers! They are the reason that we can read and write. Everyone who has a job only has it due to teachers. Who do you think taught all the classes that made us what we are today! We could actually survive in this country without a lot of the professions and jobs that you all work, but without teachers we would just be bumbling idiots! To every single person commenting on this board, I bet there are plenty of people who think that you are overpaid, have too good of benefits and should even be fired! So who exactly do you think deserves the salaries of teachers? Yourself?


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