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Readers Express Passionate Response to District 67 Referenda

Community debates two proposed referendums set for March 20 ballot.

As shown in a recent letter to the editor, two proposed Golf School District 67 referendums have sparked passionate responses from the community and readers. 

While voters will have the final say on March 20, we highlighted some readers who voiced their opinion on the matter in our comments section. 

Some who support the referenda said they are willing to pay more taxes in order to improve District 67 facilities and provide quality education for children:

Jeff G: It's important to talk through facts and not emotions or perceptions. I really don't like my taxes going up at all. I've been in MG for 14 years and my taxes have more than doubled. But you know what, costs for everything else has gone up as well, so this isn't out of line. The Golf 67 district has not increased the tax rate in 43 years, so I would not call that squandering. They have refinanced their bond issues many times over those years and now can't anymore. While I would prefer not to pay more for anything, I will pay an extra $500 per year to continue the great education for my two kids. If I didn't have kids, I would still support it. 

Other readers believe that lack of efficiency is the issue for the district: 

Adam Kohm: The current operating budget of the district is approximately 7,000,000. With the rate hike, it will be more like $8,200,000 - $8,400,000. With 587 kids in the district, that is $14,310 per child per year.

What is my point? That number tells me that this ship isn't near efficient. What am I basing this on? Well, let's say they shutter the doors of the district and give each parent that money. Every one of us could send our kids to Loyola Academy, and that includes books and fees. You could send your kids to one of the other nearby private schools for almost half as much. That just doesn't seem right and tells me that funds could be managed better.

An outsider's point-of-view on the debate:

Pat Craig: I don't have a dog in this hunt, so as an outsider I have the luxury of looking in without emotional involvement. What I am seeing here is a few of different things.

One is the emotional "We must pass this referendum or we will lose our wonderful schools", argument. One is the "I don't need any more taxes taken from me argument". Then there seems to be a group who were supporting the $30 million new library and are now arguing for this referendum. 

Finally, there seems to be a center core of reasonable folks who are weighing the pros and cons while trying to find a solution that works for all rather than making debating points or furthering political agendas. I hope, for the sake of all who live in district 67 that the reasonable folks prevail and that those who are emotionally invested would remember to be civil in their discourse.

If you'd like to get caught up on the issue before the polls open, an informational meeting is scheduled for Tuesday, Feb. 28 at Golf Middle School, 6 p.m. 

Where do you stand on the issue?

Donald India March 18, 2012 at 04:42 PM
Could be legal. I believe the Federal Labor Laws allow an employer to IMPACT BARGAIN working conditions except for salaries by approaching the union with a proposal. IF the proposal is rejected, the employer can implement the working conditions changes until the next union bargaining agreement negotiations.
Donald India March 18, 2012 at 04:50 PM
A full size gym would better serve the Middle School. Maybe the Park District would be interested in a cooperative development of a gym/community activity center to be built on part of Cardinal Park behind Golf Middle School. If the referenda fail, it could create needed interest and votes from the MG/Niles senior and NON-parent community. The school district would get priority and even exclusive use for day-time and student events with the community using the facility in the evenings and weekends AND throughout the summer.
Jeff G March 18, 2012 at 10:11 PM
Sorry Don, I was jumping around a bit. I should have said...I'm not sure it's even legal to start charging kids individually for particular classes in public school, but even if it does work, you're at a break even budget at best. The ACLU already has filed a class action suit against California schools for this same issue. Yes, union contracts can be renegotiated mid stream as long as both sides agree. The district and teachers have done that once in the contract already.
Concerned March 21, 2012 at 12:50 PM
Looks like the voters have spoken - Time for bold ideas!
Donald India March 21, 2012 at 09:54 PM
See the new blog: http://niles.patch.com/articles/golf-school-district-67-election?ncid=following_comment

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