BUILDING A BETTER DISTRICT

Information | Communication | Transparency | Accountability

A Movement By Citizens  Demanding Transparency, Accountability, and Community Engagement for school districts in the State of Illinois.

Building A Better District is a taxpayer-led movement and is not affiliated with, nor endorsed by, the State or Regional Board of Education, any individual school district, or administration/Board of Education. 



Building A Better District is a non-partisan grassroots movement of local taxpayers, all deeply invested in the promise of high-quality, taxpayer-funded education in Central CUSD 301 (Burlington, Illinois).  Our goals are simple:

  • Provide accurate, validated information and data 
  • Build an empowered and engaged community that supports D301
  • Demand transparency and accountability of our District Administration
  • Demand transparency and accountability of our Board of Education
  • Demand community involvement in solving our district's challenges
  • Present a unified voice to our District Administration and Board of Education on issues of importance

 Building A Better District supports appropriate tax investments for high-value returns on education in our community.  Read more about us...

This is about Transparency, accountability, & trust.

In order to have trust between a community and its school district, there needs to be transparency.  Transparency means open meetings, regular opportunities to talk with the community, honesty, full disclosure, and aggressive two-way communication with the community.  We hope to foster an environment of trust, transparency, and communication between the community, our district administration, and our board of education, while empowering people to participate by educating them on key issues in our district.

On March 19, 2024, our community defeated a referendum for $195 million to build a new high school.  Our community believes better options exist to address our near-term growth challenges while also focusing on improving educational outcomes, improving teacher retention, and more options for our Special Education families.


UPDATE


On May 1, 2024,  the Central 301 Board of Education  voted to engage RSP & Associates for an enrollment and facility capacity analysis. RSP is an exceptionally experienced firm that has done similar analyses for Districts 303, 304, and 308 in our area, as well as many others across the country.

We commend the Board and Superintendent on taking this step to commission professionally sourced data from experienced professionals to more conclusively answer questions about projected growth and help address the facility issues the District faces. We were especially grateful to see many of our elected officials engage in constructive dialogue around this issue.  Thank you, Central, for hearing the community and taking this important step towards consensus around our district's needs.

Learn more about RSP here https://rsp-associates.com or please watch the recording of the meeting on the 301BOE channel.

Download RSP's PowerPoint Presentation.








Building On Our Strong Roots:  Burlington, IL

Between January and March 2024, Building A Better District has had the opportunity to communicate with hundreds of residents across our amazing school district.  From texts to Facebook messages, e-mails, phone calls, and in-person meetings, we were humbled over and over by the depth of roots that exist here.   As with any area that experiences new development, there is an invisible divide between the more recently and densely developed east side of our district and the rural, expansive west side of our district.  There is a disconnect, which is understandable when you realize how wide our district is and how little opportunity there is to cross paths with each other on a regular basis, particularly for those that no longer have children in school.  Thanks to our work on the recent referendum, Andy, Chuck, and I had the unbelievable experience of meeting so many people in our community that we never would have met and for that we are thankful.

We had the opportunity to meet a private citizen from Burlington who paid out of their own pocket to have the CHS Rockets logo painted on the Burlington water tower.  This citizen no longer had children in the district, but felt it was a way to show Burlington's connection to and support of Central CUSD301.   Who would know this story if you moved here in the last 5 to 10 years? Maybe even before that? How would you know just how deep and strong the roots run here in Burlington? This story has stayed with us over the weeks as we have listened to some say those without kids in school don't care about our district.  While that might be true in other districts, when it comes to Central nothing could be further from the truth.  

It struck us that the Burlington water tower and its homage to the Rockets is located in a place many families with children on the east side never see.  As we move forward towards a new plan for our district, we hope that everyone will take a moment to appreciate the rich history of our community, realize that we have thousands of homeowners here that have a vested interest in supporting smart fiscal investments in our school district. They are ready to support a well-vetted plan based upon strong independent data analysis and wish to be a part of the process, regardless of whether or not they have children in the schools today.  We maybe be Central today, but before Central, we were Burlington and Plato Center and our district is built upon their foundations.  There are many families here that remember those days, who attended those schools, who had children that attended school here,  and they are STILL here supporting the current school district we are all so lucky to be a part of. 

Let's do our best to start with a fresh slate and welcome each other to the table to find solutions to all of the challenges we might face here together.  Our lives will be richer for it and our community will be strong for it!

Read the Village of Burlington's Comprehensive Plan 2022