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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. 

The amount of information to review can feel overwhelming at times.  As a group, we have been pouring over reports, minutes, agendas, data models, and more for several months to determine both the necessity of and the drive for a new high school when the community was promised a 20-year life on Central High School in 2016.  We decided to put together a blog page to identify various pieces of information for public consumption so each person could read on the topics most of interest to them. 

If you have any information you would like to share on these topics or that you would like Building A Better District to research, please use our Anonymous Feedback Form.


  • 01/07/2024 2:44 PM | Joe Public (Administrator)

    Our projections have shown that our immediate needs must address compression in the elementary schools and in Prairie Knolls Middle School.  With the 20-classroom addition at Central High School, total capacity will expand to 1,900 students (up from 1,400).  Additionally, the district presented in their Considerations B, C, and D that room exists to expand cafeteria, auditorium, and parking space at Central High School.

    A new slide put up by the district shows of the 14 mobile units in use in our district, 13 of them are being used in our elementary schools. Only 1 is at our high school and that should be eliminated this fall by the opening of the 20-classroom addition.

    To read more about how our community growth REALLY looks when properly analyzed...visit our Projections page.

  • 01/06/2024 12:49 AM | Joe Public (Administrator)

    In what we assume is a response to the community's demand to see an Enrollment Forecast, the district recently placed a slide on their website that gives the impression that an actual forecast analysis was done.  Given the district just stated they do not know how they calculated their numbers for the 2016 referendum, it is interesting that the blue line seems to show "analytics" data from 2006 through 2024. 

    There are quite a few problems with the data being represented by the district.  Take a look at our breakdown.

  • 01/01/2024 3:41 PM | Joe Public (Administrator)

    During the November 2023 board meeting, the Board of Education adopted a resolution that gives them the power to access referendum funds to reimburse the district for other "capital expenditures" unrelated to the actual referendum project.  The resolution is highlighted in Item 4.F. of the meeting minutes as follows:

    "Dr. Mongan explained this resolution allows us to capture some capital expenses spent within the last 60 days of approving the referendum with referendum dollars".  This vague and broad statement should be of concern to the taxpayer community and should have more specific details as to what capital expenditures the district intends to reimburse itself along with the estimated dollar amounts.  Additionally, the Board of Education should outline to the taxpayers a policy by which the $195 million would be protected from overspending.

    It should be noted that only ONE Board of Ed member, Fred Vogt, voted "NO" to this resolution and Morgan Pappas was absent for the vote.  All other board members voted "YES" to this resolution.

    At the September 2023 board meeting, the district's 2024 Budget presentation highlighted at least three capital improvement projects underway that might be reimbursed through the use of referendum funds including the CHS 20-classroom addition & renovations, generators, District Office renovations, and “possible New HS planning”.  SOURCE:  FY24 Final Budget Presentation


    At the upcoming Town Hall meetings, the community should request the following information from the district and the Board of Education:

    • Which projects the district intends to reimburse itself through referendum funds
    • The total dollar amounts for each of those reimbursements 
    • A phased and itemized budget showing how the $195 million is earmarked for spending including the new proposed high school, the improvements required to convert PKMS into a K-5 school, the improvements required to convert CMS into an Early Childhood center
    •  The policy by which the district may request those funds for approval from the board for the purposes of reimbursement, what qualifies for reimbursement, what total limit has been established for those reimbursements, and how they intend to protect those referendum dollars to be sure the expenses for the actual referendum project are appropriately covered.
    • If the referendum does NOT pass, how much money has the district already spent on planning for the new high school in total (through architectural services, engineering, a PR/communications specialist, and so on), separate and apart from their recent $5 million land acquisition?

    The taxpayers must insist on guardrails for this resolution and specific details should be shared by the district to show that the $195 million will cover all that is proposed and does not become a "contingency fund" for use towards other projects.




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