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. 

HB4582 Lets SCHOOL Districts Tax Homeowners Without Their Approval

On May 29, 2024, HB4582 passed the state House.  It was signed into law by Governor Pritzker on June 5, 2024. 

This law allows Illinois school districts to bypass a referendum process for capital projects that provide space for pre-K or kindergarten space upon resolution of the Board of Education.  This law takes effect as of September 1, 2024.  This should be of great concern to school communities across the state of Illinois.

We are deeply concerned that the Central D301 Board could use this language to push through the twice-defeated $195 million new high school project without voter approval using the logic that this project will provide space for prek and kindergarten at Prairie Knolls Middle School.

This law means school districts no longer need to get taxpayer approval to build a new school if they can say it provides room for pre-k and kindergarten – and it isn’t limited to building an early childhood center or elementary school.  It could be a $195 million high school. 

This legislation opened a very dangerous loophole in the School Code that takes away any power we have as taxpayers to control the level of debt encumbering our homes and gives school districts almost unlimited to power to tax us for whatever building they see fit, as long as it provides pre-K and Kindergarten space. 

Sign the Petition to Governor Pritzker

Hear Rep. Dan Ugaste Speak On HB4582

HB4582 Amends the School Code As Follows:

No Referendum Required For New Schools 

"Provides that, beginning September 1, 2024, no referendum shall be required to build or purchase a building for school classroom or instructional purposes if, prior to the building or purchase of the building, the board determines, by resolution, that the building or purchase will result in an increase in pre-kindergarten or kindergarten classroom space in the district."

Removes Statutory Debt Ceiling Limits

"Provides that certain bonds issued by school districts and authorized by an election held on or after November 5, 2024, and on any bonds issued to refund or continue to refund such bonds, shall not be considered indebtedness for purposes of any statutory debt limitation and must mature within 30 years from their date. Makes other changes concerning the issuance of bonds. Effective July 1, 2024."

Today, a district is limited in how much debt it can acquire by statutory debt ceiling limits that state the total debt of a school district cannot exceed 13.8% of the districts Estimated Assessed Value ("EAV") for unit school districts, such as D301.   HB4582 removes the statutory debt ceiling so there is no limit to how much a district can plunge homeowners into debt through the issuance of school bonds.

Since this bill was on a post out of Rep. Jeff Keicher’s office, we reached out to him and to Rep. Dan Ugaste to confirm our understanding of this bill.  Rep. Ugaste’s office responded with:  “You are correct in your interpretation of the text of this bill.  Please know that Rep Ugaste also strongly opposed this and voted "NO" on this bill; however, it passed both Houses along party lines.   The Representative strongly urges you and others to contact the Governor's Office to request he veto (or line-item veto a portion of) this bill.” 

If this bill is signed into law it means it is more CRITICAL than ever before that our Board of Education is listening to our community, is fiscally conservative, smart, and performs extreme due diligence before approving ANY new schools for our district. Just because this house bill could give the board of education that power to circumvent the people doesn’t mean that it SHOULD circumvent the people.  If they choose not to include the taxpayers and begin encumbering our homes with more debt without our approval while simultaneously ignoring the needs of our special education students, our teachers, our staff, our bus drivers, and ultimately our school’s performance, all our home values will be dramatically affected.

We strongly recommend all communities watch the proceedings of their Boards of Education closely in the coming weeks.

About us

We are a local group dedicated to cultivating an empowered and engaged community of parents and taxpayers to build an environment of transparency, accountability, and communication within Central Community Unified District 301 (D301), representing the unified voice of the people for a successful and sustainable future.


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Building A Better District is a volunteer community group advocating for transparency, honesty, accountability, and community engagement from Central CUSD 301 in Burlington, IL.

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