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. 


UPDATE

Timeline

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.

The district requested that RSP's deliverables be received by the district in August in time to review them prior to the August 2024 board meeting.  Some discussion was had indicating that the board might be considering trying to take the results in received in August and adopt a resolution in August  that would place a new referendum on the November 2024 ballot, without the benefit of time to develop solutions with the community.  

Given that the results will be received right before the deadline to submit a referendum for the November 2024 ballot, there is clearly not enough time to engage the community and build consensus in time for a November 2024 vote. We hope to see the following timeline from the board to work towards consensus with the community for a referendum on the April 2025 ballot:

  • August 2024 - receive the results of the enrollment forecast & capacity analysis
  • September 2024 - re-engage the community with Focus Groups to review the data and discuss possible solutions based on the results and possible RSP recommendations
  • October 2024 - achieve consensus with the community on the direction to pursue
  • November 2024 - the BOE adopts a resolution to put a new referendum on the April 2025 ballot
  • December 2024 - the district provides the resolution to the county clerk for inclusion on the April 2025 ballot.
  • January 2025-March 2025 - conduct a new round of Town Halls
  • April 2025 - Election



WE NEED YOU TO TAKE ACTION!

Please take a moment to thank our board for taking the necessary step of commissioning an enrollment forecast and facilities analysis and let them know your thoughts on the following two points:  

  • Our board has strong concerns that if they do not get a "yes" to a plan in November 2024 and the community sees tax relief from the payoff of the 2007 Country Trails and Prairie Knolls Middle School bonds, the community will never vote "yes" to a new tax increase to support what our district needs, based on those independent reports.   
  • There is also the feeling that the board must get one large referendum passed because they believe the community would not support multiple referendums in the coming years if growth materializes.  If growth materializes, theoretically, there would be more households sharing in the tax burden of a referendum.  Supporting referendums that fulfill the immediate needs of our district, shared by the people that are directly benefiting from that referendum, is a smart and fiscally responsible approach to managing growth and is not opposed by the community.

If you are supportive of paying taxes for a fiscally responsible, well-developed plan that includes the voice of the community and is based upon the independent data that will be provided by RSP & Associates and that data shows a real need for expansion or new construction, let the board know that you will support a referendum that is built with the help of the community.  Additionally, if you are supportive of smaller referendums that are put forward in response to the changing needs of the community as it grows, as more households would be joining our tax base to share the burden, please take the time to let them know this!  Their list of e-mails is at the end of this message.  Please feel free to copy us at buildingabetterdistrict@gmail.com.

We thank all of you for your continued efforts to Build A Better District!

jeff.gorman@central301.net,eric.nolan@central301.net,marc.falk@central301.net,junaid.afeef@central301.net,dornetria.hemphill@central301.net,morgan.pappas@central301.net,fred.vogt@central301.net,

esther.mongan@central301.net


WHAT THE SURVEYS SAY

Following the March 19th election, we conducted a post-election survey using MentiMeter. What was clear is that people want to see independent data and analysis on future projected enrollment and a capacity analysis before looking at a new plan and we are happy to say on May 1, 2024, our Board of Education voted to commission these reports.  

Another key point from the survey is that the community wants to be engaged in development of the next plan, based upon that data.  The November 2024 ballot would require a plan to be ready no later than August, which we don't believe is sufficient time to perform the analysis, engage the community, develop a plan, get appropriate quotes, and build consensus, however, the April 2025 ballot would give our community until December to get all of this done. 

We believe with strong leadership and partnership with the community, our Board of Education and district administration can accomplish this successfully.