Thursday, November 8, 2018

Voters adopted most school
finance referenda on November 6

A preliminary look at the results of the November 6 elections shows good results for bond and tax proposals, with 11 of 16 bond issues on the ballot winning voter approval, and one of two tax increase plans getting a green light. A tax increase was adopted in Glen Ellyn SD 89, calling for a $133 increase in taxes per $100,000 of home value. It is the first tax hike in 32 years in District 89.  Voters meanwhile said no to a $1.3 million increase in taxes in Hawthorne SD 73.

Countywide sales tax increases to benefit school facilities were passed in three of the five counties that voted on such proposals, with voters saying yes in: Jasper, Menard, and Sangamon Counties. Voters rejected such additional taxes in Kendall and Tazewell Counties.

The bond issues that won approval range in size from a $195 million proposal in Maine Township High School District 207 (Park Ridge) to a $225,000 working cash proposition in Farrington CUSD 99.   Voters also approved the following bond proposals:

•    Calumet City SD 155, a $23 million finance proposal to pay claims against the district
•    Elmhurst CUSD 205, a $168.5 million bond proposition to build and equip two elementary schools, replacing existing ones, and add classrooms for full-day kindergarten
•    Gavin SD 37 (Ingleside), a $6 million bond proposition to repair and replace roofs on buildings, among other upgrade projects
•    Hawthorne SD 73, a $48.7 million proposal to renovate six district schools and build an 18-classroom kindergarten center
•    McHenry CHSD 156, a $44 million bond issue to construct school additions and make building repairs at two high school campuses
•    Mt. Pulaski CUSD 23, a $10 million bond proposition to improve the local high school and make repairs
•    Saratoga CCSD 60C, a $10.3 million plan to upgrade the Saratoga school building, including construction of auditorium and cafeteria space, with a STEM facility, kitchen, and learning resource center
•    Tolono SD 7, a proposition to pay $175,591 in principal and interest on existing bonds
•    Wheeling Township SD 21, a $69 million bond proposition for building improvements, and security upgrades

However bond issues were defeated in:

•    Fieldcrest CUSD 6, a $29 million bond issue to construct new school buildings in Minonk and Wenona, and to demolish Fieldcrest High School, as well as part of a middle school
•    Hinsdale THSD 86, a $166 million bond proposition to upgrade two high school campuses and renovate all learning spaces there
•    Minooka CCSD 201, a $50 million bond proposition to build and equip a school
•    Princeton Elementary School District 115, a $35 million bond proposal to construct a new, 109,900-square-foot building for grades 3 through 8. The plans also call for demolition of two schools and $500,000 in upgrades at another school
•    Smithton CCSD 130, a $5 million proposal to build and equip an addition to Smithton Elementary School

In other voting, at-large election of school board members was a winning idea everywhere it was proposed, namely in Chester East Lincoln SD 61, Polo CUSD 222, Oakland CUSD 5, and Villa Grove CUSD 302. The lone school district reorganization known to be on the ballot was approved. It calls for deactivating the high school in Paw Paw CUSD 271 and to send pupils from the school to Indian Creek CUSD 425.

Passing rates of school finance referenda since 1989 are available online.