Grassroots Group Challenges School Board

By: Nichole Vrsansky
By: Nichole Vrsansky

As community and education leaders push for the Rockford school referendum to pass, the grass roots education committee, Rockford Educating All Children, or REACH, is opposing the measure.

REACH leaders say the Rockford school referendum is unnecessary. The problem, they say, is that the school district can't control its spending.

The new school referendum asks that the district's education fund rate remain at three-point-seven percent for another four years. The 'Vote Yes for Kids Two' committee says, if passed, this would not raise the county's total tax rate. If rejected, the district would be forced to cut 12-million dollars from the budget. Barbara Dent, the chair of REACH, doesn't buy it. She says her organization has asked the school district to attend a public meeting to debate the matter, but they declined. Dent says it's because the school district knows it can't win.

The current education fund rate, which was passed in 2001, isn't set to expire until next year.

REACH says it will hold a public meeting with or without school district representatives present. So far that meeting is scheduled for Monday, October 21st at the IBEW Building on Mill Road. Dent says she feels it's important for the public to hear both sides of this issue.

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