District 100 Referendum

By: Alice Barr
By: Alice Barr

A "no" vote would mean District 100 would need to cut nearly $3 million from current spending plans to pay for the basic operational needs of the new high school and elementary school now under construction.

The district has seen major growth in recent years, by than 50 percent since 1997. Last March, District 100 residents approved a referendum funding construction of the new high school and elementary school. Part two of the referendum failed which would have paid for the operation expenses of these schools. Because of that decision, it's back to the ballot to seek funds. If passed, it would mean a 65-cent tax increase. For the owner of a $100,000 home, that adds up to about $3.50 more per week, or almost $200 a year. Next month's referendum would also provide about $30 million for two more elementary schools needed to meet the burgeoning population.

Leann Sackett is a realtor with Gambino Realtor's Belvidere office. She is in touch with homeowners in the district and familiar with the issue.
She explains why not everyone agrees with the plan: "The main objection is the dollars, especially maybe elderly people in the area, I can understand that if they haven't had children in the school for years and years."

But Kim Larson, who's campaigned for the referendum says it's worth the cost: "The committee has developed an excellent package that puts us in a great position and puts us in a position that we will not have to go back to the voters until 2010 or beyond and ask this question again."

Larson added that right now only seven out of 399 school districts in Illinois spend less per student than District 100. He says it's good to be frugal, but we have to be sure we're taking care of our kids.
The referendum is part of a ten-year plan to keep up with the expanding district, growing at about six percent per year.


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