2 mins read

Save Our Schools – Vote Yes!

For those of you who live in District 122 (Ridgeland School District) here in Illinois, please vote YES on February 5th for the referendum. If the referendum does not pass, it will result in the following:

  • One grade school will be closed.
  • Remaining elementary schools will become grade centers with them being structured something like this: K-2 (aff) at one school, 3 (aff) at another school, 4-5 at yet another school, and 6-8 at the middle school.
  • Students will change schools on average every two years. Research shows that students have difficulty with transitions between schools, and that difficulty results in a lack of academic success.
  • Band, music, and art (which have already been eliminated due to the referendum failing in April) will not be returned to the curriculum. The two biggest indicators of success for college bound students are an early introduction to algebra and participation in music/band.
  • More staff will be cut and class sizes will continue to increase at the elementary buildings. Right now, there are 30-35 students in one classroom. Currently, at one of of the schools (Simmons), some of the class sizes exceed 40 students!

If the referendum passes, class sizes will be reduced, the tradition of neighborhood schools will continue, and the budget will be balanced for at least seven years.

If this referendum fails, we are sending a message to the community (and potential residents) that we don't value our children, community, or property. Good schools always translate into good property values and strong communities. I know we choose our house because of how close we were to the school and that this was a good school district. What this will cost us in taxes is small compared to the benefits we will see in increased property values from our reputation of having good schools.

Please support the referendum on February 5th and VOTE YES!

One thought on “Save Our Schools – Vote Yes!

  1. Lisa:

    You really should do some reserearch before you make a post like this.

    This referendum isn't "all about the children", it's "all about the raises".

    I suggest you check our ridgeland 122s recent raises at http://www.thechampion.org. there's a section under "project accountability" that shows the actual raises that staff received while the children's programs were being devastated.

    You should be embarrassed that you allowed this to happen in your community.

    For this referendum, the Board and staff unions have steadfastly refused to show any commitment to restraint in increasing compensation and benefits to fair rates at about the cost of living, and their claim that this referendum will only balance the budget for about 7 years makes it clear they have no intention of fairly balancing the budget to protect the children.

    If you do your homework, you'll also find out that although staff salaries in the contract are limited to about $60K, hardly excessive, the district is still using "loopholes" to boost salaries to as much as $155K while the children are being short changed.

    Next year, there will be a new shool Board election, and I hope you can elect good people who really are there to be "all about the children" rather than the recent Boards that have mismanaged their way into the terrible situation in which you find yourself.

    I think you should also note that last year the district borrowed millions, and put the repayment on your tax bill without referendum, to "save the staff raises" while dumping the children's programs.

    I hope you're ticked off enough to confront your Board about this, because the root cause of this problem is in the Board room, not the classroom.

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