Referendum Process Update
March 3, 2017
Dear District 65 Community,
As you are likely aware, a $14.5 million operating referendum for District 65 is on the ballot at the April 4, 2017 election. For more than two years, the school board and administration have thoughtfully discussed the options for addressing pending deficits, including a referendum. In addition to finance committee and board meetings, a series of information sessions have been held and more will be offered throughout our community in the coming weeks. Additionally, a number of resources have been distributed and are currently online at district65.net/referendum.
Nearly $11 million in reductions have already been made over the past seven years despite increased student enrollment (over 1,500 students in ten years). However, if the referendum is not successful, $8.8 million in further reductions will need to be made in the next two years alone.
Any potential reduction is extremely painful to make and these decisions are not easy ones. We fully recognize the impact that reductions of this magnitude would have on our students, staff, schools, and community. It is important that we are prepared in the event the referendum does not pass and that potential reductions have been considered carefully. Next steps include:
If the community approves the referendum, the Board will take action to reinstate the vast majority of staff and programs that it voted to reduce or eliminate if the referendum failed. In an effort to create efficiencies within the system and to continue to reduce costs, some reductions will be made regardless of the outcome of the referendum. These reductions will not directly impact our classrooms or schools.
- March 13 - Finance Committee reviews contingency plans and proposed reductions (7pm at JEH)
- March 20 - Public Hearing / School Board votes on proposed reductions (7pm at JEH)
- April 4 - Consolidated General Election (referendum vote)
We have considerable momentum across our schools, especially on our efforts to improve outcomes for all children and to continue our work on early literacy, social and emotional learning, and maintaining welcoming learning environments for all children. We look forward to continuing this work and thank you for your continued partnership in supporting our schools and students.