Too many surpluses
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Updated: January 14, 2013 2:36PM
It is a rare experience to see a school district show a surplus and cash reserves that exceed state guidelines.
The Board of Education should be applauded for surpluses. However, it is also possible that these surpluses are caused more by excessive taxation than fiscal restraint. Facts:
• From 2001 to 2011, the School Board Budget has increased from $8.3 million to $16.1 million.
• That is more than $17,800 per student compared with $7,400 in 2001.
• The average Lake Bluff property owner paid about $750 in tax in the 2011 tax year just for the above surplus, which was for unspecified purposes in the budget.
• While enrollment dropped by 222 students since 2001, total teacher and staff for the
district has been reduced by just one person.
• In terms of space occupancy, 222 fewer students should translate to eleven fewer
classrooms. Instead, the board proposes to build additional space for $2 million!
• It was stated in the board meeting of March 20 that the now proposed $2 million for current space addition was “Phase 2” of the 2007 referendum.
• Voters did not approve such a “Phase 2” in the referendum, that passed by only 20 votes.
Accordingly, the board has taken upon itself the authority to fund “Phase 2” with property taxes significantly in excess of operational requirements.
Is it not obvious to the board that we taxpayers are being overburdened?
Lake Bluff tax payers deserve better.