Schools Bemoan New Election Rules Spring Elections Take Away Chance for Referendums
Silvestri, Scott, Daily Herald (Arlington Heights, IL)
Byline: Scott Silvestri Daily Herald Staff Writer
Mention the new statewide election format to school administrators and you're likely to hear a grumble.
Many superintendents and school officials are unhappy about the elimination of fall school board elections because they say the change offers fewer opportunities to pursue property tax increase referendums.
Cash-strapped districts hampered by the state tax cap in booming areas of Lake County are tied now more than ever to elections to fund construction projects or to simply balance budgets.
State legislators tout the move to roll school board elections into spring ballots as a way to save taxpayers money and at the same time boost voter turnout.
But school officials see it differently.
"It has the potential of doing harm," Grayslake Community High School District Superintendent Ray Novak said. "I can see it from both sides, but limiting the number of times we can go to voters (with a referendum) could have severe consequences."
Novak's mushrooming district just won approval from voters to issue $20 million in bonds for a high school expansion and a land purchase for a new campus. …