Building 5th High School Would Cure Inequities

Daily Herald (Arlington Heights, IL), March 7, 1998 | Go to article overview

Building 5th High School Would Cure Inequities


Byline: Carole Vasbinder

Editor's note: Carole Vasbinder, who wrote this opinion essay, works in Marquardt Elementary District 15, belongs to Citizens Against a Band-Aid Solution, which opposes the referendum, and has served on past District 87 committees.

It's the first day of school, do you know where you children are?

If your children attend high school and you live within the boundaries of districts 15 and 16, chances are you won't know the answer to that question.

Does that make you a bad parent? No! Your children are the only ones to be split among three high schools.

In 1985, District 87 sold the land in Glendale Heights that had previously been designated for the fifth high school, and along with it the only opportunity for the students in districts 15 and 16 to have their own community high school.

It was perceived to be an excellent solution at that time; does the successful passage of this present referendum fall into the same category? For districts 15 and 16 the answer is an unqualified "no."

About two-thirds of the student population of District 87 attend Glenbard East and North.

However, nearly 50 percent of the money from this referendum will go to Glenbard West and South, the lion's share of which is being earmarked for Glenbard West's gymnasium.

Several weeks ago the superintendent stated that school cafeterias were a "waste of educational dollars."

If this is true, and District 87 does not include physical education as part of students' grade point averages and issues PE waivers, wouldn't the renovations proposed on gymnasiums also be a "waste of educational dollars?"

During the 1990-91 school year a Glenbard enrollment advisory committee was appointed, composed of parents and community members from all the Glenbard feeder districts.

After a year of study, the No. 1 recommendation, by the board's own appointed committee, was to build a fifth high school in Glendale Heights, north of North Avenue, to accommodate 1,500 students.

The advantages as listed in the final report are as follows: Increases co-curricular opportunities districtwide; reduces transportation costs; provides community focal point; increases capacity where needed; and solves geographical imbalance of district.

Regretfully a referendum for that fifth high school failed. …

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