Every registered voter in our community will be asked a very important question on April 2, 2019 that will impact the programs and services for Lisle District 202 students. Please take a moment to learn the about important information below.
How did the Referendum get on the ballot?
On August 31, 2017, Governor Bruce Rauner signed Senate Bill 1947, enacting a new evidence-based school funding formula into law. The Evidence Based Funding for Student Success Act prioritizes distribution of new funding to the students with the most need and the most poorly funded school districts.
The Evidence Based Funding formula calculates what minimum or “adequate” resources a school needs in order to function and assesses how far school districts are from reaching that minimum amount. The State intends to designate new dollars for education to school districts below the 90% adequacy level.
One aspect of the new law allows voters to place a binding question on the ballot of school districts with an “adequacy level” of more than 110% to decrease property taxes for educational purposes. It is important to note that in Illinois, school districts range from a low of 45% of adequacy to a high of 283% of adequacy with approximately half of school districts in DuPage County exceeding the 110% adequacy level. District 202 has an adequacy level of 149% according to the Evidence Based Funding Model.
A group of residents has filed a petition asking that a Referendum Question be placed on the April 2, 2019 ballot that would have the effect of decreasing property taxes for educational purposes.
What is the Referendum Question on the ballot?
Shall the amount extended for educational purposes by Lisle Community Unit School District be reduced from $19,062,127.15 to $17,155,915.00 for the 2018 levy year, but in no event lower than the amount required to maintain an adequacy target of 110%?
What will be the impact on Lisle 202 students if the referendum passes?
Based on information received from the Office of the DuPage County State’s Attorney’s on February 12, 2019, the Referendum Question on the April 2nd ballot will ask the voters to approve an approximate $1,200,000 reduction in property taxes that are used to provide programs and services to the 1,400 students in District 202. As a result of this loss of funding, the School District will need to make decisions as to how to go forward without this revenue. In order to align with the minimums identified in the Evidence Based Funding Model, the District anticipates making changes such as:
- Increase in class sizes
- Reduction in administrative positions
- Reduction in teacher educator positions
- Reduction in support personnel positions
- Reduction in the number of:
- Honors courses
- AP courses
- World language courses
- Music & Arts courses
- Elimination of 10% of Athletic and Extra-Curricular Activities
- Reduction of 10% of Instructional Materials Budget
How were the cuts to programs and services determined?
The reductions are based on the Evidence Based Funding Model.
The reductions outlined in the proposed list are based on the minimums identified by the Evidence Based Funding Model.
This Illinois law sets levels of "adequacy" or minimums, that all schools should have to be able to function.
For example, the model states that for a school the size of Lisle Junior High School (300 students), there should be a minimum of only four (4) core teachers per grade level, and two (2) specialist teachers for the school. Take a look at how it breaks down.
The minimum includes:
- Four (4) positions for each grade (a Math, English, Science, and Social Studies teacher) plus two (2) physical education teachers
The minimum does not require current programs we offer such as (based on 300 students):
- Band, Choir, or Art
- Career / Technology Education
- World Languages
- Other electives
What are the minimums set by the Evidence Based Funding Model?
A FEW KEY PIECES OF INFORMATION:
- Lisle 202 is a PreKindergarten through Twelfth Grade school district with approximately 1,400 students. Each grade level has about 100 students.
- Beyond the core classes of Reading, Math, Science and Social Studies, Lisle 202 offers electives such as Advanced Placement, Honors, World Language, Engineering, Fine Arts (Band, Choir, Art), Career / Technology Education, and more.
- Lisle 202 offers a wide variety of experiences to prepare students for college, career, and the future.
HERE'S A LOOK AT SOME OF THE "ADEQUACY" LEVELS IDENTIFIED IN THE EVIDENCE BASED FUNDING MODEL.
- The Model targets 25 students per class in Grades 3-12.
- Lisle 202 classes are often below 25. If we had classes of 25 then there would be four classes per grade level at any given time. That is enough for only core subjects, no electives.
Special Education Staff
- The Model does not take into account the actual number of students with special needs nor does it take into consideration the specific needs of each child. The Model simply “estimates” the number of Special Education Teachers necessary based on the number of “Regular” Education students.
- Lisle 202 has 57 employees whose full-time job is to support students with special needs. This is significantly more than the Model’s estimated need of only 21 special education teachers. District 202 meets each student’s needs through individualized services and attention at every grade level.
- The Model identifies 14 as the adequate number of staff for specialist teachers.
- Lisle 202 has more specialist teachers than the minimum. Our students have access to world language, engineering, graphic arts, consumer sciences, technology, band, choir, just to name a few. Specialist teachers teach all these courses.
- The model targets the minimum number of support services staff as 42.
- Lisle 202 has more support services staff than the minimum. The support service staff include Math and English Interventionists (helping students individually or in small groups), office staff, administration, health services (nurses), guidance counselors, librarians, curriculum developers, instructional coaches, and technology services.
- In Lisle 202, the support services personnel are integral in ensuring students are fully supported and their needs are met beyond the classroom.
Click here to see Lisle 202 staffing levels compared to the Evidence Based Funding Model after anticipated service reductions due to the referendum.
What is the impact on homeowners?
The Education Services Reduction Referendum will reduce the School District's budget by approximately $1.2 million permanently.
Here's how the numbers break down for Lisle homeowners.
Is the Education Services Referendum reduction permanent?
Yes. The ballot question language references the year 2018, however, language in the law mandates that if a referendum of this type passes, the application to a school district's finances is a PERMANENT reduction in the Educational Fund and will only increase by the annual Consumer Price Index (typically about one to two percent).
Thus, if the referendum passes, the Educational Fund levy would be reduced from current levels to a new "base" level. The following year and each year after, rather than returning to the pre-referendum level, the Educational Fund would remain at the new "base" level and only increase by the Consumer Price Index thereafter.
I don't have children in the District, why should I be concerned about this referendum?
Research shows that property values are tied to the strength of the community’s school district. Lisle 202 is committed to effectively preparing students for college and careers. The knowledge and skills students learn today could help fuel the Lisle community’s economy tomorrow. In Lisle District 202, students have the opportunity to explore different career paths and interests as early as junior high school. These opportunities are one component of building the foundation for the next generation.
Early Voting Begins on February 21st
Location: Election Commission
DuPage County Building
421 N. County Farm Rd, Wheaton