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District 113A Board President: 'We're Moving Forward in a Positive, Productive Way'

The following letter was sent to Patch this week by Lisa Wright, president of the Lemont-Bromberek Combined School District 113A Board of Education.

Lemont Patch is , which will be posted on the site weekly. If you're interesting in submitting a letter, e-mail Lemont Patch Editor Amanda Luevano at amanda@patch.com.

The following letter was written by Lisa Wright, president of the Lemont-Bromberek Combined School District 113A Board of Education.

Dear District 113A Community Members,

Last week I was encouraged to see so many voters come out to show such significant interest in one of our community’s greatest assets, our schools. I admit I am disappointed in the referendum result, but I fully respect the decision of the community. As a board, we are committed to moving forward in a positive and productive way.

We will seek creative solutions to educate students while living within our financial limits and resource constraints. We will build on progress already made toward improving financial stability and accountability. We have already eliminated deficit spending, established and maintained a balanced budget, and adopted new processes to increase accountability and transparency. Additional processes, policies, and practices will be implemented as we strive for continual improvement.

I look forward to working collaboratively with the newly elected board to make decisions about the future of the district and to plan effective ways to engage key stakeholders. We have already begun to build personal relationships prior to new members being sworn in. In doing so, we have affirmed that we share the common goals of restoring financial stability, providing a quality education to all district students, and re-building trust and confidence in the Board as a whole.  

The road ahead is not easy given the challenges that we face, but we are committed to ensuring that District 113A students will continue to receive a quality education from our dedicated and highly qualified staff. Board members are committed to the welfare of the district and to meeting the needs of all stakeholders — students, parents, staff and the broader community. We will continue to strive for improvements and demonstrate that we are good stewards of the significant financial resources that the community places in our hands.

Thank you for your interest and your support. Please join us at upcoming board meetings to listen to what is happening and to hear about opportunities to get involved in helping to shape the future of our district. For the board meeting schedule and other information relating to board business, visit us at www.sd113a.org.

Lisa E. Wright

President, Board of Education for District 113A

Patti T April 17, 2011 at 04:26 PM
Dianne - Why are we the lowest funded school district in 3 counties? The simple answer is because we have not passed a referendum in over 40 years to increase funding to district 113a. If you go to the isbe.net website and go to interactive report cards you can compare districts. There are 68 districts in Cook, DuPage, and Will counties that are classified as 'large elementary schools' (like district 113a). If you compare all 68 of those districts, we are tied for last place with Downers Grove district 58 for the LOWEST total school tax rate per $100. (this info is found under the 'district finance' tab, then under 'expenditure rates'). District 113a's rate is only 1.7. The definition provided on the site for 'Total School Tax Rate per $100' is the following: "Total school tax rate per $100 , an indication of district effort, is the district’s total tax rate for education (per $100) as shown on local property tax bills." Despite what your feelings are about unions, it does not change the fact that our district needs more funding. All of the other public schools in our category have union teachers as well, but they get more funding than district 113a.
Lynn Antonopoulos April 17, 2011 at 05:14 PM
Someone please correct me if I am wrong. Years ago, schools had the ability to levy tax increases against a community at will. There was a limit to what they could take in a year, but there was no limit to the number of consecutive years they could increase their revenue by mandating a tax increase. Now with the tax cap laws, schools no longer have the power to do that. If I understand District 113A's history correctly, the boards and administrations of our past decided to be very modest in the tax increases they levied, while many surrounding public school districts increased their taxes to the maximum allowable on a regular basis. They were, therefore, able to generate revenue much more quickly than District 113A, and they built reserves to protect them during times when the state was slow to pay. So, they may or may not have been deficit spending like 113A, but they had enough of a cash reserve to cover the gap when the state of IL was late in paying tax revenue to their districts. If all of this is true (again, asking for confirmation), then it might be the answer to "Why are we the lowest funded district?"
Lynn Antonopoulos April 17, 2011 at 05:16 PM
To clarify, our taxing rate is lower because we didn't grab for a larger percentage like the other districts before tax cap laws were created.
Louis Emery April 18, 2011 at 03:38 PM
Nowhere in these pages over the last few months did I read praise for taxpayers. Instead of the pledge of allegiance at the start of board meetings, there should be a thank you for the tax payers for providing what the district has, like people do at a thanksgiving dinners. There should also be a recitation of how much taxes went up over the years way past the rate of inflation.
Brian Thornber April 18, 2011 at 05:37 PM
That's a good point. In fact, maybe we should make it our motto. We could put it on signs over the door of every classroom. "Lemont. Where you are lucky we've decided to pay your salary". We could put the signs up in firehouses and police cruisers as well. Just think of the influx of AWESOME public workers that would bring in! We'd have to fight them off with a stick.

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