What will happen if the referenda fail?

On February 14, 2017, the members of the District 97 Board of Education reviewed and discussed the recommended operating reductions that will be made over a three-year period if the two referenda questions being placed on the ballot on April 4, 2017 do not pass. The district will need to make more than $14 million in cuts to staff, programming and overall operations over the course of those three years to achieve a fund balance of 15 percent (10 percent below the level that is required by board policy and recommended by the Illinois State Board of Education) and balance our budget. 

Below is the list of reductions sorted by school year. You can access a pdf file containing this information by clicking here. You can also access a chart that depicts the various referenda failure scenarios (i.e., operating question passes, but capital question fails; capital question passes, but operating questions fails; or both questions fail) by clicking hereAny items that include Reduction in Force (RIF) for certified or non-certified staff will require additional board action. RIF of teachers and certified administrators is scheduled to come before the board for approval on April 11, 2017, while RIF of non-certified support staff and non-certified administrators is scheduled to come before the board for approval on April 26, 2017. All staff members who are subject to RIF or release will receive notification in April.

Reductions in 2017-2018

  • Eliminate 12 teaching positions     
  • Eliminate 20 teaching assistant positions      
  • Eliminate 13 administrative assistant positions  
  • Eliminate eight administrative positions  
  • Eliminate three teaching positions and three teaching assistant positions in early childhood (dependent on the availability of state funding)  
  • Eliminate six custodial and maintenance positions 
  • Eliminate two additional non-instructional positions
  • Eliminate 10 media aides       
  • Discontinue the work being done on the organizational and data security audits
  • Discontinue the vision work being conducted with the assistance of the National Equity Project  
  • Indefinitely postpone the refresh of student and staff technology devices
  • Reduce annual software and computer maintenance 
  • Reduce supplies for kindergarten and teacher mentoring program      
  • Reduce professional development for staff      

Total Reductions: $4,328,929 

Reductions in 2018-2019

  • Eliminate all 15 positions in the general music program for the elementary schools 
  • Eliminate all nine positions in the elementary art program    
  • Eliminate all 11 positions in the elementary school foreign language program (FLES) 
  • Eliminate all 10 teacher librarian positions      
  • Eliminate all eight language arts specialist positions in the elementary schools   
  • Eliminate all three positions in the elementary band program 
  • Eliminate all four positions in the elementary instrumental music program
  • Eliminate the two positions in the elementary orchestra program
  • Eliminate all five student support specialist positions  
  • Eliminate two additional non-instructional positions    
  • Eliminate the two International Baccalaureate (IB) coordinator positions     
  • Eliminate the district’s academic summer programming     
  • Reduce the instructional materials available to support the implementation of Eureka Math 
  • Eliminate team leader stipends   
  • Reduce resources used in conjunction with the district’s Response to Intervention program  
  • Eliminate the Second Step program
  • Eliminate resources used in conjunction with the district’s professional learning communities
  • Eliminate efforts to maintain the status of IB schools at Brooks and Julian  
  • Indefinitely postpone textbook adoptions
  • Indefinitely postpone the refresh of student and staff technology devices 
  • Reduce professional development for staff      

Total Reductions: $7,437,821

Reductions in 2019-2020

  • Eliminate 20 positions in conjunction with a complete reorganization of the middle schools 
  • Eliminate three administrative positions 

Total Reductions: $2,134,474

Facilities Improvements and Maintenance

If the referenda do not pass, the district will need to indefinitely postpone or cancel a variety of capital improvement and overall maintenance projects that will help support the safety, core functionality, accessibility and sustainability of our school buildings for the next 20 years. These projects include:

  • Expansion at Holmes, Lincoln and Longfellow to support growing enrollments
  • Non-mandatory repairs (roof, electrical, etc.)
  • Upgrades that would improve accessibility for students, staff members, parents/guardians and community members with mobility limitations 
  • Modernization of classrooms to promote collaboration, hands-on learning and increased exposure to the key elements of STEM (Science, Technology, Engineering and Math)
  • Year-round temperature control management and maintenance

In addition, we may need to need to install trailers as temporary classrooms, pursue redistricting or consider switching to grade level centers to manage capacity issues.

Below is a chart that depicts the various referenda failure scenarios - i.e., operating question passes, but capital question fails; capital question passes, but operating questions fails; or both questions fail.