Aug 9, 2018
- Staff Directory
School District 21 prides itself on its Professional Learning Community and its rich tradition of professional collaboration, high levels of professional development, and family-like atmosphere. If you see the opportunity to work with colleagues in making a difference in the lives of students and families in a truly diverse setting, School District 21 seeks your application.
On Thursday, August 9, the Community Consolidated School District 21 Board of Education unanimously approved the following building bond referendum question to be placed on the November 6 general election ballot:
Shall the Board of Education of Wheeling Community Consolidated School District Number 21, Cook County, Illinois, alter, repair, renovate and equip school buildings and improve the sites thereof, including to provide for secure entrances and other security systems, air conditioning, renovation of instructional spaces to enhance learning and accommodate full day kindergarten, energy efficiency, infrastructure and other capital improvements, and issue bonds of said School District to the amount of $69,000,000 for the purpose of paying the costs thereof?
An investment of $69 million through a voter-approved bond issue will be used for enhanced building security including secure school entrances and other security systems, installation of systems to provide air conditioning districtwide, preparation of physical spaces for full-day kindergarten, improvements to the learning spaces for all students and upgrades to facilities and critical mechanical systems to ensure efficient operation of school buildings.
The community investment will have an estimated annual tax impact of $49 per year on a home valued at $200,000, less than five dollars a month.
“Our greatest responsibility is the safety, security, and well being of our students. We must provide a learning environment in which our students will learn without worry of who might be able to gain entry to their schools or try to focus in a sweltering classroom. The Board of Education has a responsibility to ensure all of our buildings are places that meet the needs of our students and communities now and for decades to come.”
Dr. Michael Connolly, Superintendent of Schools
In 2017, the CCSD21 Board of Education and administration launched a community engagement process to gather feedback on priorities for the future. Through surveys, focus groups, and community conversations, the Design21 action plan was created. The Design21 community engagement process provides critical information in several areas to ensure the best educational environment for students. Creating “future-ready facilities” while continuing to maintain a balanced budget is part of this initiative. For more information on the Design21 Action Plan please visit www.ccsd21.org
CCSD21 last asked District 21 property owners for an operating tax increase in 2003 and made a commitment to not place another referendum question on the ballot for five to seven years. Since that time, the Great Recession of 2008 negatively impacted property values, ushered in several years of budget uncertainty as a result of the State of Illinois’ financial crisis, all while expenses increased. Cost-saving measures were implemented in 2016 through 2018 resulting in over $19 million in savings for CCSD21. But even with this effort, District 21 simply does not have the means to provide the $69 million needed to provide students with school buildings which are more secure, healthier, and more efficient. Community feedback collected from phone and online surveys reported that 59% of voters support the $69 million plan and so fifteen years after the last referendum, the CCSD21 Board of Education will be placing a building bond referendum question on the November ballot.
“The Board of Education, as stewards of the community and in performing our responsibility of acting in trust for the best interests of the community, we believe that this bond referendum is vital to making sure our students are being provided the best preparation for their success while similarly keeping the best interest of our community in mind. Public education is in an increasingly competitive environment and we owe it to our entire community to provide the finest environment for our children to learn and for our children and staff members to do so in as safe and secure environment as possible and using an environment that incorporates across the board best practices so that learning can be accomplished. This referendum will allow us to accomplish this task, and in doing so, will also support our community’s homeowners rightly concerned with the protection of their investment.”
Mr. Phil Pritzker, President of the Board of Education