With the state required filing of student enrollment now in the books, we finally get a look at numbers for 2011.
To give you a very brief history of recent activity in district 204, let’s quickly recap the last 5 years.
In 2006, the district came to taxpayers claiming an urgent need for more school space and promoted a referendum to borrow $125 million for a 3rd high school to be built at the corner of 75th street and Route 59.
A similar tax referendum failed in 2005 due in part to taxpayers’ complaints of a lack of independent analysis that the school was actually needed and that the district did not disclose where the school would be built.
As you may know, after a disinformation campaign funded in large part by unions and vendors who did business with the district, the district pitted subdivision against subdivision and a referendum passed in 2006.
After a failed land grab and millions more wasted on attorneys and damages, the school actually cost taxpayers $150 million to build and now costs $3.5 million a year to operate.
In addition, residents sued the district claiming a bait and switch when the school was built nowhere near the promised location used to secure a YES vote in the referendum.
Now, let’s flash forward to the present and look at just a few of the startling numbers drawn from district 204’s enrollment reports:
- High school enrollment is 800 students lower than the district’s “model 1” which was used as “proof” that a 3rd high school was needed.
- Elementary school enrollment is down 463 students from last year.
- Elementary school enrollment has declined for 6 years in a row
The bottom line?
Our taxes rates are up, student enrollment is down, and more students are leaving the system than are entering.
The 3rd high school was never needed.