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Both District 67 Referendums Fail

The facilities referendum lost by only 21 votes; results came in after midnight.

Voters rejected both of Golf School District 67's referendum requests Tuesday, and parents and supporters who had gathered to watch election returns said they'll have to try again.

One of the questions on the ballot asked voters to approve funding facilities (buildings and grounds) and the other question asked for money for operations (staffing, etc.). 

For a time, from about 11 p.m. until midnight, it looked like the facilities referendum might pass. It had only a seven-vote deficit, with one more precinct left to come in.

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John Frake, one of the referendum supporters who gathered at Giordano's to watch returns come in, said at that point he thought it could still win.

When that precinct finally reported results after midnight, they defeated the referendum by 21 votes. The tally was 639 against, 618 in favor. 

The operations referendum lost by a wider margin, 662 to 553.

"I'm sure this (a referendum) will happen again. It's too important to let go of," said Kristina Otte, one of the supporters. "We all have kids in school. They all need to be in a safe, protective environment and have programs that will prepare them for high school."

Shawn Phillips, another parent and supporter, noted the results showed a solid base of voters in favor. 

"I think we're going to have to redouble our efforts," he said.

Parent Chris Hoffman credited Otte and Frake for their efforts.

"They worked tirelessly on this," she said. "They wanted to make sure everyone knew what the issues were."

Facilities referendum

If it had passed, the facilities referendum would have raised $9.7 million for the school district to make repairs to its two buildings, including heating, cooling and plumbing repairs. It would also have permitted reconfiguration of the building entrances to create better security and build a gym/multi-purpose room at Hynes Elementary School. 

For the owner of a home in the Morton Grove portion of District 67, the facilities referendum would annually have raised property taxes $31 per $1,000 of taxes paid. 

For the owner of a home in the Niles portion of the district, the facilities referendum would annually have raised property taxes $34 per $1,000 of taxes paid. 

Operations referendum

If it had passed, the operations referendum would have raised $1.1 million for the school district, according to its website. The district was asking for the money to maintain its current level of staffing, according to its website.

It would have cost homeowners in the Morton Grove portion of District 67 $47 per $1,000 of property taxes paid, and it would have cost homeowners in the Niles portion of District 67 $51 per $1,000 of property taxes paid. 

Cuts are expected

The district's website outlines cuts it expected to make if both referendums failed. They include a reduction in personnel, cuts to programs, a reduction in bus service and other cost-cutting moves.

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Christine April 20, 2012 at 01:36 AM
If anyone is interested in exploring other options for pre-school or kindergarten, St. John Brebeuf School in Niles has full day pre-school and kindergarten. They also have before care and after care if needed. Class sizes are small and the teachers are great. They're having a Fun Fair tomorrow (Friday, April 20th from 6-9 PM). It would be a great opportunity to have fun with your kids. Ask for a tour of the school if you're interested in checking it out. Mention that you read this post on the Patch and get your choice of a free snow cone or bag of popcorn. The school is located at 8301 N. Harlem Avenue (Near Harlem & Main St. in Niles)
Z April 28, 2012 at 10:08 PM
As a new homeowner in Morton Grove, I would absolutely support adding nearly $1200 to my annual property taxes, if there were some real checks and balances on the money. (Based upon this article and the numbers provided that is what my increase would be) Speaking very generically and ignorantly, how a facility can deteriorate to a point that students are allegedly wearing jackets and there are major leaks, and allow for increased pay for teachers/staff that are not based on student performance, is disappointing and backwards. I am a product of Hynes, Golf and Niles North. The mere fact that my wife and I are seriously considering private schooling is sad to me, considering I had great experiences at these schools. However, I am not going to place my child and future children in schools that make themselves appear to be in dire straits and apparently make piss poor decisions. Perhaps I need to be more involved.
Christine April 28, 2012 at 11:07 PM
Dear Z, if you are considering private schooling, please consider St John Brebeuf School in Niles. They are having an Open House on Sunday, May 6th from 10 am - 2pm. I think you'll be surprised at all they have to offer. It is well worth the money.
KARMA November 07, 2012 at 08:59 PM
As a parent who al 3 kids went to 67 I have seen many good teachers and many bad teachers who left their impact on my children both postive but sadly more negative. As a past board member, I saw this coming, warn the board about over spending on salaries and always stressed to save the money for the school , kids, and not the teachers' wallets and administrations' wallets. As an educator I teach 15 min away from Morton Grove and MY district does not have these ridiculous salaries, but the lowest, yet we meet AYP every year!! WE have over crowded classes and our test scores are HIGH too So better paid teachers do not EQUAL better education, it EQUALS wasteful spending and buildings now falling apart. Maybe these CARING LOVING teachers should have salaries cuts to give back to the school, building repairs and the children if they truly went into education for the love of teaching kids and not making SIX FIGURE SALARIES....I KNOW I DID!!!!
Linda Eick March 04, 2013 at 11:52 PM
First, let me state that everyone who is bashing the teachers and their salaries, to please think for a moment. If any of us were offered raises and great benefits, would we really tell our employers "No thank you. The company has been far too generous and in fact, I would love to give some back if at all possible!" Somehow I think we would all answer no to that. Next, everyone who has commented on this site has only been able to do so because of teachers! They are the reason that we can read and write. Everyone who has a job only has it due to teachers. Who do you think taught all the classes that made us what we are today! We could actually survive in this country without a lot of the professions and jobs that you all work, but without teachers we would just be bumbling idiots! To every single person commenting on this board, I bet there are plenty of people who think that you are overpaid, have too good of benefits and should even be fired! So who exactly do you think deserves the salaries of teachers? Yourself?

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