By Dee Longfellow

For The Elmhurst Independent

 

Elmhurst’s eye was on the District 205 Referendum, which had only been placed on the ballot about four to six weeks prior to the Election. In the end, more than 62% of Elmhurst voters chose to support a property tax increase to provide $1.68.5 million to rebuild, renovate and redesign several schools within District 205, according to the plan set forth by school officials.

Following the positive outcome of the Election, which resulted in 12,731* yes votes to 7,734* no votes, Dr. David Moyer, superintendent of District 205 Schools issued the following letter:

“On November 6, the community approved a $168.5M referendum to build two new schools, improve safety and security across the District, provide the space for all-day kindergarten, add future ready learning spaces at all school sites, and meet many other existing maintenance and infrastructure needs at all of its campuses.

  • Thank you for valuing education.
  • Thank you for the commitment you have demonstrated for current and future generations of learners.
  • Thank you for allowing our students and employees to learn together in safe environments.
  • Thank you for ensuring that our amazing education professionals are able to do the work to support our vision of all students graduating college, career and life ready.
  • Thank you for doing your part to help D205 secure a place as a National Leader in Future Ready Learning.

“Election Day was the culmination of years of tireless work by hundreds of people, beginning with Focus 205, which started in the spring of 2015. Over the past four years, there have been large group meetings, focus group meetings, meetings at every school site, community forums, coffees, special engagements, two quantitative phone surveys, an online interactive survey, an all-day kindergarten study, and an educational alignment study. All of this helped inform the administration and Board as to the District’s needs and community priorities and likewise provided information to help the community make an informed decision.

“There are too many people to thank, and yet I cannot bring this to a close without extending my deepest gratitude to some amazing individuals. Board President Kara Caforio co-chaired the Focus 205 Facilitating Team with John Morrissey. The referendum’s passage simply would not have happened without her undying commitment and support. Her leadership guided the D205 Board of Education, which had the courage to take the question to the community. The BOE’s commitment to study, at length, D205’s facilities needs, both current and future, was a massive undertaking that will ensure the legacy of our great schools for generations to come.

“A special thanks goes to former board member Emily Bastedo, who chaired the Ballot Initiative Committee. She led the “Yes” campaign with an unparalleled vision, skill, drive, and a passion for education. My gratitude extends even further to the BIC team of volunteers, who put their lives aside for three months for this valuable work. You are absolutely amazing!

“The business community also rallied to support D205. Two people, Elmhurst Chamber of Commerce and Industry president & CEO John R. Quigley, and Chairman of the Board Ken Bartels, were instrumental to the cause and encouraged their constituency to formally endorse the referendum. Thank you!

“Finally, the endorsements and recommendations from parents, administrators and staff, principals, residents, retired educators, area professionals and advisors, PTA groups, the Elmhurst Teachers’ Council, the D205 Foundation and so many others gave the Master Facility Plan validity.

“I look forward to working with the community in the weeks and months to come to bring the Master Facility Plan to reality for our students, who now have a brighter future today, than they did yesterday.”

In addition to Dr. Moyer, School Board president Kara Caforio also weighed in on the Election results.

“The Board of Education is grateful for the outpouring of support by our community for our schools,” Caforio said. “The results of the vote exhibit our community’s continued commitment to providing excellent education for both current students and generations of students to come. We look forward to working with the community as the Master Facility Plan now becomes a reality for our students.”

[* At press time, results were still unofficial.]

 

 

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