Non-Binding Questions on the March 17 Ballot

Registered voters in our school district will be asked to provide feedback on two issues on the March 17 Primary Ballot. The Board approved putting two "non-binding advisory" questions on the ballot. This means that voters will have the chance to provide feedback, but the outcome of the vote will not necessarily be required to make a decision based on the outcome of the vote. The Board of Education has always valued community input, and this is another opportunity to gather input on two important issues.

First, the Board is seeking feedback on whether or not they should take steps to waive out-of-district tuition for the children of teachers who work for Knoxville CUSD #202, but who live outside of the district boundaries. This is allowable under Illinois statute, and could be a way to recruit teachers in this era of teacher shortage. However, it would mean that the parents of children who qualify for that waiver do not pay tuition or taxes that support Knoxville CUSD #202. This is currently allowed in a few area districts, but the Board would like community input before making a decision.

The other question on the ballot will be whether or not the district should borrow $1.1 million to install artificial turf on the football field. That would allow sports programs, the marching band, P.E., youth teams, and other outside organizations (who would be able to rent the field) to use the field without worry for the wear and tear on the current natural grass surface. The result of borrowing Working Cash bonds would be likely be an increase of $0.22 on the tax rate for a period of 5 years. Using the average tax rate of $4.55 (from the last 10 years), that would result in an increase of $72.60 for the owner of a $100,000 home, or $145.20 for the owner of a $200,000 home. Terms of those bonds would still need to finalized if the Board wishes to pursue that project.

Ultimately, the Board will weigh the results of both questions and then make a decision regarding whether to move forward or not. Stakeholders who may not be able to vote on March 17 can share their thoughts by contacting Mr. Wilder by email at swilder@bluebullets.org, or can send their thoughts to the school district at 809 E. Main St., Knoxville, IL, 61448.
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