The District 88 School Board held a discussion on the upcoming district tax levy referendum last night with its Referendum Support Team, during the board's monthly study session.
We are hopeful that the district will have a better chance of passing its referendum this year, after last year's failure. There are a couple of reasons for that hope.
First, this year's referendum will be part of the general election that will include the presidential race. That will certainly draw large numbers of voters to the polls. We think a large turnout will provide a more positive result. Last year the referendum was a stand-alone issue, and in those elections the more motivated voters tend to show up at the polls, and the anti-referendum voters are certainly motivated.
Second, the district has set a reasonable levy amout this year. We're not saying last year's amount was unreasonable, but it was more than the majority of voters were willing to bear. This year the amount of extra levy was set at an amount that will forestall many, but not all of future cuts.
And that brings us to the biggest reason there is hope for passage this year. School has started, and we are seeing the impact of the cuts in larger class sizes. This situation will only get worse if the district cannot count on revenue from the tax levy.
We think there is a growing concern about the state of education in the district, and that will translate into more support for the levy refrendum.