Cary Grade School $17 Million Referendum Support Materials

Here’s what the school administrators gave the District 26 school board members before they voted 4-3 to ask for $17 million in Working Cash bonds. Remember this contains no outside analysis. I made my general comments on my dislike of Working Cash arrangements in this article. I welcome and will publish any comments or analysis anyone wishes to make. (The first one took less than an hour to appear at the bottom of this article.)

Voting to put this tax increase on the ballot were board members

  • Board President Craig Loew
  • Stephen Bush
  • Julie Jette
  • Dave Ruelle

Opposed were

* Chris Jenner
* Randy Lawrence
* Julie Lehman

District 26’s explanatory material, which was not posted on its web site prior to the board meeting, follows:

To: Board of Education
From: Brian Coleman, Superintendent
Date: January 20, 2009

Re: Recommendation for Issuing Working Cash Bonds

Our goal in District 26 is to provide a safe and caring educational environment for students with high expectations for learning while striving to remain within the limits of available recourses.

Due to the collaborative work of parents, teachers, administration, and the Board of Education, a high majority of our students continue to meet and exceed District and State expectations for achievement.

District 26 has always made the learning needs of our students the top priority. Through our focus on power standards and the collection of achievement data, we are now, more than ever, able to focus and fine tune our curriculum and instruction to meet the learning needs of each child.

The District maintains safe and secure facilities for students to learn and interact. We have worked to extend the life of many of our facilities so that funding could be used to provide educational services and materials to students. Some buildings are now in need of major improvements in order to maintain the safe and secure environment needed.

The Board and administration have also worked to bring the needs of our programs into alignment with the resources available. The Board adopted a deficit reduction plan to work toward aligning expenditures with revenue in an effort to close the deficit gap. The District has completed an initial analysis in a zero-based budget process to determine the essential activity and funding necessary to sustain program levels and to determine potential savings in the delivery of these programs.

The District has worked to control its expenditures. The revenue available to District 26 for funding educational programs often falls short of what is needed. Due to several factors, including the tax cap and funding shortages of mandated programs from the state, District 26’s revenue has not kept pace with the expenses required to educate its students.

The revenue recommendation which was presented by the administration at the January 20, 2009 Board of Education Meeting, provides the best solution for both the District and the Community. If approved, the District Administration is committed to this plan and to ensuring its effective execution.

We have developed a plan that would provide the District with ongoing funding to support the District’s educational programs and needed facility improvements while having the least amount of impact to the taxpayer.

(See attached Power Point presentation and recommendation)

Cary Consolidated School District 26
Excellence in Education 2009 to 2013

Strategic Initiatives

• Upgrade classroom & District technology to improve curriculum delivery and student achievement.
• Provide a safe learning environment through facility and grounds capital improvements.
• Restructure District finances to move capital expenditures from the operational funds to the Capital fund and establish a sufficient fund reserve to minimize short term borrowing.

Classroom & District Technology

• Align classroom technology capabilities with new curriculums to effectively deliver the curriculums to students.
• Staff professional development to use new technology.
• Update District infrastructure in school buildings and administration office.
• Replace outdated equipment and software.

Faculty & Grounds Capital Improvement Improvements

• Replace roofs at Three Oaks and Deerpath Schools.
• Capital projects/ life safety projects including:

parking lot repair or replacement, sidewalk repair or replacement, exterior maintenance of buildings, and building HVAC system updates and replacements.

• Replacement of older busses.
• Early childhood/Preschool center Summary of Outstanding Bond Issues

Summary of Outstanding Bonds Issues

(Click to enlarge any chart or table.)

Restructure District Finances

• Remove capital expenditures from operational funds.
• Provide District a sufficient level of funds on
hand to eliminate/reduce short term borrowing.
Projected savings, using an estimated annual
cost of $130k, of $420k through 2013.
• Utilize savings to provide services/materials to
students rather than paying interest to banks.

Projected Fund Balance w/out Referendum

With $10 Million Capital Bonds

With $17 Million Bond Issue


With $17 Million Bond Issue

• Working Cash Bond for $17 Million be placed
on the April 7,2009 ballot

• If approved
– $10 for capital improvements.
– $7 Million to remain in Working Cash Fund.

• All uses of funds require Board of Education

Possible Impact to Homeowners

0.05 rate structure increase costs an additional $2.4 million in Interest Costs.

Based on a $300,000 house, the 0.05 increase would cost $123 more than the 0.09 for the life of the issue.

Charge to Homeowner

Option 1 – $17 Million – $.05 Tax Rate Increase

McHenry and Lakes Counties, Illinois
Estimated Total Debt Service/Tax Rate
Financing Plan for Potential Referendum

(Remember, these images can be enlarged a lot by clicking on them.)

Option II – $17 Million – $.09 Tax Rate Increase

McHenry and Lakes Counties, Illinois
Estimated Total Debt Service/Tax Rate
Financing Plan for Potential Referendum

Ballot Question

Shall the Board of Education of Cary Community Consolidated School District Number 26, McHenry and Lake Counties, Illinois, be authorized to issue $17,000,000 bonds for a working cash fund as provided for by Article 20 of the School Code?


Cary Grade School $17 Million Referendum Support Materials — 3 Comments

  1. The $7 million portion is basically borrowing long term for operating expenses. The question is that sustainable? When will the school get their income to match their expenses?

  2. I have lived in Cary since 1994 and stayed here due to the reputation of the schools. Over the past year, I have seen an increase in student to teacher ratios, as class sizes are getting bigger, and schools are cutting back on teachers. Where do we put our money? I understand the importance of quality buildings and technology, but pay these taxes for a quality education.

  3. Here’s the deal. No one wants to pay more taxes, but in this case…$150.00 per YEAR? That amount to a few less Starbucks, while making things much better for our kids and teachers. It is something that we have to do whether we like it or not. Please support this referendum.

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