D200 Defended

A new commenter identifying as “Open Your Eyes” posted the following comment under my pitch for people to run for Precinct Committeeman entitled, “Fed Up with High Taxes?

The problem with this blog is that anyone can post anything without proving what they post.

I[t] severely hampers the positives that come from this blog!!!  [The program used requires first time commenters have to be approved.  After that, comments go up automatically.]

Let us set some things straight regarding D200 and the Board.

Woodstock North High School

Woodstock North High School

1) Two High Schools that are both running at greater than 50% of capacity.

If you combine the two the result would be one overcrowded school.

This is not conducive to effective education.

2) D200 has not “always taxed to the max” as asserted here.

There have been tax increases yes, yet those increases have been in the range of cost increases that have been in line with the economy.

What is missed here is the process by which the levies are calculated.

The county assessor ESTIMATES the EAV in the early fall.

The taxing districts must budget on that estimate.

The State then finalizes the EAV in the following spring.

This means that if the EAV goes down in that period, your taxes will go up, even if the levy was flat for that year.

It is the nature of how Illinois does their taxation. Deal with it or get the State to change.

3) D200 gives the unions anything they want???

D200 currently is negotiating their contracts with the unions, no information has been released regarding those negotiations.

What facts support this statement?

If you look at the last contract term, D200 was actually less than surrounding Districts in comparison.

4) Clay Street School is the location of the special education programs for D200 for those students that cannot be in the general student population on a full time basis.

Some of those students are special needs, some are students that need to be in focused programs within a more structured environment. Like it or dislike it, it doesn’t matter.

The law mandates that all youth will be educated.

5) The YouTube video cited is completely out of context.

The Board had to deal with an issue created by a potential donation.

They made certain that every single member of the community was given the opportunity to speak on the issue.

This was done across three or four meetings.

They did make certain that individuals who had not had the time to speak in previous meetings were given the time to speak first.

Those that had prior opportunity were asked to wait and would be given time to speak if the time allotment allowed.

In two cases the board went beyond the time allowed but had to move on due to prior commitments.

They then scheduled further meetings to give the public the chance to speak.

Joe Tirio did indicate that he had filed an Open Meetings Act violation with the Attorney General.

Nothing further has been indicated on the outcome of that filing.

6) “Free” Clinic- where did that come from?

The clinic was built with money from grants.

The service provider partner is responsible for the cost of operations.

It is a public service being provided only as far as it is located in ta school.

This has been successful in numerous other communities in Illinois.

Regarding the liability- please note the detail by which the Board focused on the security matters of the patient records indicated in the meeting minutes of July when they approved the program.

The following are provided for clarification:



Yes, we should stop the madness.

Stop the madness of non-informed postings and misinformation in the public!!!


D200 Defended — 5 Comments

  1. We start with the acknowledgement that 5% property tax rates (which are a function of overspending and over-borrowing by Woodstock D200) are untenable, and are destroying at least half of Woodstock households’ (median income and lower) ability to save for college for their children.

    Solutions to this irrational and destructive overspending have been suggested. Some have resulted, I guess, in the comments above.

    To address those comments:

    1. Those are not the only 2 choices (continuing to over borrow and overspend and drain household budgets of college savings to pay property taxes instead, OR, “overcrowded school”.

    Two shifts of classes can be run for overlap, as well as satellite classes. Classes are held at MCC already for some students.

    My hypothesis: The money wasted by running two large schools– spending full ops and maintenance budget–for half capacity is more destructive to more people than it is helpful to students to be in underutilized space.

    How can we prove whether my hypothesis is more true (or less false) than the assertion above:

    “This is not conducive to effective education” ?

    We might compare “College Readiness” scores from 2006 (before new HS was built) to todays’ stats.

    2. I do not know the genesis of ‘tax to the max’, but I did compile these stats from ISBE-posted financials:

    (refuting the assertions that “There have been tax increases yes, yet those increases have been in the range of cost increases that have been in line with the economy”.

    If D200 levy had risen at the rate demanded by PTELL (the lesser of inflation rate or 5%), here would have been the levy:

    2007: $47.9 million
    2008: $47.9 million
    2009: $49.2 million
    2010:$50 million
    2011:$51.5 million
    2012:$52.3 million
    2013:$53.1 million
    2014: $53.6 million

    But instead, here was what D200 levied:

    2007: $49.8 million
    2008: $52.9 million
    2009: $53.5 million
    2010: $54.5 million
    2011:$55.7 million
    2012:$58.2 million
    2013:$58.7 million
    2014:$59.1 million

    YES all using legal PTELL loopholes (you can drive school buses through PTELL loopholes), but proving that any legislation meant to restrain school borrowing and spending in order to protect taxpayers is a farce.

    As to the EAV estimates, that is a non sequitur.

    Nobody is interested in D200 EAV and rate projections, they are historically wrong.

    But much of the reason the EAV keeps plummeting (causing rates to skyrocket) is that the property tax rate of 5% is capitalized into home values.

    The social service provision value of a decent/mediocre school (and mediocre city services) is not valued at 5% of total home value anywhere in America.

    You can get nice schools, water, sewer, police, parks, etcetera pretty much anywhere for below 2% of total home value.

    These are scholarly studies:

    The Effects of Property Taxes and Local Public Spending on

    Property Values: An Empirical Study of Tax Capitalization and the Tiebout Hypothesis Author(s): Wallace E. Oates

    Source: The Journal of Political Economy, Yol.77, No. 6 (Nov. – Dec., 1969), pp. 957-971

    Published by: The University of Chicago Press Stable URL: http://wi,vw.jstor.org/stab8le3/712 09 Accessed: 12/07 /2OlO ll:25 page 959



    by Ryan M. Gallagher: Department of Economics, Northeastern Illinois University, Chicago, IL, USA r-gallagher1@neiu.edu Haydar Kurban Department of Economics, Howard University, Washington, DC, USA hkurban@howard.edu and Joseph J. Persky: Department of Economics, University of Illinois Chicago, Chicago, IL, USA jpersky@uic.edu CES 13-04 March, 2013
    page 12

  2. 3. Unions. I Couldn’t say how that is handled, but D200 spends 140% of Huntley’s OEPP (that is, 40% more ‘operating expense per pupil’ than Huntley Unit District schools).
    Since much of a school budget is salary and benefits payments, it isn’t an unreasonable assumption that the Board is very generous to any and all demands for salary and benefits.

    4. This is absurd statement that 70 students (very recently up from 40 enrollment for years) must be at Clay Street Academy–a building with enrollment capacity of 300– and nowhere else, by law.

    There are other buildings with low enrollment-to-capacity ratios. And possibly some or all of those 70 students are tuition students from other districts?
    There is a suggestion to spend $1.5 million at least on Clay building this year, and the building couldn’t fetch that much if sold.

    It would even be cheaper for Woodstock taxpayers to rent fresh new space from somewhere for dedicated classrooms for these students than to keep a very old building up to code, and heated and fully operating, in order to serve 25% capacity.

  3. 5.The school board meetings contesting the proposed crumb rubber turf field, which would have cost D200 taxpayers over a million$ within the decade and Woodstock City taxpayers the $150,000 that Woodstock City was “donating” to the project, was heavily attended by objectors.

    The Board President cited rules in the school procedure booklet which stated that a speaker may not speak more than once in a (was it two or three month?) period.

    When the Atty Gen’l was contacted it was indicated that this rule did not seem compliant with OMA.

    HOWEVER! There cannot be action taken because non-OMA compliant rules are written in a procedure manual, action can only be taken after the improper rules are enforced, and the OMA violation occurs.

    In this case, because there was ample time evidently, the Board pres. announced that all speakers would be heard.

    So no action was taken, because speakers had a chance to make public comments.

    But the limited public speaking rule is still in place.

    6. The clinic was placed without public discourse or debate. There are ethical conflicts already when one considers a clinician must treat Illinois minors with more autonomy than in other states.



    The question of liability is huge. You have a school nurse and a clinic: conflicting medical opinions and/or/ non-opinions(neglect).

    When there is a bad outcome, and the patient (plaintiff) has conflicting memory of events, the school (deep pockets) will always be named a party.

    The amount of malpractice coverage the clinic is required to carry is miniscule.

    And the contract makes no mention of the ‘malpractice tail’.

    When minors are treated, the statute of limitations for them to file a personal injury claim is tolled until they reach age of majority.

    (That means D200 is liable for many, many years after patient was seen at the clinic).

    And, the school indicated that not just students, but adults would be seen at this clinic.
    Who is liable for infectious disease either brought in or acquired on school premises, by visiting adults?

    Also, there is an additional statutory tax amount that D200 can add to the property taxpayer burden, if they have had a contract with a medical clinic.

    On this we do agree:
    “Stop the madness of non-informed postings and misinformation in the public!!!”

  4. A couple notes on the YouTube video and the OMA complaint.

    The OMA complaint that is still pending is regarding the May 26th meeting where those that attended the meeting and wished to speak were asked to sign up using two different lists; one for those who wanted to address the turf project, and the other for any other topics. We were told that the turf comments were going to be held until the end, and then the board ran out of time and those wishing to comment of turf were not allowed to speak. This complaint is still outstanding. The office receives approximately 4,000 complaints per year so it may be a while until we get the final word on this.

    I don’t believe that the YouTube video was out of context at all. The context and intent were perfectly clear. President, Camille Goodwin was opening the meeting and said “…Now if you have spoken in the last two months, and I know many of you have, I’m going to ask you not to speak tonight. We do not have to listen to you. If there is time, we may let you do that…” The point isn’t so much whether the people got the opportunity to speak (those that continued to remain at the meeting did). The point is that she intended to limit the people’s legally protected right to speak. What’s worse than that is in the core of the message, “We do not have to listen to you”. This unmitigated hubris is the real problem. The apparent belief by many in office that they can say or do whatever they like is a big part of why the state, county and school district are in the mess they are in now. The people in this area have been asleep at the wheel. I was among them. But many are waking up now. Some are leaving and some are staying to fight.

    To Cal’s overarching point, if you are tired of how government is treating you, you have three options; flight, fight or do nothing. I ask you to fight for change. Get involved. Go to School Board meetings, City Council meetings, County Board meetings, the meetings of the numerous committees and commissions. Go wherever your passions and skills take you but let your voice be heard. Make sure they see you and hear you. If you are not sure how to get started, go to VotersInAction.com and click the “Civic Switchboard” link. There you will find the meeting schedule and agendas of most of the county’s municipalities and many school districts. You can also write me at inq@VotersInAction.com.

    And VOTE! Educate yourself about the candidates and VOTE and get your friends to vote.

    Good luck and God bless us all.

  5. “Misinformation” was the buzzword du jour while Obama was lying his a$$ off about the perils of Obamacare.

    All that “misinformation” was true after all and we’re seeing those horrors unfold. Wait til it comes into full force when Obama’s out of office!

    “Misinformation” my ars!

    And the video of your Chair (Camille Goodwin) saying “we don’t have to listen to you” was not taken out of context.

    I was there.

    And the only reason the board let people speak is because there would’ve been consequences.

    Not because you “LET” people talk and were generous with the public comment portion of the meeting.

    I’d like Joe Tirio to follow up on his complaint to the Attorney General.

    I have another complaint of my own and may seek his advice.

    I was also at the meeting where people were pleading not to raise taxes but make cuts where you obviously can. One board member whined about how “hard it is to be a school board member and work with a budget”.

    You ran for that position. Guess what?

    “We don’t have to listen to YOU” whine, that is.

    That comment made you look as incompetent as you are.

    Thank you for that!

    And to add insult to injury, just after that, the CFO says “if the state doesn’t come thru with funding, we’ll have to cut spending” MEANING THEY COULD HAVE DONE THIS ALL ALONG!!!!

    Acting fiscally responsible isn’t in these board members make-up!

    That’s why we are taxed to death in Woodstock, and it’s on the verge of getting worse. Stay tuned Cal readers.

    I just may have to do a “Defending Woodstock” expose of my own, and all the players will be mentioned by name.

    We NEED new leadership in Woodstock. (and McHenry Co in general had better start paying attention) or we’ll be deep cut into hell without a way out.

    (we won’t be able to sell our homes in order to leave this county)

    Joe Tirio is an open book.

    I don’t see “open your eyes” doesn’t want to be transparent with its claims of defense for this despicable board!

    If I had a box of rocks, it would have more sense than its chairwoman, Camille Goodwin and her cohorts combined!

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