April 5, 2011
Dear District 39 Families and Staff,
I am excited to let you know that voters have approved the referendum for a tax increase to District 39. This is the first time we have gone to the voters to ask for additional tax dollars since 1998. THANK YOU!
With the approval of our referendum on today’s ballot, the community will provide our schools with additional revenue needed to balance the budget, maintain our current programs, and rebuild our financial reserves. We will continue to provide our students with the excellent educational experience that will prepare them for New Trier High School and beyond. Our staff will continue to enjoy a teaching environment where they can focus on the needs of their students. Our community can continue to be proud of their schools' commitment to excellence. Many members of our community used this as an opportunity to take a closer look at our schools, curriculum, administration, and finances - some for the first time. We welcome the added attention and hope the interest continues. Our schools belong to the community; they are an important part of what makes Wilmette a great place to live.
You have my commitment that we will continue to be responsible stewards of taxpayer dollars. With the new voter-approved tax base, and the cuts we have already made, we are well positioned to manage our budgets for at least the next five years.
I am most grateful for the community support we have received during the months leading up to the referendum.
Your partner in education,
Raymond E. Lechner, Ph.D.
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For Immediate Release
April 5, 2011
Contact: Holly Goldin
VOTERS APPROVE DISTRICT 39 REFERENDUM
(Wilmette, IL…) Voters have approved the referendum for a tax increase to District 39. This is the first time District 39 has asked voters for an increase since 1998. The District was seeking $6.375 million in funds to maintain its strong educational program for its nearly 3700 students.
"We are grateful for the community's support in providing the funds we require to maintain the excellent programs and services we have in District 39. The Wilmette community continues to place a high value on education" said Superintendent Ray Lechner. "This process began more than two years ago when we initiated the first budget cuts. We succeeded in reducing the budget by more than $4 million, while minimizing the impact on the classroom. I promised the community they would have a chance to vote before the District made any further cuts that would impact students. With a deficit remaining, the Board made the decision to let the voters decide through a referendum whether we should balance our budget through further cuts or with additional revenue. With these additional tax dollars, we can balance the budget and rebuild our reserves without significant staffing cuts or elimination of important programs. Our students will continue to have an educational experience that will prepare them for New Trier and beyond."
District 39 Board President Keith Dronen noted that the voters took the time to understand the complex budget issues: "I found the community willing and eager to learn about District finances and the factors that impact our budget. I am pleased the voters showed confidence in the Board and administration to continue to be good stewards of taxpayer funds," he said. "Our community can continue to be proud of their schools' commitment to excellence."
District 39 is an elementary district that serves students in Wilmette and a small portion of Glenview. Children in grades K-4 attend one of four elementary schools: Central School, Harper School, McKenzie School, or Romona School. Students in grades 5 and 6 attend Highcrest Middle School. Students in grades 7 and 8 attend Wilmette Junior High School.
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