The District 113 Board of Education finalized the debt structure of its $89 million referendum bond at Monday night’s Board meeting.
Tuesday, May 7, 2013
Thursday, April 4, 2013
A River Forest resident has accused the Highland Park and Deerfield high school district of pressuring students to supports its $89 million bond referendum. The superintendent says there is "absolutely no coercion."
Update 4/4 at 6 p.m. The co-chair of CLEAR (Community Leaders Educating and Advocating for the 113 Referendum) has issued a statement responding to claims that District 113 faculty is pressuring students to support the $89 million bond referendum. CLEAR co-chair Tony Horwitz responds: "CLEAR is an independent ballot initiative committee, organized to educate and advocate in support of the District 113 referendum. Our organization sent out a registration link for the April 6 and 7th Paint the Town Red activities to our entire database of supporters -- which includes thousands of local residents -- to encourage them to sign up for our get out the vote activities over the weekend. There are also independent student groups who have organized …
Monday, March 25, 2013
Deerfield High School teacher Eugene Chung and Highland Park High School teacher Weifang Wang have both been selected finalists for the 2013 Golden Apple Award for Excellence in Teaching.
Friday, March 22, 2013
Richard Becker, who wrote an editorial on Patch two years ago opposing District 113's bond referendum, explains why he supports the district's latest plan to renovate Highland Park and Deerfield High Schools.
Its been two years since I posted my thoughts here on the 2011 District 113 referendum. I opposed the $133 million referendum, yet I support this year's $89 million version -- a better planned, more modestly priced and most importantly, broader-based community effort than the referendum that failed two years ago. This pleases some, angers others. But I have my reasons, which I elaborate on below. Read more about the District 113 referendum here. The 2011 referendum was based on a plan that had been designed by Wight Architects and approved by the 113 School Board. I had no involvement in the community process leading up to the referendum. After the plan was unveiled, I objected, along with others, since I believed it flawed due to both …
Monday, March 18, 2013
The community group that opposes District 113's $89 million bond referendum to improve Highland Park and Deerfield High Schools explains how it came up with its alternative plan.
How did the community group that opposes the District 113 referendum put its own plan together? First, some background. In January, the District 113 School Board unanimously approved a multi-phase plan to update Highland Park and Deerfield High Schools. Phase one is expected to cost $114 million. The district is asking taxpayers to foot $89 million of that total in the form of a bond referendum in the April election. Have an opinion on the referendum? Sign up to be a Local Voices blogger to get your message out to our readers. Since the plan and referendum were announced, two community groups have sprung up: one to advocate in favor of the district's plan, and one to advocate against it. Education First, the group that opposed the failed…
Monday, March 11, 2013
Since District 113 announced it would be asking residents for $89 million to help pay for renovations to Highland Park and Deerfield High Schools, some have wondered: could the district improve the schools using existing funds alone?
Editor's note: This is the second of a series of articles exploring the District 113 referendum. Read the first story here. Since District 113 announced it would be asking residents for $89 million to help pay for renovations to Highland Park and Deerfield High Schools, some have wondered: could the district improve the schools using existing funds alone? Get caught up on the District 113 referendum here. Education First, the community group that opposes the referendum, believes it can. The group has proposed its own plan to address the schools' needs that it estimates would cost $60 million, all of which, its members argue, could come from the district's fund balance. The district currently has about $47 million, or about half of its …
Wednesday, March 6, 2013
As the District 113 referendum vote approaches, two community groups are working to educate voters about the $89 million bond referendum that would be used to renovate Highland Park and Deerfield High Schools.
Editor's note: This is the first of a series of articles exploring the District 113 referendum. Check back later this week for more coverage. Two community groups have been seeking support from voters since District 113 decided to ask residents for $89 million to help finance five years' worth of projects for Highland Park and Deerfield High Schools in January. Get caught up on the District 113 referendum here. One group has a history of getting results. Education First formed in 2010 to oppose the district's $133 million referendum that was ultimately defeated in 2011. The district reached out to members of Education First specifically as it went back to the drawing board to come up with this year's more modestly priced proposal. The …
Monday, March 4, 2013
A member of the study group that helped the Highland Park and Deerfield high school district assemble its renovation plan advocates for District 113's $89 million referendum.
Over the past 20 months, I, along with more than 100 industry experts and community residents, have studied the physical and educational conditions of both Deerfield and Highland Park High Schools and found the following: Experts have crafted a master plan and recommended the critical elements to be addressed with referendum and operating dollars. By supporting the referendum we are not passing the problem on to our children or future Deerfield and Highland Park residents. What do you think of the District 113 referendum? Post your opinion to our local voices. You must decide if you trust the industry experts and many residents who worked thousands of hours, to help craft the rehab plan we need for our children and our community. Simply …
A Highland Park resident explains how, if the high school district's $89 million referendum passes, he will no longer be able to afford to live in his home.
We are writing with concern about District 113’s proposed referendum for enlargement of Highland Park and Deerfield High School’s athletic and classroom facilities. In the face of dropping school enrollments, District 112’s need for capital improvements, the persistently sluggish economic recovery and deflated home values, we feel the referendum would place an unwarranted tax burden on the citizens of Highland Park and Deerfield. While the current referendum asks “only” $89 million, the actual cost of the Phase One project that tax payers will be funding is $120.4 million; not too far south of the $133 million District 113 asked for two years ago. District 113 says it will use an additional $25 million from existing budgets, which are …
Tuesday, February 26, 2013
Since the Sandy Hook massacre, Robert Bernat has made his case for armed guards in every Highland Park school to the City Council, both school boards and the police. And that's just the beginning.
Robert Bernat has been to a lot of meetings since January, and he has no plans to slow down soon. The Highland Park resident, attorney and doctor has made presentations to the city council, the district 112 and 113 boards and the chief of police. If this sounds like a lot of legwork, it's because Bernat's battle is an uphill one: he wants an armed guard in every school. Want Highland Park news in your inbox? Subscribe to Patch's newsletter. "I'm going to try to push the national dialogue," he said. "I have to sleep at night knowing that I did everything I could." Though his goal is to put armed guards in every school nationwide, he hopes to start with Highland Park. He's asking the local school boards to set up committees to brainstorm …