Companies foot bill for Dist. 300 trip to Springfield

District says students won't be involved in Sears battle

 
 
Updated 11/8/2011 4:56 AM

The field trips to Springfield for Community Unit District 300 middle school students this week will not eat into the district's fund balance, a district spokeswoman said.

Allison Strupeck, communications supervisor, said bus drivers from Durham School Services will donate time, and ARAMARK food services will provide free sack meals for students.

 

About 500 seventh- and eighth-grade students will make the 4-hour trek to Springfield. The district will send three busloads of students on Tuesday, Wednesday and Thursday. Students will receive two sack meals during the trip.

A flyer sent home to parents last week said the field trip will coincide with possible legislative action regarding the Hoffman Estates and Sears Economic Development Area.

Lawmakers could vote on the extension of the tax break for Sears during this week's veto session scheduled for Nov. 8 through 10. If the issue comes up for a vote on one of those days, then the field trips for the remaining days in the week will be canceled, the flyer to parents said.

The district has been the most vocal opponent of an amendment to Senate Bill 540 that would extend the agreement for 15 years. Under the EDA, most of the property taxes usually paid to taxing bodies such as the school district are diverted to Sears for development purposes.

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The amendment also would give Hoffman Estates the authority to purchase and run the embattled Sears Centre with EDA funds, the district has said.

Last month, high school students, district staffers and parents rallied outside of the Capitol in protest of the proposed amendment.

District officials have said middle school students will not be exposed to protests or engaged in advancing the district's cause.

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