Palatine Dist. 15 taxpayers hear arguments for, against $130 million proposal
About 85 Palatine Township Elementary District 15 parents and community members packed a room in the Palatine Public Library to hear arguments for and against the district's proposal to borrow $130 million for the construction of two new schools.
The forum was hosted by the League of Women Voters, and allowed each side time to present their arguments and answer questions from the audience.
District 15 Superintendent Scott Thompson gave a presentation much like those given at the district information sessions on the referendum. The proposal would mean less time on buses for many students, districtwide full-day kindergarten and a community school in the district's northeast corner that would serve 1,2000 students.
Spokeswoman for the group asking District 15 taxpayers to vote "no" on the referendum, Barb Kain, spoke on behalf of the group For Our D15 Kids.
The plan, Kain said, is flawed because it was rushed, has a high price tag and did not incorporate enough community engagement.
The plan proposes shuttering the district's oldest school, Sanborn Elementary, and selling it to the Palatine Park District in exchange for Osage Park in the district's northeast corner. District 15 wants to build a community school, which would incorporate additional educational and social services for children and parents of the school.
The plan is unfair because there are three other schools nearly as old as Sanborn, the For Our D15 Kids group argues.
"Does that mean that within the next five years we have thee more schools that we need to close," Kain asked. "We're sacrificing one school, in order to build the other."
Kain also stressed the district does not have a concrete price estimate on Osage Park and the school district doesn't know what the park district will pay for Sanborn.
Both Thompson and Kelly Gallagher, a spokeswoman for the group urging a "yes" on the referendum question, stressed the benefits of the community school that would be built in the district's northeast corner.
Gallagher provided closing remarks for the Ccsd 15 KIDS also touting the benefits of the community school that could offer additional English classes and mentoring for parents and students of largely minority and low-income families.
"This community is underserved, and we need to elevate that area," Gallagher said.