With votes still to be counted, District 25 not yet ready to call referendum
Arlington Heights Elementary District 25 officials are waiting for early and mail-in ballots to be counted over the next week before declaring defeat or victory in a referendum on a $75 million bond issue to fund full-day kindergarten and school building upgrades.
With all 38 precincts reporting, the ballot question seeking voter permission to raise taxes has 5,106 "no" votes and 5,035 "yes" votes, according to the most recent update of unofficial results.
But there could be as many as 2,400 outstanding ballots in Arlington Heights, Superintendent Lori Bein said Thursday, and it's unclear how many of those votes are yet to be counted.
Bein spoke with officials at the Cook County clerk's office, who said they will continue to tally ballots over the next week before certifying the official results on July 19.
"At this moment, the results are so incredibly close that we have decided to wait a bit before 'calling' the outcome," Bein wrote in a letter to District 25 families and residents Thursday.
The superintendent told the Daily Herald Wednesday that if the "no" vote holds, the school board will discuss what to do next at its Aug. 9 meeting. That could include going to referendum again in the Nov. 8 general election.
If approved, the district could issue up to $75 million in bonds to build 25 new kindergarten classrooms across six of the district's seven elementary schools and fund five years' worth of infrastructure projects.
The classroom additions are estimated to cost $32.2 million to $42.6 million, while the capital plan would cost $32.9 million, officials said.
It would cost the owner of an average $400,000 home an extra $300 in property taxes a year, or $25 a month.
The new kindergarten classrooms would be targeted to open in August 2024.