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District 46 Approves $48.5 Million Budget

Grayslake District 46 approved its 2011-12 budget, despite concerns from residents and board members who demand the district make more cuts to avoid increasing the tax levy.

approved its 2011-12 budget 4-1 Wednesday night, a $1 million increase from last year.

Business manager Todd Covault said the total budget is $48.5 million. Among the expenditures include $33.7 million for education, $4.04 million for operations and maintenance and $5.6 million for debt service.

Covault said the biggest unknown is the transportation fund and what the state will pay this year. In his projections, the fund includes what the state owes from last year and is supposed to pay this year. He said the state has paid all that is owed from 2011 with exception of $90,137.

“We’re heading on the right track,” he said. “If the state pays what they owe, we’re in great shape.”

Asked by board member Michael Carbone if effort was made to reduce costs, Covault responded he does not want to squeeze buildings too tight because they are controlling their spending. He added coming to the district in July, much of the budget already was associated with staffing, including $24.6 million planned for wages and $5.8 million for benefits.

‘If you didn’t make significant changes to staffing levels, your budget is decided,” he said.

Prior to the board vote, residents urged the board to decrease spending and listen to the community, who still face difficult economic times.

Lisa Jarratt said businesses are closing, and banks are foreclosing on people homes. There are residents who have had enough and wonder why the board thinks they have deep pockets.

“Now is not the time to increase taxes. It is time to freeze or reduce as board member Kip Evans has stated. It is time for the school district to share in the sacrifice,” she said.

Joan Spilis, who lives in Clubs of Bradford, said she came to represent residents over 55 who want to support the children and the schools but can only do so to a certain extent.

“Over 10 percent have foreclosed in the last two years and more are coming. It isn’t getting any better,” she said.  

Carbone, who abstained as a vote of protest, said the district has found $6 million in savings the past 2½ years and collected another $3 million the past two years from levy increases.

“I’d like to understand and help the public understand why is the budget increasing when we’ve worked this hard to find these savings,” he said.

Keeping one of the highest tax rates in Lake County, he added the tax rate is driving businesses out of town and keeping new ones from coming.

“By raising these rates, we’re losing businesses downtown. There are many empty shops and there are more moving away,” he said.

Board member Kip Evans, who voted against the budget, said people are fed up with out-of-control spending. If the district cannot cut 1 or 2 percent to keep us in line this year, they will be in more trouble next year because things are getting worse.

“I didn’t see anywhere in this budget that anything was reduced. I didn’t say cut, reduced,” he said. “I cannot vote for this budget with the understanding we will raise the levy and tell the taxpayers you don’t get a voice. We did not do our due diligence to see if there was anything in this budget that could be reduced.”

Board member Keith Surroz said the district follows a delicate line to control costs but not to make so many cuts that families leave the district.

“We don’t want to dismantle the schools,” he said. “Once we do that, watch what happens to the property values.”

Brad Faxton September 25, 2011 at 04:26 PM
No Lennie, I'm saying, by law, meaning the saw says so, if you are a 501c4, there is certain information, again by law, which must be disclosed. Specifically, the FIEN. So far, at IRS.gov there is nothing saying LCTP.
Brad Faxton September 25, 2011 at 04:27 PM
Fact, fact,fact... what is your FIEN #?
Sully September 26, 2011 at 12:27 AM
Lennie, I'd be interested in your opinion of this piece from The Guardian- http://www.guardian.co.uk/commentisfree/2011/aug/01/us-debt-deal-tea-party
Lennie Jarratt September 26, 2011 at 01:02 PM
For the few real people that actually still weed through the garbage here, this message is for you. I find it funny that with each new article, the likes of @Sully, @Brad, etc. start fresh as though they have never commented before in past articles. It’s easy to see since they repeat the same questions, rumors, innuendos, personal attacks, and the same false accusations under multiple anonymous aliases. They attempt to silence anyone who disagrees with them by threatening their job, telling them to leave town or just be run out of town. The people like @Sully, @Brad, etc are just plain cyber bullies. If I DO or DO NOT answer their questions they attack. There is not now nor in the future a reason to answer a single question here. I do not hide behind an alias like they do. I am easy to find and speak with in person. In fact, I am at most school board meetings if you are interested in a conversation about how I want to EMPOWER PARENTS & TEACHERS so that ALL children can have access to a quality education.
Lennie Jarratt September 26, 2011 at 01:02 PM
My motivation is simple: 1. All taxing bodies should be completely transparent in how they spend TAXPAYER money 2. Corruption should be rooted out and removed from ALL taxing bodies 3. Education is the backbone of our future and a quality education should be accessible to ALL children I don’t have to do what I do, or put up with all the attacks. I do it because it is the right thing to do. I stand up to the BULLIES and their anonymous vitriol to fight for those that cannot or are afraid to speak up for themselves.
Sully September 26, 2011 at 01:23 PM
Spare me the attack sob stories and the poor pitiful me attitude. You have yet to answer one single legitimate question. You try to turn the questions around into personal attacks on you, thus distracting from the real issues. Your faux nobleness is as fake as it comes. Vitriol? Get over it, Jarratt. Man up, as they say and answer a frickin question. Your talking points are meaningless.
Joe Smith September 26, 2011 at 01:42 PM
You're one to talk about "manning up" when you hide your identity Sully while others apparently on this site show everyone who they are. How ironic. Everyone should just join me and type the word "ignore" after everything Sully says no matter what it is. Then maybe he will get the hint that no one cares about his angry opinions and hate-filled words toward those he disagrees with. Just someone new to the board here calling like I see it.
Joe Smith September 26, 2011 at 01:42 PM
Ignore.
Joe Smith September 26, 2011 at 01:43 PM
Ignore.
Joe Smith September 26, 2011 at 01:43 PM
Ignore.
Brad Faxton September 26, 2011 at 02:37 PM
Vitriol. Silly word. Kinda made me chuckle.
Brad Faxton September 26, 2011 at 02:39 PM
Ignore? I suppose I understand what that means. Quite honestly, by you writing 'Ignore' means you read it, digested it, absorbed it, reflected on it and accepted it as the truth. Finally embraced it.
Nightcrawler September 26, 2011 at 02:50 PM
Hey Joe - I see you're new to this board. Good luck! Anyway, you should know that Sully doesn't hide behind anything - far from it. He's used the same alias for months, as is the case with most of the posters here. He does get angry, and tends to beat the dead horse on occasion (my opinion), but overall, his posts represent a point of view with which many here agree.
Terri September 26, 2011 at 04:30 PM
Lenny, I believe you asked this question earlier and suggested you didn't get an answer. Might I ask it of you in an effort to formulate a more specific answer myself? What is a "quality education" and how much should it cost? As you indicated to me above, you can limit it to CCSD 46.
Rich September 26, 2011 at 04:44 PM
Homer here. Back to the budget and levy. The tea party says it wants parents making decisions about their children's education. OK but should those decisions be made without the assistance of a professional? Many parents do not have the educational background to make these decisions. Most parents would say to teach my child to read, write, understand math and learn some science. But our futrure is more than that. It is technology, social skills, character, arts and the list goes on. I remember helping a home schooled student, working as a server at a local restaurant with her final, senior level American History exam. She knew none of it. When I asked her what she was going to do after her senior year, her response was a server, like her mother. It was depressing. So tea party, the BOE has a job to allocate limited resources to educate our young. As tea party member Kip says, reducing budget 6 mil and and adding 3 mil from the levy still leaves 3 mil loss of resources. This cannot be sustained. Now Homer is going to the Packer web site to see highlights of another glorious win!
Brad Faxton September 26, 2011 at 05:17 PM
"technology, social skills, character, arts...." Wow - that certainly hit a cord. I take my children bike riding as often as I can. Aside from being fun and an easy way to explore the town, they love it. A few times this summer we ran into a moderately large group at Central Park 'Spray Park'. I chatted with one of the moms about the large group and she told me it was a home schooling moms group. I remarked how that was pretty awesome - and it is! I then saw the interaction between my 2 kids (5 and 8) and the rest of the home school gang. They simply didn't know how to interact with 2 very happy well adjusted children. One screamed at the old one (you know - good old wombat scream) and the others kept walking away. Now, I have to tell you, my kids are some of the most polite I have ever seen - almost too polite. They are almost followers... ok, back to the wombat. I asked mom what that was all about? She replied, "well, max has to find who he is." I asked her if she was going to talk to Max about how to behave. She said, "no. I don't believe in that". Stunned - we walked out and rode on. Four such experiences happened over the summer all with home schooling cults and all with the same result. (different groups). My conclusion is that the social skills and character is all but wiped out with this type of 'mommie teaching' BS. Hmmm.... Packer win. Yer not my favorite anymore.
Brad Faxton September 26, 2011 at 05:18 PM
Raise my taxes and teach my kids - yer doing an AWESOME job so far with the 2nd and 4th grader.
Sully September 26, 2011 at 05:49 PM
Actually Joe, i used to go by Sullivan until another poster usurped it. Sullivan, aka, Sully, it is. Thanks Crawler. I do tend to get angry, and that gets the best of me sometimes. But if I just got an answer every now and then, I might not beat that dead horse so much. Hate-filled words? Hardly. You should hear what I say in private, but on this board, i try to remain civil. I'm sorry Joe if my words offend you, but my guess would be anything with which you disagree you find offensive and hate-filled. And finally, Go Packers!
Softball Jim September 26, 2011 at 06:02 PM
I too have only gone by one and only one screen name Softball Jim. The reason I use this name is because, I am a public servant, and want to keep my real idenity private. I do play softball though, so it is at least half right. Again, since I have joined, which I believe Marcia can confirm, have only used one name.
Brad Faxton September 26, 2011 at 06:08 PM
Danm - another Packers fan.... Sad day. *sigh*
Sully September 26, 2011 at 06:38 PM
Brad, if Da Bears would get rid of Martz, i might could maybe be for them. But I've been a Packers fan since the days of Bart Starr and I'm not going to change that now!
Brad Faxton September 26, 2011 at 06:58 PM
Oh, I didn't say I was a Bears fan. I'm more into motorposrts - specifically SCCA pro Racing. And you have officially dated yourself - you are old. :) So am I.
Sully September 26, 2011 at 10:55 PM
Yes, I've been old for awhile now. It happens to the best of us. Motor Sports? The only thing worse than that is golf!
Brad Faxton September 27, 2011 at 12:47 AM
Not NASCAR.... NASCAR leaves you stoopid. True talent comes when you can handle a car around Road America - at speed. :)
Nightcrawler September 27, 2011 at 02:15 AM
Sorry, Brad, but I'm with Sully on this one. You must be one lonely lefty with them good ol' boys at the track, or the bar, or wherever you watch that slice of Americana. At least golf puts you to sleep.
Sully September 27, 2011 at 09:43 AM
Well Crawler, it could be worse. He did say it's not NASCAR!
Rich September 27, 2011 at 08:36 PM
Fast cars, not football? Oh well. So where does D46 go from here? The tea party still has them tied up with FOI requests. The tea party will oppose any increase in the levy to infuse more resources for the benefit of the students. The good residents of D46 will have to count on the 4 non-tea party members to raise the levy. I hope they are up to it. By the way, Homer was at the Bear/Packer game. The Bears had no answers for the Packers. Homer is also a public servant, so a real name is out of the question. Homer does not have the luxury of taking cheap shots from the cheap seats.
Nightcrawler September 27, 2011 at 10:14 PM
If you appreciate really good football teams, it's hard not to like the Packers. Has been for awhile now. As a Bears fan, I have to go back to the Forrest Gregg era to find a squad really worthy of hatred.
Sully September 27, 2011 at 11:07 PM
I save my disdain for the Cowboys. My all time favorite though, has to be the Steelers of the mid- to late 70's. That was a football team! Isn't it interesting that Lennie hasn't had anything to say lately? No answers to any legitimate questions. Too bad he doesn't practice what he preaches. Lennie- you there? Still waiting for some of that transparency you like to talk about.
Sully September 27, 2011 at 11:32 PM
Lennie, is this what you envision for public education?- http://www.christiannewswire.com/news/389117866.html

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