Oak Park SD 97 passes bond issue referendum
By a substantial 20-point margin, Oak Park School District 97 voters approved a referendum authorizing the issuance of bonds in Tuesday’s consolidated general elections.
The proposal concerned the school district’s capital expenditures, specifically the need for $57.5 million in bonds for structural repair and improvement of the jurisdiction’s existing school sites. Some of the investment would allow for constructing additions to the buildings.
Unofficial preliminary results from the Cook County clerk’s office indicated 7,245 (60 percent) Village of Oak Park voters voted in favor of the measure, while 4,888 (40 percent) opposed it. In all, ballots cast came to 12,330.
In crafting the referendum, school board officials pointed to an upsurge in enrollment to the highest student population in the last 40 years, amounting to over 6,000 pupils.
Oak Park school board officials estimated that, based on the state of Illinois’ diminishing ability to fund education, district 97 has lost roughly $9 million of expected revenue—or enough to teach almost 650 children for one year.
By passing the referendum, officials said, the district will better maintain class size, resources, building safety and staff.
Organizations in this Story
970 Madison St
Oak Park, IL 60302