SCHOOL DISTRICT AND REFERENDUM INFORMATION

On June 28, 2022, there will be a proposition on the ballot to increase the limiting rate, or what is commonly called a referendum. Please read the information on this page to become more familiar with the reasons the district has asked for this referendum, and for information on how and where to vote.

Below is an excerpt from Superintendent, Mr. Jeff Milburn's May-June 2022 Newsletter:

The year presented us with many challenges, but here we are in May having navigated many of those challenges by working together and coming out stronger and more focused on the other side of many of them. I believe that we are all in this together and there’s nothing we can’t overcome. We have an exemplary staff and Board of Education, and an outstanding, supportive community, all focused on bettering the youngsters of Orangeville.

It’s our goal to eliminate the projected annual deficit hole created by taking on additional annual expenses and unfunded mandates, like having to comply with the minimum pay requirements from the $15 per hour minimum wage law and the $40K minimum teacher salary, while still being able to address many of the items on the strategic plan, such as improving safety and maintenance issues with our existing buildings and grounds, and improve the educational opportunities for students.

Since the beginning of the year, we have been investigating the best, long-term, solution to address our challenges. We have determined that passing a $1 limited rate referendum in June would give the District a permanent source of revenue to reduce or eliminate our projected annual deficit, give kids more educational opportunities, and maintain our facilities.

Building a collective plan for how we work together for the betterment of our students remains the focus. We have a lot to be proud of. The Orangeville staff provide exceptional opportunities for our students to experience success in a multitude of venues, like the classroom, on the field, on the stage, in the rink, or in the arena. We want those opportunities for our students and staff to excel to continue. We are all in this together and there’s nothing we can’t overcome.

Sincerely,

Jeff Milburn, Superintendent Orangeville CUSD #203

Town Hall Meeting

We encourage everyone to learn more about the upcoming referendum by attending one of the upcoming meetings. There will be three dates & times for town hall-style meetings. These meetings will take place under the shelter at the Jane Addams Trailhead.

Please join us!

  • Friday, June 17, 2022, 11:00 am

  • Tuesday, June 21, 2022, 7:00 pm

  • Sunday, June 26, 2022, 7:00 pm

Quick Sheets

INFORMATION

Working Together

In October, a Community Focus group met to discuss the state of the school and the future of the district. The feedback from that group can be found here: Community Focus Group Feedback 10-11-21

In response to that meeting, a set of initiatives was made to give direction and set priorities. That plan can be found here: Orangeville School District 3-5 Year Strategic Plan

Financial Challenges

Early on this year, it became clear that we had some financial issues to overcome.

Trends:

  • Declining Enrollment

  • Inadequate state funding (In 2017, Illinois changed its funding formula for schools. Out of the additional $1.28 billion in Evidence Based Funding (EBF) provided to Illinois schools since 2017, Orangeville received roughly $40K. This has impacted Tier II schools in particular, as they are not seeing much of these funds and are relying heavily on local tax dollars.)

  • A tax base weighted heavily on farmland and residential

Challenges:

  • Increased demand for resources

  • $15 minimum wage law, which increases our costs by $108K annually

  • Minimum Salary Act, which increases the teacher starting salary to $40K

  • Staffing shortage

  • Current alternative bond payments

  • The continuing need to make improvements and maintenance of our facilities.

    The financial projections show that by 2027, we will be below the 3 month recommended reserves across all funds, with just over $1 million across all funds, while continuing to face deficit spending of over $400K per year moving forward. This does not include the mandatory health/life safety improvements, increases in educational opportunities for our students, or any unforeseen emergencies we may face (such as a boiler malfunction).

What Has Been Done to Reduce Expenditures

A lot of work has been done by the administration and Board to respond to our financial demands:

  • Cutting staff over time (we currently have 1 teacher per grade level at the elementary level and reduced staff by consolidating into one building)

  • Reduced transportation routes/costs

  • Reduced overall operating costs

  • Locked in long-term electricity and natural gas rates

  • Reduced administrative costs

  • Better utilized Title grants and other federal grants

  • Terminated the internet contract services ($13K annually)

  • Entered a free service agreement

  • Reduced an unnecessary phone bill ($3K annually)

  • Working with the insurance committee to work with our insurance provider to investigate cost saving measures

  • Investigating the possibility of making the transition to solar electricity ($11K annually)

  • Successfully negotiated a collective bargaining agreement with the teachers in which the District was able to comply with the minimum teacher salary over the next two years without causing a major negative impact to the overall budget.

Even given the cost reduction measures, without an additional revenue source, the District will continue to face deficit spending of around $350K-$400K per year starting in 2027.

Tax Calculator clipart

TAX CALCULATOR

Please click the link below for the tax calculator. It will download the tax calculator, which is an Excel document, to your computer. Once it is open, you will be able to enter information to see your estimated annual increase in tax bill.

Excel Tax Calculator

This is how the actual proposition will appear on the ballot:

2022 Jun 28 IL Stephenson - Orangeville CUSD prop

Voting Information

You must be a registered voter to vote in the June election. You can find more information on registering to vote, and may be able to register to vote online at the Illinois State Board of Elections website.

Notice of vote by mail voting was given, and vote by mail ballots may be requested by mail beginning on May 19, 2022. Public notice to Elderly and Disabled Voters regarding the June 28, 2022 election was also given. See notices below.

More information can be found on the Stephenson County Clerk elections website.

Stephenson County Vote by Mail notice

Stephenson County Public Notice to Elderly and Disabled Voters for the June 28, 2022 Primary Election