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Lincoln Daily News
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Lincoln, IL 62656
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To the editor:
Citizens For Justice, Inc. is asking each local
voter, regardless of their political party, to vote "no" regarding
the Lincoln area permanent sales tax increase that will appear on
local ballots on April 5.
We believe Lincoln area superintendents are out of touch with
reality by even considering asking area residents for more money in
this horrendous ongoing economic climate. Then we see that Lincoln
area schools are loaded in layers of administrators throughout their
management structure, both at District 27 serving our area
elementary students as well as District 404 that serves our area
high school. They both have kept and maintained their expensive
assistants and support staff despite a continued decline year after
year of incoming students in both the city elementary and high
school districts, in addition to their loss of regular state school
The local hospital year-end report for 2010 reported 55 fewer
area births again in 2010 compared with 2009. This equates to at
least two fewer classrooms down the road.
Again, despite each of them continuing to receive this
information year after year, both of our city school superintendents
have failed to properly adjust to the proper levels of
administrators and/or staff.
Lincoln area schools could also serve as a poster child for Gov.
Pat Quinn's plan for consolidating the state's present 868 school
districts down to about 300. Of these 868 superintendents, 274 make
more money than the governor of Illinois, and some of these 868 make
more money than the president of the United States.
[to top of second column in this letter]
When we consider that the Lincoln area pays for five school
superintendents and four of them are responsible for only one school
each -- 1. Lincoln High School, 2. Chester-East Grade School, 3.
West Lincoln Grade School and 4. New Holland-Middletown Grade School
-- red flags appear. These school districts serve as little
"kingdoms" for our five area superintendents.
Pete Fredericks and I led an unsuccessful effort to consolidate
these same five school districts in the spring of 1998.
In the Lincoln Courier dated Oct. 19, 2010, in the front page
lead story, titled "Dwindling student population looms at LCHS,"
assistant principal Ruth Sloot stated a fifth of the freshman class
at LCHS was held back as freshmen again this year (2010-2011) from
last year's class (2009-2010) and didn't advance to sophomore
status. This equates to 1 in every 5 incoming freshmen cannot do
This reflects a very serious problem in our local area schools
that more money or pushing it under the rug will not fix. This
pattern of ignoring very serious warnings will result in an
extra-high number of local high school dropouts to try and navigate
their way through the extremely difficult years ahead.
Does this information combined with our present economy make you
want to invest more tax dollars into our local schools? Please join
us in voting "no" at the polls for higher permanent local taxes
Lester C. Van Bibber III
March 04, 2011]
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