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To the editor:
The age-old question of the chicken or the egg is a
good analogy of this CEL renovation regarding taxes, property
values, housing demands, etc. Not which came first, but which to go
Illinois is NOT a school voucher state, meaning school choice is
dependent upon your child's residence (or means for a private
education). No matter how much you want your child in public school
"X," unless you move, you are relegated to that school district
[where you live], its facilities, amenities and outcomes.
My kids have been at CEL for many, many years, and until
recently, virtually no changes have been made except a wing addition
and some technology. Don't misunderstand me; it's always been a
community, safe and enjoyable -- but becoming educationally
antiquated with old textbooks, etc. and certainly not the security
precautions a post-Sandy Hook school should have.
Should we hope property values magically go up and increase tax
revenue for facility upgrades? Should we hope Illinois somehow finds
money to better fund the schools? Our income taxes went up 66
percent with no more that a lick and a promise to the public
schools... Should we buy the school a lottery ticket and give it a
1:130,000,000 chance at some funding?
To date, the plan is usually to hope for the best until a child
is out of school and pray he or she is unscathed academically,
socially and physically -- and hope they are prepared for high
Ostrich management. We mock the ostrich for burying his head in
the sand when they are alarmed at what's happening around them, yet
that's exactly what some choose to do with our educational system
and local schools.
[to top of second column in this letter]
I, for one, am proud of the proactive approach CEL is taking,
even if I won't have a student there next year. Now I'll hope they
go through LCHS unscathed.
What's being done at CEL makes sense, improves the school, its
technology, facility aesthetics and security. This improves student
and teacher attitude, morale, pride, responsiveness to student
individual needs, and probably marked improvement in academic
You ask, so what? This is why people with kids select certain
school districts, which increases home demands, turns homes for sale
quicker, drives up property values, attracts homebuilders selecting
potential subdivision locations, which adds to the school revenue
cycle far more quickly than the previously mentioned options.
As a side note, getting bitten by a shark is actually more likely
than that lottery option: It's 1:11,000,000.
To the naysayers, I add that you should have been one of the 20
or 30 folks from the entire CEL district at the public meetings.
CEL isn't waiting for a magical money egg; they're out funding a
proverbial chicken that will lay its own money eggs for another 15
or 20 years.
March 09, 2013]
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