A short post before a longer post once I get Dr. Turner's Memo
I also firmly believe a lawsuit needs to be filed to stop the continuance of this impending disaster for the entire community because that's what's going to happen if this moves forward. Who's in??
This entire board needs to resign. They have committed a massive dereliction of duty.
Thanks for the fast update. I wish the meeting had been bifurcated - postponed to another day.- and the general public given time to read the memo prior to moving to open comments on it.
The good: Dr. Turner did a great job presenting this.situation and bringing it to light. I'd rather her be the permanent superintendent rather than whoever the board brings in.
The bad: I believe Dr. Turner stated the savings could be less than $750k, depending on the cost of crossing guards.
The ugly: long time board members acting shocked, shocked! that gambling was happening in this casino.
In all seriousness, I wished some people present demanded the long time board members resign. I also wonder how much time they had to craft responses to this memo, because the messaging was pretty on point by every one of the board members; they all immediately restated their commitment to the 5th ward building.
I''m frankly unclear how they're going to build this school now. They have half the money they need, and a referendum would presumably fair poorly after this lease certificate failure. Massive cuts to specialists? Closing Orrington and selling the valuable land there?
How, practically, can the plans for the new school be stopped? We need to prevent a massive increase in property taxes levied for D65 on top of the 17% increased proposed by the city (for which the need is dubious).
DEI is not served if people are run out of town by rent increases from property taxes.
Agree with Truth Seeker and am thankful Dr. Turner is the only adult in the room. But one does not fix this problem.
Sergio Hernandez said at the school board meeting that Dr Horton was “ Irreplaceable.” So now he is in the position with the others of picking our next superintendent. He and the rest of the Board selected Dr Turner as interim superintendent. I would hope this process would move very carefully so we don’t find ourselves repeating ourselves
I wish I could say I'm shocked or surprised by this, but given who was behind this, what's surprising to me, I guess, is that there are any savings at all to pay the lease certificate off.
Great update here! You mentioned the evidence of securities fraud. Wouldn't this be the time for ISBE to come in and remove the board?
I was at the meeting last nite and some of the board members comments, reflected lack of leadership and accountability which i interpret as " I did not ask, so I could deny knowledge of"....that stance gets you fired or sued for fraud as a non-profit board member and certainly as a for profit board member......, yet they did not require them or insist they receive written updates on their largest and most important building project in the last 10-20 years within the district....and then quickly moved to we need to build k-8 building, even if we have no plan to pay for it. I sat next to several Busse Rhodes parents and they are shocked.....there does not seem to be a path forward to provide their children a comparable academic experience if the 5th ward school gets built.
"This school is important to the neighborhood soliciting it."
As someone who lives in the Fifth Ward School neighborhood, I hear this mentioned A LOT by Sarita Smith and Board members but I'm curious if you're aware of any recent data that confirms this to be true?
As far as I know, they didn't survey the 402 students and their families currently in other schools that would be moved to the new school asking them what their preferences are. They instead relied on 2012 referendum data about Fifth Ward voters (which is NOT the same cohort as "Fifth Ward school" voters since it includes portions of 2nd ward and excludes portions of the 5th ward and is citizens with children in D65 vs. all voting citizen) and hearing from local activists who have been pushing for it for decades. What would the 402 students/families currently in D65 say according to the data? Would not have been that difficult or expensive to ask....Perhaps I've simply missed it, but would love to see this information and then have better data to back this statements rather than relying on emotion and intuition.
I expect that it likely would show some preference for constructing the new school, but that's simply conjecture. And I don't think it'd show that people would want to take their children out of current schools (myself included). Of course, they say they will allow students to complete their schooling at their current school they are already enrolled at when the boundaries change. That could certainly impact initial enrollment for the new school, but would stabilize once a cohort completes fifth grade. (This "rule" applies to ALL students across district on the redraw incidentally, not just Fifth Ward School students - that is, student can complete the grades in their current school BUT must change if going to middle school for example. I'd be in favor of what Evanston Roundtable founder and editor Larry Gavin suggested to give Fifth Ward School students a CHOICE of new school or to the alternate / prior assigned school in perpetuity - bus rides not included ;) ).
“For this type of DEI person, you can gentrify out all the poor folks and not feel guilty for it because you're using the right "equity language"”.
Another question: Did anyone happen to catch the statement from legal counsel regarding the IRS, tax exemption on the lease certificate funds, and the monies needing to be used by next year? I only half heard it and don't know when it was mentioned in the meeting.