MESSAGES TO SHARE
Do you want to let friends, family, other parents, people on your block or from your church know more about the referenda?
Here are the main ways to find information on the Vote Yes campaign. Copy/paste the following to share with others in your networks. Please share far and wide.
[Search Facebook for Vote Yes for Oak Park Schools]
Volunteer & Mailing List Sign Up
No donation is too small! Most of the campaign costs include yard signs, buttons and printing.
Donations can be made online here (http://referendumyes.com/donate) or make checks payable to Committee to Support Oak Park Schools and mail to 606 Woodbine, Oak Park, IL 60302.
Have your quick 3-minute speech practiced and ready to go for anyone you meet. You may only have a few seconds to grab their attention so start with something personal.
There are basically 3 categories of people you will run into:
- People unsure about raising taxes,
- Seniors with fond memories of raising kids.
Think about what you have in common with them to get a sympathetic head nod.
When someone asks you what’s new, tell them “I’m working to support the 2 ballot measures for Oak Park schools. That’s the Vote Yes campaign for the April 4 election.”
Parents: D97 is such a good school system that people are continuing to come here so we need to keep up the quality. So many families with young kids move here that we’re having a population explosion. Did you know that over the last 10 years we’ve added 5 full classrooms of kids at every school? And studies show that this rate is not going to go down. The schools seeing this the most are Holmes, Lincoln and Longfellow but all schools are full. We want to keep class sizes low and not put kids in trailers. If this doesn’t pass, class size will go from 21 kids to almost 30 kids per classroom AND some schools will have to put classrooms in trailers outside. Not to mention we don’t want to lose what makes a quality school system, like art, music, languages, theater, libraries. All that will be gone, plus 20% of all staff will be cut, including teachers, which is what makes for the larger class sizes.
People unsure about raising taxes: You know, the state has not been paying its bills. They owe the school district $9 million already. That’s how much it costs to educate 600 kids. And because of how the state caps revenue from property taxes, schools can only get a 1.5% (one point five percent) increase in revenue when they have a 24% increase in students. Our biggest revenue source, property taxes, are in no way tied to the number of kids served in school. The system is designed so towns have to go back every few years to ask for a tax increase. In fact, a taxing body, like D97, that asks for a tax increase every 5-8 years or so is showing that they are fiscally responsible because they’re not building up unnecessary reserves.
SUPPORT LOCAL SCHOOLS NOW MORE THAN EVER
Tie our local schools into the broader national political scene. Many people are worried about how changes at the federal level will affect them personally. There is nothing more personal than the funding for our local public schools. If we protect funding and support for our local schools, and let the school board know what we expect for quality, we will stay strong when there are so many volatile changes at the state and national level.
One volunteer described working on this campaign as putting on her own local oxygen mask before putting it on the nation.
Have 5-6 facts about the referenda in your head to come back to with any conversation. What can you really speak to? Don’t feel like you need to know everything about every detail. Be passionate about your handful of concerns.
We’re having a population explosion; there is a massive increase in enrollment. Over last 10 years we’ve added 5 full classrooms at every school.
The youngest building in D97 is over 60 years old. The are not really ADA compliant and there are a lot of life safety repairs that we’re required to make.
Because of the way property taxes are capped in IL, we can only get a 1% increase in revenue growth. IL doesn’t pay per head. Our biggest revenue source is in no way tied to the # of kids served in school. The state system is designed to make local taxing bodies have to go back and ask for referenda.
Our schools are so good that people are continuing to come here so we need to continue quality. Our schools give everyone a chance to succeed.