“An investment in knowledge pays the best interest.”
“Learning is not attained by chance, it must be sought for with ardor and attended to with diligence.”
Successful New School Year
The start of the school year has been very successful. We are working hard to make sure that every student continues to improve in all aspects of learning. To paraphrase the quotation from Abigail Adams, we have great schools in our community not by chance, but because we have terrific community support. Without question, our community has worked for quality public education with ardor and diligence.
Planning For The Future
As I mentioned in my last two letters, during the past year our district has been investigating improvements that are needed in our buildings as well as planning for a stable financial future for the district. Given the community’s investment in school buildings, it is vitally important that we maintain the quality of the facilities, make modifications needed to accommodate 21st century education, and provide safe learning environments for our students.
Similarly, with all the uncertainties with the state of Illinois and given the district’s reliance on local tax dollars, we have been examining steps to maintain stable finances. A very important part of “diligence” is being smart and strategic when it comes to fiscal management. All of this work has been incorporated into a proposed plan, which I explained in my last letter and which is posted in the News Section on the District’s website at www.bendist25.org. Prior to the adoption of this plan, we would like to hear from the community regarding what you like about the plan, what you do not like about the plan, what you might change, or what you might add.
A Timely Opportunity
Due to sound fiscal management by the Board of Education, we have an opportunity to both improve our school buildings and provide an even more stable financial future. This is all possible without raising the property tax rate. If our proposed plan is implemented, the property tax rate to support our school district will decline slightly. For example, the owner of a house assessed at $250,000 would experience an estimated $73 annual tax rate decrease.
How is this possible? Because of smart financial planning which includes the retirement of previous bond debt, we can enhance our educational program and fund capital improvement projects, and safety and security measures to our school buildings by selling working cash fund bonds.
We Need Your Input
During the next several weeks, we will be providing you with opportunities for your input to our planning process. An open house will be held and we will provide you with materials and interactive options via our website. In addition, we will use mail, presentations at community meetings, and email to reach our stakeholders. Also, I invite you to contact me to discuss any questions, suggestions, or concerns that you have.
It is an honor and pleasure to serve as superintendent in our supportive community!
Philip M. Ehrhardt, Ed.D.