District 87 raising taxes tonight too-not spending ESSER money?

By: Diane Benjamin

Tis the season to steal your money!

Unit 5 will raise property taxes tonight.

So will District 87.

The District 87 levy is expected to increase 8.24% according to the Public Hearing notice: https://go.boarddocs.com/il/district87/Board.nsf/files/CLPP386222AD/$file/Notice%20of%20Public%20Hearing%202022%20Tax%20Levy.pdf

Illinois school districts have received more than $7 billion in Elementary and Secondary School Relief Funds (ESSER) to help address the academic and mental impacts of the COVID-19 pandemic.

An Illinois Answers Project investigation revealed that despite student needs, high poverty districts have spent smaller portions of their ESSER funds in comparison to low poverty districts. This has raised questions about the priorities of districts, their pace of spending and what districts are specifically spending their funds on. So far, Illinois has spent nearly $2.8 billion and has until September 2024 to spend remaining allocations.

See this link for an interactive map: https://illinoisanswers.org/2022/11/15/how-much-covid-relief-money-has-your-school-district-spent-search-our-map/

Both District 87 and Unit 5 got MILLIONS of dollars but aren’t spending much of it. This data is from September 2022. What have both spent money on so far?

5 thoughts on “District 87 raising taxes tonight too-not spending ESSER money?

  1. This is just a taste folks, Now that the Feed the Union amendment has passed, public service unions have an incredible amount of power. Get Ready to Pay More………and More…………..and More. They didn’t even try and hide it. Proponents came right out, ran commercials, UNION MEMBERS WILL MAKE MORE. People were too stupid(yes stupid) to not ask, who is going to pay for it? Well folks, all these tax increases are just a beginning. Buckle Up!

    Liked by 2 people

  2. I’ve searched various budgets, spreadsheets and ESSER funds for District 87 and Unit 5.


    These funds sure would go far in paying down debt for both districts, freeing up capital for modernization, reducing overhead, lowering the student to teacher percentage, reducing the need for tax increases or how much and if done effectively and efficiently pave the way for combining both districts to finally end the duplication of “Educational” related costs/reduce bureaucracy/administration costs on McLean county residents.

    If this isn’t handled soon, eventually the drastic differences in Unit 5 vs District 87 test scores will become even more difficult to correct. Which, neither are good and many families are seeking private education. Another, “soon to be” reason for reduction in the public school system.

    Eventually, someone is going to create a private school system, locally, non-religious based, affordable (tax exempt/school choice), exceeding standards/excellence, that will dominate public education.

    Liked by 2 people

    1. Federal funds like ESSER and ARP have strict regulations on how the funds can be spent. That said, I agree the duplication results in unnecessary spending same as with Blo/No.

      Liked by 1 person

  3. Relative who works in a large school district north of Chicago was just told by his union rep the whole maintenance department will be laid off when their contract expires in less than four years. Reason: the union salaries for this department where so high administration said enough and is going to contract out all maintenance positions. That is one scenario union members have to look forward across the state.

    Liked by 2 people

  4. Sorry to play devil’s advocate, but I try to look at things from as many viewpoints as possible.
    The 30-something percentages you cite are probably actually a good thing. Given that schools have three years to spend these funds and notable restrictions on how they can be used, having spent roughly a third after the first year seems reasonable. One can certainly (and rightly) argue about/against some of the ‘what’ the funds are being spent on, but the ‘when’ aspect passes the sniff test in my book.


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