The letter to the editor that was published in the Advocate on April 5 regarding the school levy and district programs contained so many inaccurate statements that we felt the record needs to be corrected.
Our Board of Education comprises accomplished individuals who are very qualified and over the last two decades have efficiently and collaboratively managed the district to new heights in academics while being financially effective in a very challenging funding environment.
Our board president recently retired after a 41-year business career and has made multi-million dollar decisions as a high level business executive for several large corporations.
Our other board members include two individuals who run their own successful businesses, a practicing lawyer and a professional engineer.
The misrepresentation of our academic programs was appalling; there are too many to directly address. Suffice it to say our graduates have gone on to attend prominent colleges and universities such as Princeton, Cornell, Penn, Stanford, MIT, Case Western Reserve, etc., have done remarkably well and graduated with prestigious degrees.
Many have launched successful careers in business and challenging professional areas.
Numerous national publications have ranked us as one of the top achieving public schools in the nation.
We are on the ballot for an operating levy because the state cut $2.4 million from our budget.
This significant decrease in our overall revenue has made it impossible to continue to provide the quality programs we offer our students without additional funds.
This levy is not due to additional employees. We do not have a spending problem; we have a revenue issue.
We are proud of the education we provide the students of this great community.
We will continue to "Put Kids First" in all of our decisions and with your support maintain the outstanding programs and offerings we currently have.
I think our Superintendent missed the point of her op-ed, which wasessentially to challenge thecommunity to find better, business minded individuals to seek seats on the school board. I agree.
The currentBoard may claim they are putting kids first, but in essence they are penalizing the community with ridiculously high, uneeded taxes.
According to most recent census information the median home price in Aurora was $330,000. Hence, the new forever levy will cost the typical homeowner about $700 per year in new taxes. but most residents don't live here just one year Calculated over 10 years the cost is an astounding $7000!. And it goes on forever!!! This is highway robbery!
Maybe superintendent Ciccantelli could answer this question publicly since he has not responded privately to my request:
If we don't have a spending problem, please let's hearwhyhis own pro-levy materials show a projected spending growth, which is approximately 3 times higher than the salary increases over the last 5years?And we know from his own published information that 86% of expenses are salaries and benefits.Something does not add up in the numbers or the money is being siphoned off for something else.
Since it is hard to imagine what sort of program can pull millions of dollars from the budget, this is ASOLUTELYA SPENDING PROBLEM, and worse it's a CREDIBILITY ISSUE!
The writer of the letter with whichour Superintendenttakes issue at with inaccuracies, has one thing correct - we need new independent thinkers on the School Board capable of managing big money decisions that better consider tetaxyers' burden. That is obviously missing now.