Woodridge Schools: Pay-to-Participate Approved, New Levy One Step Away From Ballot
School officials say a new levy is necessary to overcome an $8.6 million budget gap that's expected to split open by 2015.
One measure down, one to go.
During its regular meeting on Tuesday, the Woodridge Board of Education passed the first of two resolutions needed to put a new levy on the Aug. 7 ballot.
The second resolution will come before the board at a special meeting on May 1, said board president Tammy Heffernan.
Once approved, the proposed levy would be virtually the same as March's failed issue: a 6.83-mill, five-year emergency levy that would generate $15 million in revenue and cost homeowners $209 a year for every $100,000 in valuation, according to Woodridge Schools treasurer Deanna Levenger.
School officials say passing a new levy is crucial in avoiding an $8.6 budget gap that's expected to split open by 2015.
Following back-to-back levy failures in March and this past November, school officials cut expenditures and found ways to bring in new money.
The latest news of a revenue boost came on Tuesday when the board unanimously approved a pay-to-participate rate plan, said Superintendent Walter Davis.
Here's the breakdown, per student for the 2012-13 school year:
- High school athletics -- $125
- High school music activities -- $75
- High school & middle school clubs -- $25
- Middle school athletics -- $75
- No family caps
- No waivers
In an attempt to reduce the newly established fees, athletic director Don Ross is already organizing some "creative fundraisers."
"I'm not talking about selling candy bars or things like that," said Ross, "I'm talking about some major, major (fundraisers) I've known of that can raise a lot of money that can help defray this."
At the end of the 2012-13 school year, the board said it would revisit the issue and determine whether pay-to-participate should continue.