If at first you don’t succeed, try, try again.
After narrow back-to-back issue failures, the Woodridge Board of Education will hold a special meeting on Tuesday night to discuss their next move on a new levy.
The first issue, a , $2.85 million per year emergency levy, failed by 224 votes last November. , a 6.83-mill, $3 million per year levy, failed by 231 votes in March.
To prepare for the meeting, the board held three levy forums last week and asked residents to attend and explain why they voted no.
After hours of open discussion, board president Tammy Heffernan and board member George DeBord said it boils down to a few main points.
Voters want teachers to contribute more to their health insurance plans, they want greater financial transparency and would like to see exactly how the next levy would improve the quality of the school district.
“People are more conscientious of what districts are doing with their tax dollars and that’s not a bad thing,” said DeBord in a phone interview with Patch.
As it stands, teachers are currently contributing seven percent to their healthcare plans. That number will move to eight percent next school year and is expected to rise to nine percent on Aug. 1, 2013, said treasurer Deanna Levenger.
Since the Woodridge Educators Association (WEA) collective bargaining agreement doesn’t expire until July 31, 2013, the board can’t force teachers to pay higher rates, said board vice president Jan Flasco.
However, when the union bargaining agreement is renegotiated after it expires, the board could push for more than a nine percent contribution and Heffernan said she’s ready to back that plan.
DeBord said they'll also review options on delivering more transparent and easily digestible financial data to the public.
The special Board of Education meeting will convene at 6 p.m. tonight at the Woodridge High School Library.
Refer to the meeting agenda attached to this article.
Want to get more recent news on the Woodridge budget, read on:
What do you think it'll take to get a levy passed in the Woodridge Local Schools district?