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Thursday, May 23, 2024

School District 204 seeks community feedback on funding proposal, info meetings scheduled

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Above / Indian Prairie District 204 is considering placing a funding proposal on the November 2024 ballot to address highest-priority facility and operating needs. Info meetings at five District 204 schools welcome input from residents from April 15 through April 18.

AURORA, IL – Indian Prairie School District 204 (IPSD 204) is considering placing a 37-cent limiting rate referendum on the November 2024 ballot, which would fund the District’s highest-priority unmet facility and operating needs, and would NOT require a net tax rate increase. 

With over three-fourths of its revenues sourced from local property taxpayers, IPSD 204 recognizes the weight of its responsibility to ensure every dollar is utilized wisely and efficiently. With a long history of balanced budgets, the District consistently operates within its means while delivering exceptional educational outcomes.

“We take great pride in our continued financial stewardship and transparency,” said Matt Shipley, Chief School Business Official. “Through sensible financial management and strategic allocation of resources, we ensure that every student receives a quality education without burdening our taxpayers.”

Compare IPSD 204 statewide

In a compelling comparison, IPSD 204 stands out among its peers and the statewide average in expenditure efficiency. Despite maintaining high standards of education from Kindergarten through High School, IPSD 204 spends more than $2,200 less per pupil than the State average. When compared to similar high-performing unit school districts, IPSD 204 not only matches but often exceeds academic performance while significantly underspending.

Over the past year, IPSD 204 has completed a master facility assessment and master facility plan. (Watch the overview of the plan.) Engaging a team of architects, engineers, and security professionals, IPSD 204’s facilities were evaluated, recommendations were made, and a master plan was developed for each building in the district. With 35 district buildings covering over 650 acres of property, and representing over 4 million square feet of space, the total replacement cost of IPSD 204’s buildings is approximately $3.5 billion dollars.

During the 1990’s, IPSD 204 was one of the fastest growing districts in the State. More than 80 percent of the district’s buildings were built between 1985 and 2003. These buildings are now approaching 30 years old, and many building systems including roofs, boilers, and electrical systems, are original and past their expected lives. Additionally, expectations for student safety and learning environments have evolved since these facilities were built.

“The district is in need of upgrades to our facilities to meet the ever-changing needs of our students and staff,” said Dr. Adrian Talley, Superintendent. “When our students flourish, we all flourish and we need to ensure that our schools are safe and provide the learning environments needed for our students.”

Anticipated benefits of the funding proposal

  • Improving safety and security 
  • Reducing class sizes 
  • Adding mental health professionals 
  • Maintaining academic excellence and accountability 
  • Enhancing building efficiency, saving taxpayer dollars 
  • Ensuring every student has access to a quality learning environment 
  • Reducing costly and disruptive emergency repairs 
  • Extending the useful life of existing facilities 
  • Protecting property values

Currently, local residents contribute 37 cents per $100,000 in assessed home value toward repaying bonds that built IPSD 204 schools, including Metea Valley High School. This tax levy yields approximately $25.5 million annually. As payment on these bonds near completion in 2026, the district has a unique opportunity to utilize these funds for other vital purposes. IPSD 204 would use the funds to reinvest in district facilities and provide a continual source of funding for facility needs.  

Funding also would be available to address critical operating needs. These include an expansion of mental health services with additional counselors, mental health professionals, and reducing class sizes with additional teachers.    

Public meetings & link to plan overview featured below

IPSD 204 is holding a series of community informational meetings to inform the public about the funding proposal.

Watch & Learn! In late 2023, District 204 completed a comprehensive facilities assessment. Wight & Company, a well-recognized Chicago-based architecture, engineering and design-build firm, was contracted to support the process. Residents that might have missed the presentation at the board meeting with Q&A from school board members are encouraged to watch the overview of the plan that features a summary of identified needs and priorities at 35 buildings throughout the school district.

Meetings planned April 15 thru April 18, 2024

Meetings begin the week of April 15, at schools throughout the district.

For more information, visit www.ipsd.org/saferstronger204

Indian Prairie School District 24 Mission

The mission of Indian Prairie School District 204 is to inspire all students to achieve their greatest potential. Indian Prairie is the fourth largest school district in Illinois, encompassing 46 square miles, including portions of Naperville, Aurora, Bolingbrook, and Plainfield. 

 

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Indian Prairie School District 204
Indian Prairie School District 204http://ipsdweb.ipsd.org/
Indian Prairie School District 204 serves 29,000 students in Naperville, Aurora, Bolingbrook, and Plainfield.
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