Building Pride in Our Students' Future
Frequently Asked Questions
What are the challenges and opportunities with consolidation?
llinois School Code (see links below) addresses provisions for the change in school district boundaries by detachment, annexation, division or dissolution, consolidation or by any combination of these methods. Proper petitions, hearings and referendums must occur before the process can begin. According to Dr. Mark Klaisner Director of West40 Intermediate Center, which serves as Pennoyer’s Regional Office of Education, before consolidation can occur, all assets (such as buildings, furniture, buses, etc), contracts (such as teacher union contracts, copy machine contracts, etc), and debts that extend beyond the date of consolidation needs to be negotiated between the two districts. This is a lengthy process that can take up to two years or longer. A comprehensive plan must be part of the petition, that needs to be approved by the Regional Superintendent and then the State Superintendent, before going to referendum.
No two school districts are alike, so it would be difficult to answer this question specifically. However, one could assume the consolidation of two school districts would provide a larger budget, therefore, giving the school district more non-referendum bond opportunities to accrue debt.
Pennoyer’s 10-Year Life Safety survey was completed during school year 2016-2017. According to Illinois School Code Section 2-3.12:
- An architect or engineer licensed in the State of Illinois is required to conduct the surveys under the provisions of this Section and shall make a report of the findings of the survey titled “safety survey report” to the school board.
- The school board shall approve the safety survey report, including any recommendations to effectuate compliance with the code, and submit it to the Regional Superintendent.
- The Regional Superintendent shall render a decision regarding approval or denial and submit the safety survey report to the State Superintendent of Education.
- The State Superintendent of Education shall approve or deny the report including recommendations to effectuate compliance with code and, if approved, issue a certificate of approval.
- Upon receipt of the certificate of approval, the Regional Superintendent shall issue an order to the effect any approved recommendations included in the report. The report shall meet all the following requirements:
- Items in the report shall be prioritized.
- Urgent items shall be considered as those items related to life safety problems that present an immediate hazard to the safety of the student.
- Required items shall be considered as those items that are necessary for a safe environment but present less of an immediate hazard to the safety of students.
- Urgent and required items shall reference a specific rule in the code authorized by this Section that is currently being violated or will be violated within the next 12 months if the violation is not remedied.
- The school board of each district so surveyed and receiving a report of needed recommendation to be made to maintain standards of safety and health of the pupils enrolled shall effectuate the correction of urgent items as soon as achievable to ensure the safety of the students, but in no case more than one year after the date of the State Superintendent of Education’s approval of recommendation.
- Required items shall be corrected in a timely manner, but in no case more than 5 years from the date of the State Superintendent of Education’s approval of the recommendation.
- Once each year the school board shall submit a report on completion of any recommendation of effectuate compliance with the code.
No. Referendum monies can only be used for construction, materials for the building, and site improvement.