A proposal has passed the Illinois House that could eventually lead to votes to consolidate K-8 and High School Districts into unit districts.
State Representative Blaine Wilhour is a co-sponsor of the measure.
“Property taxes are out of control and we’re not going to be able to deal with property tax before we number 1 deal with the sheer volume of government in the state. We’ve got somewhere around 850 school districts and I think that’s more than Florida, North Carolina and Virginia combined so if we are going to be able to give property tax relief and adequately fund our schools then we need to look at cutting some administrative bloat.”
The legislation to create the School District Efficiency Commission now heads to a Senate committee for consideration. The Commission’s focus would concentrate on duplication of efforts and reducing the number of school districts in Illinois by at least 25-percent. Wilhour says consolidating the grade and high school districts would accomplish the goals.
“This is an opportunity that we can cut the number of districts in the State by 40% if we do this without eliminating a single teacher or school building. It’s a win for taxpayers at the end of the day, it’s a step in the right direction and we need to start moving that way in the State of Illinois.”
If the Commission adopts the report recommendations, the reorganization of school districts would have to be placed on the ballots of designated school districts in the next general election, which could be as soon as the November 2020 election.