Reorganization Frequently Asked Questions
by Dan Oakley
There are numerous questions that go along with discussions of reorganization. This page represents an attempt to answer those questions that can be answered at this point in time, and to point to resources available to answer other questions. A number of questions have already been answered in some form in the reorganization feasibility study, but may be repeated here in some form for the purpose of brevity and ease of access.
At this time, the questions answered here are focused on the three-way reorganization recommended by the feasibility study. It should be noted that some of the questions and their subsequent answers will translate to any reorganization, but not all.
Outside of classification of questions, there is no particular order to the questions as they are listed below. As much as possible, similar questions are rolled into one question.
Further questions to be added to this FAQ may be submitted to .
Decisions regarding curriculum for the new school district can only be made by board of education of the proposed new school district; however, some speculation can be made by reviewing similarly sized and resourced districts. This will be noted on questions to which this applies.
Q: What courses will be available in the new high school? A: Only the new board of education can answer this question; however, a review of similarly sized and resourced districts reveals that, in general, the new district can be expected to offer increased possibilities to its students, which is a goal of the Avon Board of Education. A panel has done some research into what some other similar districts around the state of Illinois have done, and have compiled the information, available for download by clicking here.
Q: Will remedial courses be available for students who move in to the district who have not had as rigorous a background as the new school district will be providing? A: Only the new board of education can answer this question for certain.
Q: How are we going to ensure that all three (original) districts' elementary curricula are comparable, so all children entering junior high are equal and compatible? A: Only the new board of education can answer this question for certain; however, once reorganization is accomplished, a school district with multiple elementary schools places all of those elementary schools under the direction of the mission, vision and leadership of one board of education and one central office administrative staff.
Q: Is there a formula for the teacher's contract? A: No. By law, the contract in each original district is dissolved, and a new contract must be negotiated. Dr. Phillips did note during his original presentation that it is fair to assume that the highest salary schedule will end up being the salary schedule for the new district, but that is not written into to law or any formula.
Q: Do you have any idea how much will or can be saved with facility cuts on a new 3-way district? A: Only the new board of education can answer this question for certain, due to the fact that there are actually multiple questions and decisions inherent in this one question.
Q: What body sets the new school's tax rate? A: The Committee of 10 develops the tax rates to be placed on the ballot for the Education Fund, Operations and Maintenance Fund, and the Transportation Fund. The maximum rates in other funds are either determined by law or by the need of the district.
Q: What is Avon's current longest bus ride? A: Around 1 hour.
Q: How long will my child be on the bus in the new district? A: Unknown; however, the length of time will be determined in great extent by the new board of education’s commitment to maximum lengths of bus rides. This question points out the critical necessity of knowing the prospective members of the new board of education, what they stand for, and how strongly they will represent those positions. Vote for those candidates who best represent your points of view in all aspects of the new district.
Q: How many bus routes will there be in the new district? A: Only the new board of education can answer this question.
Q: Will shuttle buses be provided between the towns of Bushnell, Avon, and Abingdon? A: Only the new board of education can answer this question.
Q: What will happen to Avon High School (the building)? A: Only the new board of education can answer this question.
Q: Is Avon going to replace the grade school roof? When? How will this be financed? A: Yes. The plan is to replace the roof in the summer of 2011. The replacement will be completely financed by dollars currently available in the district’s Working Cash Fund.
Q: Are there any other capital improvements needed in the new district? A: Other than Avon’s need to replace the elementary roof, this is a question that must be addressed by each current individual board of education.
Q: What would the new school district need to do to avoid closing one or more elementary schools? What is going to prevent the new district from closing one of the community grade schools? A: Only the new board of education can answer this question; however, this points out the critical necessity of knowing who the prospective members of the new board of education are, what they stand for, and how strongly they will represent those positions. Vote for those candidates who best represent your points of view in all aspects of the new district.
Committee of 10
Q: Who selects the members of the committee of 10? How are the members of the committee of 10 selected? A: The boards of education involved in the reorganization process will select the members of the committee of 10. The boards of education determine the criteria for selection.
Q: What duties/powers does the committee of 10 possess? A: According to the feasibility study, the committee of 10 is charged with the following: a. A request to submit the proposition at a regular scheduled election; b. A description of the territory comprising the district’s proposed to be dissolved and those to be created; c. The maximum tax rates for various purposes which the proposed district(s) shall be authorized to levy, with PTELL information if necessary; d. Allocation of supplementary State deficit difference payments among proposed districts; e. Division of assets and liabilities; f. if desired, a request to elect school board members at the same election by separate ballot; g. If desired, a request that board members for a unit district (other than a partial elementary unit district) be elected by school board districts rather than at large; h. If desired, a request to submit the format for the election of a new high school board as part of a unit to dual conversion proposition; i. If desired, a request to submit a proposition by separate ballot for authority to issue bonds; and j. A designation of a committee of ten of the petitioners (Committee of Ten)
Board of Education
Q: How are the members of the new board of education determined? Will they be elected at large, or by bounded regions in the new district? A: Without a specification on the ballot, the members of the board of education will be chosen at large. The committee of 10 may include a statement that provides for representatives to be elected from bounded regions.
Q: Is the new board of education bound to any specific requirements, format, etc. in setting up the new district? A: Obviously, the law, available finances, facilities, etc. bound what the new board of education decides. Beyond these, in terms of daily operations issues, the new board of education is bound only to those elements that are on the ballot.
Q: Of how many members will the new board of education be comprised? A: By law, a board of education of a consolidated unit school district must be comprised of 7 members.
Q: Do the voters have the final say on reorganization? A: Yes, with a couple of exceptions. In a consolidation such as our three districts are discussing, the voters have the final say via the election booth. Each district’s voters must approve the ballot item in order for the ballot item to be approved. Failure in one district equals failure in all districts.