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  1. Your 25% fund balance requirement is significantly higher than what Lake Forest or Lake Bluff hold. Lake Bluff had a rather fierce school board election several years ago due to this issue. Perhaps more flexibility in the short term could enable breathing room and a reasoned plan.

  2. While I appreciate Ms. Sher’s advocacy and support of the board, anyone who views the 11/7 board meeting will see that she is not correct in several of her key assumptions.

    The board is *now* contemplating spending an additional 6 FTE to staff Edgewood according to middle-school rather than junior high philosophy. It’s more than $500k on education. That sounds good, right? Yes.

    Except that the board is now saying they don’t need to save $5 million per year, a number which has never been properly documented to begin with, and that instead of spending additional money (to achieve less than $5 million in savings) in keeping Ravinia open (which would allow for full-day kindergarten), or phasing in the closure of Ravinia or Elm Place, they will simply spend the money they no longer need to save on Edgewood FTE.

    The Administration presented this to the board for the first time last night, and demanded immediate action.

    That’s like saying this:

    Speaker 1: Hey, our house is too big and we should save money.
    Speaker 2: How much, exactly?
    Speaker 1: I’m not sure, but let’s close four rooms that we use all the time right now and we’ll just hope the bills come out ok.

    [Time passes]

    Speaker 1: Actually, we don’t really understand our budget and we don’t need all the savings.
    Speaker 2: Great! Let’s reopen, or at least only partially close some of the four rooms.
    Speaker 1: Nah, we’re going to redo the kitchen!
    Speaker 2: But the children live in those four rooms.
    Speaker 1: But they also eat, and it’s always better to have a better kitchen. We’re not sure we can get any of the permits in time, but we’ll just force it through the city planning process rather than go slower and do it next year.
    Speaker 2: Can we think about it?
    Speaker 1: No, you have to decide RIGHT NOW—5 minutes after learning about it for the first time.

    BDR3 is not a plan. It’s a concept to reallocate funds to suit the desires of a board that has no firm grasp on its own finances. It took 2.0 to develop the first real financial model 112 has ever had, and it shows, clearly, that we have more time to go slow and let 2.0 come up with a plan before we reach a monetary crisis.

    The board changes in the wind, and the wind continues to blow us toward hasty decision making.

    You could watch public comment last night, which asked the board to slow down for an hour, but the video was not recorded due to some sort of malfunction.

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