Archive for the ‘BOHICA’ Category

220 Survey

“In June 2023 the Barrington 220 Board of Education approved the district’s new strategic plan, Framework 220. The plan consists of six strategic priorities. One of the priorities is Community Partnerships & Communication.

Please take our 3-minute external communications survey.”

Their survey link can be found here.

Editorial note: When completing the survey, it appeared many of the questions are crafted to assist District 220 in preparing for their November, 2024 Referendum campaign strategies.

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Plan B

By Elizabeth Owens-Schiele | Pioneer Press

A referendum advisory committee is being formed by Barrington School District 220 to explore a potential $50 million referendum, money to help pay for a new fine arts center at Barrington High School.

At the Nov. 7 board meeting, school board members discussed options they plan to charge the committee with as committee members meet with community stakeholders. Details of options for new fine, visual and performing arts spaces are expected to be fine-tuned by board members at the Nov. 21 board meetings and ones in December.

The committee is expected to begin outreach in January and make recommendations to the board in March, as the district plans for a Nov. 5, 2024 referendum on the ballot, officials explained.

The ultimate hope is to create new spaces for high school students in the fine, visual and performing arts.

“We see the benefits of having those spaces, educationally and for extra curriculars. There’s a lot of value,” BHS Principal Steve McWilliams said to the board during the a presentation at the Nov. 7 meeting. “It’s their niche, it’s what makes high school special.”

Board member Leah Collister-Lazzari suggested the district conduct more research on the timing of the referendum and the landscape for referendum support.

More here.

Related: “220 Board plans to form referendum advisory committee to gain fine, visual & performing arts feedback,” “District 220 Board plans to seek community feedback about new fine, visual & performing arts spaces at BHS.”

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By Glenn Minnis | The Center Square contributor

For the fourth year in a row, Chicago ranks as the country’s most corrupt city. Illinois stands as the third-most corrupt state in a University of Illinois at Chicago study.

To arrive at the findings, researchers analyzed 2021 public corruption statistics compiled by the U.S. Department of Justice. In all, there were 32 public corruption convictions in the Northern District of Illinois that includes Chicago in 2021, nearly a 33% increase from the 22 convictions that were reported the year before.

State Rep. Dan Ugaste, R-Geneva, isn’t surprised.

“It’s an awful shame, and goes to show you what happens when we have one party controlling everything,” Ugaste told The Center Square. “It gets to people, and they think they can do as they please instead of doing what is required of them under the law and required of them ethically.”

A solution to the long-running problem doesn’t have to be that difficult, Ugaste said.

We have extremely weak ethics laws,” he added. “If we fixed those within the House and Senate and gave our Legislative Inspector General more authority, I think it would go a long way in helping all of it. On the Republican side, we file bills every year to strengthen the legislative inspector general and the ethics laws but they never get hearings.”

Read more here.

(Very) Related: Better (decades) late than never

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By: Ted Dabrowski and John Klingner | Wirepoints

Fresh data from the U.S. Census continues to point to the loss of Illinoisans to domestic outmigration: Illinois netted a loss of 116,000 residents to other states in 2022. Those losses are on top of the 141,000 Illinoisans that fled in 2021.

The new losses compound the problem of the last decade, from 2010 to 2020, when Illinois was one of just three states in the entire country to shrink in the Census’ population count. Mississippi and West Virginia were the other two states to shrink.

The latest data shows Illinois was a net loser of residents to 36 different states in 2022, resulting in a net out-migration of 126,000 residents to those 36 states. On the flip side, Illinois was a net winner of residents from just 13 states. The net in-migration from those nine states totaled just 12,000 residents.

In all, Illinois netted a loss of nearly 116,000 residents to other states in 2022 (includes 1,500 in losses to DC as well).


The Census data continues to show the favorite destination for Illinoisans wanting a new home is Florida. The Sunshine State gained a net 21,184 residents from Illinois.

But destinations number 2, 3 and 4 aren’t booming southern states or retiree-friendly havens like Arizona or the Carolinas.

Instead, Illinoisans are simply moving just over the border. Illinoisans’ number two destination in 2022 was Indiana, which gained a net 17,223 Illinoisans, followed by Wisconsin, a net 14,605 Illinoisans gained, and Iowa, a net 7,972 Illinoisans gained.


Read more here.

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Thank 220

(Property tax) bills showed an increase of 73% to the school districts of Park Ridge and Barrington, respectively.

By Paris Schutz | WTTW

The median homeowners in Cook County’s north and northwest suburbs saw their property tax bills rise 15.7% this year, according to a new study just released from Cook County Treasurer Maria Pappas’ office.

The study concludes that it’s the largest residential property tax hike for that part of the county in 30 years. The study also shows the tax burden shifting from commercial properties to residential properties, despite Cook County Assessor Fritz Kaegi’s initial campaign promises to shift things in the other direction.

The North Shore suburbs saw modest increases in their residential property taxes, but some of the blue-collar northwest communities were socked the hardest.

Rosemont saw the largest increase at 32%, although residential properties in that community are typically rebated a large portion of that sum due to the revenue that comes from business, entertainment and convention taxes.

Read more here.

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By A.D. Quig | Chicago Tribune

After months of delay, nearly 1.8 million property tax bills for Cook County home and business owners are landing in mailboxes this week, and many homeowners in the north and northwest suburbs are in for jarring news.

new analysis from county Treasurer Maria Pappas’ research team found the median residential tax bill there increased by 15.7%, according to the report, “the largest percentage increase in the last 30 years.”

Residential properties in that part of the county are shouldering a greater share of the tax burden thanks to what one analyst termed a “perfect storm.”

Across all of Cook County’s 1.8 million parcels, taxes for 1.3 million homeowners and 94,000 commercial property owners went up, according to the report.

In the south suburbs, the median residential bill increased by 3.9% and the median commercial bill — for properties like offices, stores, warehouses and large apartment buildings — went up by 2%. In Chicago, the median homeowner’s bill went up 3%, while the commercial median bill rose only slightly more, 3.1%.

In all, property taxes across Cook County rose more than $909 million, to $17.6 billion, according to the analysis. That’s 5.4% higher than last year, but below the 8% rate of inflation for 2022.

Read more here.

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220 Auditorium

“At the October 17 Board meeting, the Board continued its discussion about possibilities for new fine, visual, and performing arts spaces at Barrington High School. The design work for these new spaces was an identified project within the $147 million dollar referendum that Barrington area voters approved (were sold) in 2020. The cost to build these new spaces was not included in the referendum.

The Board is considering Concept Option 2, which was one of the three options architects presented to the Board at its Oct. 3 meeting. At this time, the Board would like to seek community feedback about Option 2 in order to refine the option, so that architects can create a more visual 3D rendering of it. The Board will discuss the manner in which it plans to gain community feedback at its next meeting on Nov. 7. Click here to listen to the Board meeting discussion.

  • Option 2: This option involves building a new auditorium and renovating existing fine arts classrooms. The renovation will also result in a larger band room, a larger choral room, a larger orchestra room, as well as larger and more dressing rooms. The new auditorium would have approximately 969 seats and be ADA-accessible. This option also involves building a production shop and a new fine arts lobby. The projected estimate is $52,000,000 – $57,020,000. Click here for details.

Click here to view the presentation from the Oct. 17 meeting.”

Editorial note: The projected cost estimate for “Option 2” is roughly $55,000,000. For that amount, a 51,100 square foot new auditorium would be built and 45,000 square feet of production, lobby and other spaces would be remodeling.

Therefore, without further “details” mentioned above, what is being considered would cost taxpayers roughly $571 per square foot to build or remodel. That seems high.

At least two publications state the, “Cost to Build a School by Grade Level (Per Square Foot),” is:

  • $295 for Elementary School
  • $325 for Middle School, and
  • $359 for High Schools

An October, 2022, article titled, “How Much Does A High School Cost To Build?,” states:

“…the national average cost of school construction today ranges from a low of $230 per square foot for a high school in Nashville to a high of $558 in New York.”

Since around half of 220’s projected costs are for remodeling and not new construction, and we’re not in New York last time we checked, we strongly suggest someone get objective competitive bids submitted before this referendum rodeo goes any further.

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Free K

“At the Oct. 17 Barrington 220 Board of Education meeting, the Board supported the district’s recommendation to implement free full-day kindergarten at all Barrington 220 elementary schools, beginning at the start of the 2024-25 school year. Full-day kindergarten will extend core instruction (math, science, literacy, etc.) throughout the school day. It will eliminate the district’s fee-based Kindergarten Enrichment Program.

In addition to implementing full-day kindergarten at all elementary schools, the Board supported the district’s recommendation to create a free full-day kindergarten lab program at Barrington High School. This opt-in program will also begin at the start of the 2024-25 school year. The ‘K-Lab’ will include two kindergarten classes (46 students total), and it will provide unique learning opportunities to students, thanks to its location at BHS. Students will be enrolled in the program utilizing a lottery system similar to the district’s Spanish Dual Language and Chinese Immersion programs. More details about the K-Lab will be provided in the coming months”.

Click here to listen to the Board meeting presentation.

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Stantis Prices

Cartoonist Scott Stantis on the increasing prices of consumer goods. (Scott Stantis / For the Chicago Tribune)

By The Editorial Board | Chicago Tribune

Bosses of consumer products and packaged food companies are scratching their heads for reasons why consumer demand for their goods has slackened so much since the spring.

Stocks of those companies — locally based examples include Kraft Heinz and Conagra Brands, owner of familiar names like Birds Eye, Slim Jim, Duncan Hines and Reddi Whip — are down by well over 20% in 2023, disappointing investors. Each quarter this year sales have been softer than those executives anticipated in the previous quarter.

These companies are proffering lots of theories as to why. Consumers are becoming choosier. They’re prioritizing spending on experiences over convenient food options. This isn’t a long-term trend, just some short-term belt-tightening. Consumer habits are pretty much ingrained. Don’t worry, they’ll be back.

The most obvious explanation is one these CEOs tend to dismiss or de-emphasize. But it shouldn’t be. Many of these companies, if not most of them, simply hiked their prices too much in 2022. As we noted last year, cost pressures in the news every day and consumers temporarily flush with pandemic-era benefits gave the businesses cover to fatten their profit margins well beyond what was required to cope with their own inflationary pressures.

What goes around comes around.

Read more here.

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220 Admin

The District 220 Board of Education meets this evening at 7:00 PM at the District Administration Center, 515 W. Main Street. Topics on their agenda include:

  • Consideration to Approve BHS Course Offerings
  • Ratification of the Collective Bargaining Agreement between the Board of Education and the Barrington Education Association, IEA-NEA
  • Enrollment Status 30-Day
  • Full-Day Kindergarten Update, and
  • Fine, Visual, and Performing Arts Update

A copy of the agenda can be viewed here. The meeting will be live-streamed on the district YouTube channel.

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