Skillicorn spotlights district’s blight, slams tax-increment financing

“Walmart wins while taxpayers in Community School District 300 are stuck with the bill,” – Allen

By Jamie Barrand

Allen Skillicorn, Republican candidate for the 66th State House District seat and an East Dundee village trustee, is upset about the epidemic of abandoned and blighted buildings in the district he wants to represent, the latest of which is the former Walmart store in East Dundee.

Protect Our School Funding: Chicago Bailout Guts 50% Of A Local School District’s Funding!

It’s a shameless money grab! Springfield politicians want millions of our tax dollars to bail out Chicago. – Allen

School District FY 15 Disbursements Change with SB 231 Compared to Disbursements % Change
300 $     32,265,103.31 $       (2,383,447.01) -7.4%
155 $     10,624,580.88 $       (2,086,089.01) -19.6%
158 $     20,621,386.42 $       (3,326,799.10) -16.1%
47 $       9,207,467.94 $       (4,726,667.91) -51.30%

The Dundee Candidate With McHenry County Roots

Allen Skillicorn has deep roots in the Fox River Valley. Allen grew up between Crystal Lake and Algonquin; he and his wife Heather have made a home in East Dundee. Together they give back by volunteering for the local therapy dogs group and animal rescue. The Skillicorn’s are also active members of the Fox Valley Church near Huntley and Randall Road.

D300 Foundation Wins Casino Funds For Music Instruments

from First Electric News

The Kane County Riverboat Grant Fund awarded a $9,593 grant Friday to the District 300 Foundation For Education Excellence to purchase new musical instruments for the D300 middle schools. On hand to receive it was was Carpentersville Middle School Music Teacher Michael Kasper who taught himself to be a grant writer and lobbyist to help secure the funds.

District 300 Plans Website Revamp

from First Electric Newspaper

The D300 Board of Education Tuesday gave informal assent for plans that might cost as much as $100,000 to revamp the District’s website and the ones for each of its 27 schools.  “This is probably the thing we get the most [complaints] about from the public,” commented Board Member Steve Fiorentino.

The District postponed a $93,000 website plan five years ago but administrators said it’s needed even more important now because there’s more information to post, 17,000 pages worth, and because cybersecurity is deteriorating.  Superintendent Fred Heid said that a recent breach resulted in “‘pharmaceuticals’ being offered on some of our website.”

District 300 Announces Full-Day Kindergarten Program

from the First Electric Newspaper

The District 300 Board of Education Monday approved a plan for fee full day kindergarten for all families starting with the new school year.  Currently Kindergarten’s only half-time and parents have to pay for it.

The full-time plan unveiling was an abrupt one.  “We’re voting on this tonight?” inquired member Suzie Kopacz.

“We have to move quickly,” said Superintendent Fred Heid.  “We have staffing needs,”  he said.  Specificially the District needs to hire 10 new kindergarten teachers before school starts as well as a few others for special instruction.

Full-time kindergarten’s been on the Board’s wish list for several years but Heid said it began to seem like a real possibility when classroom surveys discovered now there’s enough space available in the right places to accommodate it.  He said administrators worked out a plan to go full time at almost no cost.  Heid said first year start up costs would run to about $675,000 but after that, the loss of current student fees would be offset by the elimination of mid-day return buses and more State Aid to Schools receipts.   “It almost becomes profit-making,” said Heid in what might have been a tone of bemusement.

School District 300 Discusses A 1.5% Property Tax Increase

from First Electric Newspaper

The D300 Board of Education Monday reviewed the District’s tentative 2014-15 school year budget which calls for a slim $53,000 more revenue than $213 million worth of expenses.  Critical to taxpayers, the document assumes a 1.5 percent increase for the District’s next property tax levy.

Chief Financial Officer Susan Harkin told the Board there’s more uncertainty to the budget than usual thanks to the state of the State’s finances and as yet undecided Supreme and local court cases.  “It’s hard to build a budget when you have such unpredictable funding,” she said.

“We don’t have the luxury the State has to pass a six-month budget, huh?” replied Board Member Kathleen Burley.

The Board’s expected to formally approve the tentative budget Aug. 11 with a public hearing and final vote planned for Sept. 22.