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Summit Hill Board Approves $32.2 Million Tax Levy

The board also discussed several recent community surveys and the possibility of becoming involved in political advocacy.

The Summit Hill School District 161 Board of Education unanimously voted to approve the 2012 tax levy for approximately $32.2 million at a meeting on Dec. 12.

The 2012 levy is a $1.55 million increase over the levy in 2011, raising the district tax rate to just above 3.7 percent. This translates to a $69 property tax increase for the owner of a $200,000 house.

Prior to the vote, the board held a public hearing regarding the levy. One community member chose to speak.

“I would just like to urge all board members to approve the levy,” he said.

Board member George Perros, Secretary Denise Lenz and Vice President Joy Murphy were not present at Wednesday’s meeting.

After the vote, the board discussed several recent district surveys.

A survey of district staff revealed that many educators find the district’s homework policy to be burdensome, said Board Member Sean William Doyle. Doyle also said that when responding to the surveys, staff listed the Common Core State Standards, communication, trust and technology as areas of concern regarding the district.

Another survey indicated that, overall, district parents are satisfied.

Roughly 80 percent of the 400 parents who responded to the survey indicated approval of district policies when answering the majority of survey questions discussed. However, only 65 percent of parents said they were pleased with their child’s extracurricular activities. 

A group of 82 former Summit Hill students also recently completed a district survey.

The current Lincoln-Way juniors were evenly divided when asked whether their classes at Summit Hill had challenged them. 42 percent of students said that the district prepared them for high school, while 19 percent said it did not prepare them. 17 percent of students said they were personally affected by bullying while attending school in the district. 64 percent said they were not.

Board member Stacey Borgens said she would like to see the district survey Lincoln-Way students earlier in their high school careers, at the end of their freshman year.

While recapping a recent conference hosted by the Illinois Association of School Boards, the board discussed the possibility of becoming involved in political advocacy at the state level.

Superintendent Barb Rains, who sat in on a session about advocacy during the conference, said that it’s important for districts to unite if they want to inform legislators about the state of public schools in Illinois.

Doyle and Board Member Denise Wildeveld both addressed the significance of communicating with local state legislators.

“Now is the time,” said Wildeveld.

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tinley parker December 14, 2012 at 03:27 AM
The taxpayer money tree is beginning to wither a bit. Just a few questions that would have made this article more compelling: What cuts to the budget have been made? What would have been cut if they had not received this new increase? Are the new funds going to student programs or pensions and health benefits? Who voted yes on this? Some board members are too busy to show up when they decide to raise our taxes. Business as usual.
Anna Schier December 14, 2012 at 05:28 AM
Hi tinley parker, Those are all great questions! I'd suggest that you take a look at some of our earlier coverage of the levy, when the board was still in the discussion phase of how much to levy for 2012. Those articles address the issue in greater detail: http://frankfort.patch.com/articles/summit-hill-board-votes-down-tax-levy-estimate http://frankfort.patch.com/articles/summit-hill-board-approves-32-2m-levy-estimate Thanks for reading! Anna
kc May 03, 2013 at 02:51 AM
All I care about are the exorbitant taxes district 161 is collecting from homeowners in Frankfort verses the other taxing bodies....including the high school district. Kevin Pain -who doubled the tax amount on his way out- or .Barbara Rains.....it doesn't matter...what does matter is the citizens of Frankfort need to stand up and demand that they get to vote on any further increases- as do residents of surrounding towns. And we also need to push to get these taxes demanded by S.D. 161 lowered....now! When are residents going to wake up and demand to have the school district's continuous tax increases held up to scrutiny by residents and placed on the ballot to be voted upon by taxpaying residents --who are fed up!
kc May 03, 2013 at 02:56 AM
Also why don't they stuff over mailboxes with notices of the tax levy meetings--well in advance-- every year- like politicians do at election time. No...they'd rather keep any notice of the meeting as quiet as possible and then inform residents when they complain about the continuous tax hikes by SD 161 that..."only one resident showed up at the meeting"...much to their satisfaction.
kc May 03, 2013 at 03:07 AM
To mrs.406 "Good thing everyone's property value is so low right now, not as high as a hit as the village thinks per home." The Frankfort assessor has been lowering the assessments for the last 2 years, however that somehow doesn't seem to correlate with less taxes being paid by residents. Why? Because entities like SD161 have the power to constantly vote to take as much as they want from the residents. Read the Frankfort Assessors page --it explains what's happening. The residents have to get something on the ballot to stop districts like this one from consistently increasing the amount requested from taxpayers. I don't know about you, but out of about 15 taxing bodies this one alone taxes one -half of my tax dollars and they just keep taking more and more. As the assessor lowers my assessment, SD 161 keeps demanding more money, so my taxes only go higher and higher and higher anyway! We residents need to demand something on the ballot to stop this--as Mokena, New Lenox and other towns have done!!

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