At Monday's Springfield School Board meeting, board Vice President Adam Lopez said a 1 percent sales tax hike in Sangamon County could help District 186 and other area districts pay for building and facility improvements.
Lopez said the revenue from a countywide sales tax increase would also allow the district to chip away at some of its bonded debt.
Springfield School District parents with the group Invest in 186, however, have been calling for a property tax increase as a means to bring
much-needed additional revenue to the district. The group is working to get a property tax referendum on the ballot for voters to
consider. Additional revenue from a property tax hike would be set aside for the teachers' education fund and other programs.
Back in 2010, voters shot down a
countywide, 1 percent sales tax hike for school construction, which was
expected to provide District 186 with $10 million in revenue each year.
A property tax increase also failed to pass when the issue was brought
to voters in 2002 and 1994.
school officials, the Springfield School Board is expected to explore
the various tax scenarios at its October 21 meeting.
Meanwhile, Lanphier High School staffers walked out of Monday's meeting over comments made by board member Judy Johnson during their update on a federal school improvement grant. According to the State Journal-Register,
Johnson told the Lanphier faculty members that black students'
tests scores dropped in the second year of the grant, and the teachers
needed to “work harder" with the students.
don’t know if you intended to offend us, but you definitely did,” one
faculty member said in response to Johnson's comment, the newspaper
“If you’re offended, then maybe you need to do a
better job,” Johnson replied, which caused the Lanphier staff members to
leave the meeting.