School Consolidation Referendum

April  08, 2014

      Four school districts in the Illinois Quad Cities have moved one step closer to consolidation. Monday night, the Committee of Ten, which represents United Township, East Moline, Silvis, and Colona, approved a ballot question for the fall, including a tax rate.

      Committee chair, Jim Legare, says the proposed tax rate is $5.45 per 100 dollars assessed value. But he emphasizes this is just a maximum rate.

      "There's a good chance we'll levy less than what is actually on the ballot. But the question between now and then is what happens to state funding. Ideally, this is a 20 year tax rate."

      In the coming months, Legare says the Committee of Ten will continue to meet and talk about boundaries, curriculum, and facilities. Members will also try to convince residents of the four districts to vote "yes" in the fall. 

      "Almost every one of these districts right now is deficit spending and we can't continue to do that. Sooner or later we will burn through our reserves."

      The ballot question now goes to the four school boards for their approval, then to the Rock Island County Regional Office of Education, and then to the State Board of Education. If they all approve, then it will go on the November ballot.