A Little Yang, A Little Yin, A Left Hook To The Taxpayers’ Chin


It has been almost two years since we first started writing – in our posts of 11.28.14 and 12.23.14 – about Park Ridge-Niles School District 64’s efforts to catch and cull non-resident “parasite” students.

So we were pleased to read a recent Park Ridge Herald-Advocate article (“12 students removed from District 64 for non-residency; background checks expanded,” 09.16.16) reporting that 12 students were removed from D-64 schools last year because it was discovered that they didn’t live in the District full-time. At a rough cost of $14,000 per student, that’s almost $170,000 a year in savings.

Upon seeing that article we went to the District’s website and found the Residency Update report that the District’s investigator is currently working on 9 more cases.

The H-A story, but not the District’s report, states that D-64 Chief School Business Official Luann Kolstad pegged the cost of the residency investigations and one formal hearing at $77,464, which seems a bit stiff. It’s also hard to understand because…SURPRISE!…the non-transparent District apparently offered the H-A reporter no explanation. And, presumably, the H-A reporter didn’t think to ask for one.

But saving the taxpayers a net $90,000+ seems to make it a worthwhile exercise and expense.

So we’re offering D-64 a rousing “Huzzah!” for getting something right.

But because yin can’t seem to exist without yang, we can’t help but note that the published agenda for this Monday night’s D-64 Board meeting includes something very wrong: “Ratification of PREA/Board Agreement.”

No Board packet has been posted on the District’s website, so we don’t know whether the opaque Board and Administration might actually deign to include the new contract among the rest of the meeting materials. But we highly doubt it.

After telling the taxpayers to pound sand for the past few weeks, it’s unlikely that Supt. Laurie Heinz would let “Boss” Borrelli and the rest of the Board lemmings do anything transparent, even something as worthless as an 11th-hour publication of the contract.

But if you don’t care about the Falcons v. the Saints on Monday night football, and are willing to risk missing the first few minutes of the Clinton v. Trump circus, swing by the Roosevelt School gym and bear witness to non-representative, Star Chamber local government at pretty much its absolute worst.

You are likely to hear Heinz, Borrelli and/or the lemmings brag about how wonderful they are, how wonderful the PREA folks are, and how wonderful the new contract is – including new spending that will make that $90,000+ savings from residency checks seem like chump change.

Then you can return home to the relative honesty and sincerity of Hill and Don.

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