Village of Bartlett, Illinois  •  228 S. Main St. •  Bartlett, IL 60103  •  630.837.0800  •  www.village.bartlett.il.us
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School District Disconnection Update

Historical Perspective

Since the late 1980s, the Village of Bartlett has worked with legal counsel and other consultants to study the feasibility of disconnecting from School District U-46. During that time, the legal process for establishing a separate school district has been analyzed and detailed demographic, financial and operational studies have been conducted and reviewed by both a School Study Advisory Committee and the Village Board.

In November 2000, an advisory referendum question asked residents if they wanted the Village Board to continue looking at disconnection from U46 at an “undetermined cost.” Approximately 7,000 residents voted “no” and 5,000 voted “yes.”

In the Fall of 2003, at the urging of concerned residents and the citizens group Better Schools for All, the Bartlett Village Board hired the law firm of Klein, Thorpe & Jenkins to reopen the disconnection issue. The Board subsequently voted to place an advisory referendum on the November 2004 election ballot to gauge community opinion on disconnection. The referendum question asked, “Do you support creating a new unit school district separate from U46 if it is in the best financial and educational interests of the community?” Residents in Wayne, unincorporated West Chicago and Carol Stream were asked to weigh in on a similar question. The final count showed that voters favored, by two to one, the pursuit of a separate school district.

The Village met with state legislators in Springfield, compiled and provided information on a separate school district and worked with a lobbyist to forward disconnection efforts. On April 25, 2007, the Village participated in a subject matter hearing held by the House Committee on Elementary and Secondary Education. The subject of the hearing was the school disconnection legislation forwarded by Representative Randy Ramey. This legislation is held at this level for future action. 

On March 16, 2010, the Village Board reviewed and finalized its 2010 - 2011 Strategic Plan, which continues to include the formation of a new school district as a focused goal:

Goal #3
Pursue formation of a new school district to ensure high quality education    

OBJECTIVE
Continue efforts toward school improvements.

TACTICS/ACTION STEPS

  • Continue to update residents on school disconnection issues.
  • Continue to monitor the political environment at the state level relative to proposing disconnection legislation.
  • Work jointly with School District U-46 and local schools to support and further education enhancement efforts.
  • Continue to communicate with the school district on areas of mutual concern. 

The Village of Bartlett web site will continue to provide up-to-date information about the community's most recent efforts regarding this issue.

Local Educational Needs Act (February 2007 Bartletter article)

Press for Smaller School District Continues (August 2006 Bartletter article)

Bartlett Confident its Study is Accurate (September 23, 2005)

At the May 2, 2005 Town Hall meeting, education consultant Dr. Timothy Brown distributed copies of a speech given by Bill Gates in February 2005 at the National Education Summit on High Schools.

Dr. Brown also gave two PowerPoint presentations:
The New School District Community Values
The High School Academic Program

Village President Catherine Melchert's February 2005 Letter to the Editor

March 2005 -- School District Academic Performance, Fiscal Responsibility and Accountability Fact Sheet

March 1, 2005 -- Board Action in regard to public relations consultant Carolyn Grisko & Associates

In February of 2005, the Village of Bartlett began a series of Town Hall meetings, facilitated by education consultant Dr. Timothy Brown, to help gather public input and explore the possible shape of a new school district. Here are the summaries of group responses to two questions asked at the Town Hall Meetings held on February 10, 22 and 28.

Town Meeting Question #1: Why are smaller districts more appealing than larger districts.

Town Meeting Question #2: What should the responsibilities be for each of these groups - students, parents, school system, community -- in relation to a school district.

January 18, 2005 -- Board Action in regard to legislative consultant Cullen & Associates and school consultant Dr. Timothy Brown

Tabulated Results of November 2004 Referendum Question Ballots

 

Additional web sites for individuals interested in improving the quality of education

Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation

Achieve.org

The College Track: America's Sorting Machine