Lawsuit filed to stop District 200 from building new school
DuPage Watchdog founder Jan Shaw has filed a lawsuit to prevent the District 200 School Board from building a new school without the referendum required.
“If District 200 voters choose to allow the district to borrow money to build a new school, I’ll accept that result,” Shaw said. “What I won’t accept is the district ignoring the will of the community expressed in two separate referenda, to pile on more debt our district can’t afford with our already high property tax bills.”
The district planned to use its lease authority to build the school, despite the section of the school code only providing its authority to lease property, an Edgar County Watchdogs post stated in March.
“The District signed a deal to ‘lease’ a building that doesn’t even exist,” Shaw said. ”The district thinks that by using the magic word ‘lease’ its two failed referendum efforts and the will of the community are somehow erased, and it can proceed in an identical manner as if a referendum had been adopted by the community to build and finance a new school.”
The district is not only ignoring its voters, but also its finances, Shaw said.
“At the time of the 2017 referendum, superintendent Schuler claimed the district would need to spend $6.5 million a year extra just to maintain its existing buildings if the referendum did not pass,” Shaw said. “The district hasn’t said where it will find that money, let alone pay for its other obligations such as raises under the new teacher contract. Yet, it wants to add to its existing debt load to build another brand new building.”