I’m Jon Kubricht, and, together with Claudia Medina, I’m running for a seat on the Proviso Township Board of Education. I’m running because I have background in financial management, and the majority of the current Board are about to ruin the financial future of this District for the next twenty years.
We all remember the story of the goose who laid the golden eggs. A farmer and his wife had a goose that laid a golden egg each day. But because the couple were foolish and greedy, they decided to kill the goose to get all the gold at once. But after they killed the goose, they saw it contained no extra gold, and, as a consequence of their foolishness and greed, they no longer got any golden eggs at all.
Well, the Proviso Board of Education and superintendent are acting just like that foolish farmer and his greedy wife. They are now proposing that our district and all taxpayers who live in it kill our golden goose.
Each and every year, the state of Illinois gives District Evidence-Based Funding (EBF) to help us fund the operations of our high schools. That money is free to us. It’s not a loan, and we don’t have to pay it back or pay any interest on it. We use this money to pay for the upkeep of our buildings and to pay all of our teachers. That money from the state, combined with the taxes we pay, are more than enough to run our school system. In fact, our district has been enjoying budget surpluses.
But now the current board and superintendent want borrow over $71 million from a private lender. That’s $71 million we’ll be paying back over the next 20 years — long after this board and this superintendent are gone. If they succeed in borrowing that huge amount of money, we’ll have to use that free money we get from the State to pay interest to the lender. Even worse, in the final years of that loan, we’ll have to finish paying the entire $71 million back. And if the district doesn’t have enough in its bank account, our taxes are going to be raised again.
So let’s break this down. Over the next 20 years, Proviso Township can either get $114 million from the state that we never have to pay back or pay any interest on, or we can have $71 million all at once, and be required to pay back $71 million + millions in interest. That would be a financial disaster for the district.
What’s even worse, the board and superintendent won’t even tell us what they need that huge amount of money for. Right now, the superintendent spends hundreds of thousands of dollars each year on his district credit card and won’t even tell us what those charges are for. How can we trust him with $71 million?
The reason no other school district trades $114 million for $71 million is that it makes no sense. Please tell our board and our superintendent that we don’t want to be that foolish farmer and his greedy wife. Tell them not to kill our golden goose. Say no to this unnecessary loan that we and our children will be paying back for decades and cut off our ability to borrow in case of an emergency until 2044. Millions of dollars in interest paid to investors is a devastating loss to our children’s educational future!
Jon Kubricht is a Forest Park resident.