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“Free of Bull, Full of Bulldogs”

Friday, Nov. 12, 2010 • Volume 80 • Issue 2

What is a referendum? Why will it matter to us?

When April 5th arrives...

What will be the outcome? •

Riverside Brookfield High School

160 Ridgewood Rd.

Riverside, IL 60546

Riverside Brookfield High School


REFERENDUM Nov. 12, 2010•Volume 80 Issue 2

Alleigh Vandemerkt Staff reporter At the school board meeting on Wednesday, September 14th, the board approved an April target date for an education fund tax referendum vote. According to Superintendent David Bonnette, the need for a referendum comes from the state of Illinois not adequately funding public schools. Bonnette said, “The state promised huge funds and hasn’t paid all the money they promised. The expenses have gone up faster than money is coming in from revenue.” RB receives its income from several sources, most notably local property taxes and funding from the state of Illinois. The board voted 7-0 to approve the referendum, which would allow residents to vote to raise their property taxes to add revenue to the school. “This is not something we haven’t anticipated.” School board president Jim Marciniak said. “This is something that’s been facing us for years.” According to Marciniak, the last time the school district received a tax rate increase

at the polls specifically for operating the school was in 2000. The tax rate increase in 2006 was for the building renovation project. That money could only be used on the renovation. Also, according to Marciniak, most of the money spent in the school budget is on personnel expenses. 80% of the budget is spent on salaries and benefits. “We have been cutting down on things such as copy paper, printing, etc.. Areas where we can economize, we have been. Our text book budget is negligible at this point,” he said. At the same meeting, RBEA President Tom Fuller, an English teacher at RB, presented a proposal from the teachers to the board. According to the proposal, if the referendum is approved, teachers agreed to freeze their base salaries for the next two years. While some raises for experience and education will still exist, teachers will not receive a guaranteed yearly raise. Some community members have commented negatively about the prospect of a referendum on the Riverside Landmark’s articles about the referendum and the RBEA proposal. Several

of the commenting community members would like the teachers to take cuts to their salaries and benefits. Sarah Johnson, a teacher at RB and a community member whose taxes will be affected by the referendum, said, “I think we need teachers to do their part and I think the school needs the referendum. We don’t want to change our programming either and we would like the community to vote on that.” Fuller agreed with Johnson and said, “It’s a partnership between the community, the teachers, the parents and the students. It’s in everyone’s best interest to work together to find solutions to the financial issues.” If the referendum does not pass, RB will have to make very difficult decisions regarding future finances. Social studies teacher Mark Gouwens said, “At some point they will have to cut things. Sports and band and those sorts of things are not as important as what we do in the class room. They are important to a high school, but at the end of the day it’s an academic institution. So if the referendum doesn’t pass there are going to have to be cuts.”

The referendum could also have affect on other aspects of the school. Fuller said, “Class sizes will increase, classes to choose from will be limited, it will probably have a significant impact on student learning.” The referendum could potentially impact the reputation of RB in a negative way. Fuller said, “Students don’t want their options to be limited when it comes time for college, access to teachers, class offerings you can take. This is a quality high school, we have a comprehensive education, our students do quite well when they go off to college, and we want to be able to continue to have those types of programs available.” As of now, RB offers 24 Advanced Placement courses, and there are 19 honors classes available to students. If the referendum is not approved Marciniak said, “There will be a reduction in class courses. There will not be enough teacher resources to be able to put those courses on.” The board plans to meet on Tuesday, October 19th, to review three scenarios to balance the school budget if the referendum fails.

Riverside Brookfield High School



Nov. 12, 2010•Volume 80 Issue 2

Proposed cuts for 2011-2012 school year: (Cuts to be enacted if April referendum fails.)

$1,970,000 will be cut in total from RB’s Operating Fund. $115,273 will be saved by cutting extracurriculars and activities. $1,164,450 will be saved by cutting teachers and academic programs. 11.2

teaching jobs will be eliminated

Projected Operating Fund balance (in millions) at current pace: Information gathered from State of the District presentation at

Key Terms Defined: REFERENDUM: A vote by which an issue NOT related to the election of specific candidates is decided. In RB’s case, the community will vote on the issue of raising property taxes in order to increase revenue to the school. OPERATING FUND: The general account from which RB pays its expenses. Board policy states that RB must maintain 20-30% of what it would cost to operate the school for one year in this fund. The referendum would fund this account.

Riverside Brookfield High School


Editor-in-Chief Bradley Wilson Web Editor Jason Flam Content Editor Anthony Scianna PR Editor Danielle Sanchez Sports Manager Charlie Morrissey A&E Manager Nick Kirkines

Notable Quotables: “It was really cool how everyone worked hard, and it was a great way to give back to the community.”-Steve McCrory “We went out with a bang, gave it everything we had. We were able to surprise a lot of people. “-Alex Amaya “Everyone has done a great job this season improving their personal records.”-Amanda Gregus NOTE: Catch complete referendum coverage in the News section of www.!

Layout Managers Madison Powers Ethan Gallegos Staff Reporters Trent Baer Bryan Doyle Nate Hanley Shawnn Hwang Kelly Kramer Katie Maxwell Renee Miedlar Fitz Robling David Skowronski Jon Stevanovich Alleigh VandeMerkt Hrvoje Zolo Sponsor Dan Mancoff

Riverside Brookfield High School



Nov. 12, 2010•Volume 80 Issue 2

Fantasy Fever: Clarion Hoops Basketball season has rolled around, and that means fantasy basketball leagues are opening up as well. This year, thirteen of your very own Clarion members have formed a league, and will pit their teams against each other in the upcoming weeks. The draft has already taken place, and we are eagerly ready to see who takes home the crown this year. Mr. Mancoff is comes off of a victory last year, but many new teams are

determined to dethrone him. We’ve made our league public, and invite readers to come follow our teams and our smack talk. Keep your eyes tuned for fantasy basketball related contests as well.




You can follow our league at our ESPN page off of rbclarion. com

RB Clarioneers Daniel Mancoff

Westbrook? No, Weestbrook C. Morrissey/A. Scianna

A New Brand H. Zolo/J. Flam

Asian Sensation Shawnn Hwang

You can read about our league at our 2010-2011 Clarion Hoops blog -

Guallaville Guap Bryan Doyle

Sham Yao David Skowronski

Burger ‘n Large Frye Jon Stevanovich

Fantasy Quidditch B. Wilson/T. Baer

CP3 Nate Hanley

Pau-nd It! F. Robling


Fall Sports Season Wrap-Ups See the headlines here; read all about it on our web site.


ends big:


in conference





Girls Golf

had a

strong rebuilding year takes a hard loss at

Boys Cross Country takes 6th at



up great effort, regionals


Girls Cross Country finishes in 2nd place



but fell short at

defeated in


Boys Soccer

Strnad to state Boys Golf



headed to sectionals



one game short from taking conference

Check out more sports at www.!

Clarion - Volume 80, Issue 2  
Clarion - Volume 80, Issue 2  

Read Issue #2 of the Clarion.