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Kane Co. Chronicle Editorial -Our view: Answers needed on 
enrollment projections

Kane County Chronicle

Geneva School District 304 officials say they can’t explain why enrollment projections provided five years ago during a referendum attempt were higher than those determined by a consultant.

At the time, officials at District 304 were attempting to gain support for an $80 million referendum to help build two new elementary schools. Consultant John D. Kasarda projected that – from 2006 to 2012 – the likely enrollment increase in the district would be 345 students, with a high-end projection of 888.

But the number the district wound up using was much higher than the high-end projection that Kasarda offered. The number the district used was 1,618.

Ultimately, the referendum effort was successful – by a 100-vote margin – and Fabyan and Williamsburg elementary schools were built.

District 304 Board President Mark Grosso admitted the numbers the district used were inflated compared to Kasarda’s projections, but said he does not know how that happened.

No matter the explanation, the damage done is severe, and there are serious ramifications. Why should voters believe that the numbers used in the district’s next referendum won’t be inflated?

Something like this can’t happen. Taxes are high for those who reside in the school district, and voting yes or no on a referendum can be a difficult decision for a taxpayer to make. School officials should be just as outraged about this as residents and should be leading the charge to find solutions and demand answers. This can’t be dismissed with a shrug of the shoulders.

Instead, Grosso said without a full-blown investigation, too much time has passed to figure out what happened. That answer is not good enough.

It’s important for officials to acknowledge the gravity of the situation, to do all they can to figure out why it happened and to be certain that it never happens again.

May 26 Editorial in Kane County Chronicle

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