Thank you for the opportunity to respond to your March 23, 2011, “Sharpen the pencils in District 208.”

Communities United for Riverside Brookfield High School (CURB) is a group of community members who believe that maintaining an efficient, quality high school is the best way to maintain quality of life in our communities.

On March 5, 2008, the Landmark stated “the time for RB to bite the bullet and start making the pitch now.” The school board had discussions but needed to complete some critical issues first:

The Landmark stated “officials want time to prove to voters they are good financial stewards by getting that renovation project done on time and under budget.” We agree, and that construction project has been completed on time and under budget.

Secure the administrative and educational leadership for the school. The district hired interim part-time Superintendent Dr. Dave Bonnette (2008), Principal Mrs. Pam Bylsma (2010) and full-time Superintendent Dr. Kevin Skinkis (2011).

Reduce all discretionary spending without impacting programming, hence $ 1.5 million in cuts (2009-11).

The teachers will also provide concessions of $850,000 over two years.

Also on March 5, 2008, the Landmark opinion pointed to District 201 – Morton High School – as a cautionary tale on what to avoid: “Morton is in hock up to its eyeballs and voters refuse to grant any tax increase.”

Since 2007, district administration has considered tax-rate impacts of potential referendum amounts, ranging from 40-65 cents. Some proposals included working cash bonds in addition to a rate increase. The board believes the current request for a 44-cent referendum question with no additional bonds is prudent and adequate.

It has taken a decade of sustained, strategic efforts to create the comprehensive curriculum that we now have at RBHS. We in CURB believe that the Board of Education and administration have crafted the most appropriate long-term solution for funding and maintaining our high school.

There is no other way to provide adequate school funding under Illinois’ current system. See and vote yes on April 5.

• Communities United for Riverside Brookfield High School is the citizens committee formed to advocate for the RBHS referendum.