http://triblocal.com/oak-brook/2010/10/26/oak-brook-residents-petition-to-change-school-districts/ Oak Brook residents petition to change school districts
By Heather MacDonald
Today at 1:01 p.m.
Saying their children are outsiders in their own hometown, residents of the Timber Trails and Merry Lane subdivisions in Oak Brook have asked regional educational officials to allow them to leave Salt Creek School District 48 and join Butler School District 53.
The petition, filed last month with the DuPage Regional Education Office, also asks that the subdivisions become part of Hinsdale Township High School District 86 and leave DuPage High School District 88.
“It is a disadvantage to the kids not to attend school in Oak Brook, where they live and play,” said Ann Scott, a member of the committee that filed the formal petition with the DuPage County Regional Office of Education.
In the petition, the committee urges the office to allow the subdivisions’ children to attend school with the majority of Oak Brook children, including their friends from park district and library programs.
More than 70 percent of the registered voters in the two subdivisions signed the petition, which seeks to have the districts’ boundaries extended north to Roosevelt Road, between Salt Creek on the west and the York Woods Forest Preserve on the east to align with Oak Brook village boundaries, Scott said.
“It would be a good thing not only for the children, but also the residents,” Scott said, adding that it will increase neighborhood cohesiveness. “This is one little slice of Oak Brook that is isolated.”
Salt Creek School District 48 includes portions of Elmhurst, Oak Brook, Oakbrook Terrace and Villa Park. Butler School District 53 serves only children who live in Oak Brook.
Sue Kania, whose children are now grown, said she favors the change because her children were labeled as outsiders and saw many summer friendships wither once the school year began.
“They always felt like they were in limbo,” Kania said.
Kania said she also signed the petition because she believed the subdivisions’ children would get a better education in Butler School District 53, which is annually among the top performing public school districts in the state.
While Salt Creek School District 48′s test scores are consistently higher than the state average, in 2010 they were lower in third through eighth grade than those in Butler School District 53.
Being part of Butler School District 53 will help keep property values high, Kania said.
Districts 48, 86 and 88 have not have taken a position on the petition, and district representatives referred questions to the regional office, where officials did not respond to requests for comment.
Butler School District 53 Supt. Sandra Martin said the board “will consider first and foremost the impact this annexation may have on the present and future students of Butler District 53,” when deciding whether to support the petition.
When making the decision, the regional office will weigh “whether such a change is to the best interests of the schools of the area and the educational welfare of the pupils” among other concerns, according to information on the office’s Web site. Test scores are not on the list of factors the office is allowed to consider.
The final decision on the petition is not expected until spring, after a public hearing is held.