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Boughton v. Shears

FEBRUARY 23, 1961.

WALTER BOUGHTON, ET AL., APPELLANTS,

v.

IRVING A. SHEARS, COUNTY SUPERINTENDENT OF SCHOOLS OF KENDALL COUNTY, ILLINOIS, ET AL., APPELLEES.



Appeal from the Circuit Court of Kendall county; the Hon. CASSIUS A. POUST, Judge, presiding. Affirmed.

SPIVEY, J.

This is a proceeding under Section 8-9 of the School Code, Chap. 122, Sect. 8-9, Ill. Rev. Stat. for the organization of a community unit school district. The Circuit Court of Kendall County on Administrative Review found the record sustained the findings and order of the County Superintendent of Schools of Kendall County calling an election for the purpose of voting on the formation of such district.

Objectors Walter Boughton et al. individually and as the Board of Education of Wheatland Consolidated School District No. 40C, Will and DuPage Counties, Illinois, and Glen and Ruth Pearson appeal to this court from the Circuit Court's order of March 3, 1960. No other objectors appealed.

The proposed district comprised all of Community High School District No. 300, Kendall, Kane and Will Counties, conducting grades 8 to 12; part of Community Grade School District No. 8, Kendall, Kane and Will Counties, Illinois, conducting grades 1 to 8; part of Community Consolidated School District 40C, Will and DuPage Counties, Illinois, conducting grades 1 to 8; and part of Bristol Community Grade School District No. 12, Kendall and Kane Counties, conducting grades 1 to 8, None of the exclusions or inclusions of parts of existing school districts were prohibited by law.

The proposed district was the territory making up District 300 as it existed which included, all of District 8 except a small portion attached to Yorkville High School District No. 100, a part of District 12, and a part of District 40C. The major portion of Districts 300 and 8 are co-extensive.

The appellants here are those persons objecting as residents and voters of District 40C and Glen and Ruth Pearson, owners of 160 acres of land located at the extreme east side of Districts 300 and 8.

Appellants contend that the record does not support the finding that it is for the best interest of the school area and the educational welfare of the pupils therein. (Section 8-9 of the School Code)

In this respect their argument is principally directed to the resulting financial condition of the proposed district and District 40C.

The record discloses that the assessed valuation of the property located in District 40C would be reduced from about four million dollars to approximately three million dollars. In spite of former school survey reports, District 40C was created, and a completely fireproof grade school was erected which will accommodate 120 students and offers an accredited school curriculum.

District 40C has an enrollment of 72 grade school students of which 16 are residents of that portion of the district to be incorporated in the new district and would upon entering high school attend the present District 300 school.

The assessed valuation of District 8 is $21,482,815.00 and of District 300 $22,746,225.00, each with a maximum taxing rate of 1.36% for educational purposes and .3750% for building purposes. Upon creation the proposed district would have an assessed valuation of $22,746,225.00 with a 1.60% educational purpose and a .25% building purpose tax limitation. It was further shown that these figures do not reflect the assessed valuation of two new plants, one being Caterpillar, as well as 150 new homes recently built in the territory.

In 1957, the combined tax levies of both Districts 300 and 8 for educational and building purposes were both below the maximum rate permitted each. In 1956, the total tax levy for all purposes was 1.121% for District 8 and .829% for District 300, and in 1957, .997% for District 8 and for District 300, .789%.

Appellants point out that the bonding power of the new district would be $1,137,311.25, whereas District 8 now has a bonding limit of $1,074,140.75, and District 300, $1,137,311.25, thus losing $1,074,140.75. On July 1, 1958, District 8 had a bond indebtedness of $414,000.00, and District 300 outstanding bonds of $333,000.00 for a combined indebtedness of $747,000.00, leaving a combined further bonding power of only about $390,000.00. The bonded indebtedness is being reduced at the rate of $90,000.00 each year.

In 1958, three separate propositions to authorize the issuance of bonds for building purposes were submitted at a single election to the voters of Districts 300 and 8. All three propositions totaling $415,000.00 were defeated. The propositions were, District 8, $155,000.00 for ten class rooms; District 300, $190,000.00 for eight class rooms and one biological science room; and District 300, $70,000.00 for shop area. The need for this construction will continue whether the proposed district becomes a reality or not.

The spirit of the community unit law is to promote and foster larger, stronger and economically sound school districts through consolidations and mergers of territory, to the end that the educational facilities of the children of the State will be bettered. People v. Newman Community Unit School District No. 303, 1 Ill.2d 170, 115 N.E.2d ...


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