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School Board to Discuss TIF District, New Consultants
The District 186 school board is meeting in executive session right now. When they start the public portion of tonight's meeting, they'll discuss everything from potentially hiring new district consultants to deciding if they'll support a new TIF district in the city.
The district started today with some good news on standardized test scores. With board members likely to bring strong opinions on other agenda items, this morning's celebration may not carry over into this evening.
Good news first. Several area schools showed improvements on their annual standardized tests. The superintendent and others attended a celebration for it at Harvard Park Elementary this morning. A more in-depth report about the improvements is expected tonight.
The idea of whether or not to support the Dirksen Parkway TIF district will likely shift the mood. It would be the city of Springfield's ninth.
"My personal opinion is that TIFs are a good thing, and they do help," school board president Susan White said. "But again, it's at a cost to our educational system. Because the cost is to our kids and our school district."
The area in question would include much of South Dirksen near JC Penney and Shop 'n' Save--an area city leaders think would flourish if designated as a TIF district.
Another TIF district under consideration is the Fiat-Allis--sometimes referred to as Park South--district.
White points out that TIF designation might negatively impact the already cash-strapped school district. The Park South area became a TIF district in November 1989. Its TIF designation is set to expire next month.
White said city leaders have told her it would be another year before the district receives any more from it--but there could be around $3 million coming to them from that TIF account.
Board members started meeting in executive session at 5:30 today. The public portion of the meeting is set to start at 6:30. We'll have another live report from the district office tonight at 10 on ABC Newschannel 20 Nightside and later right here on WICS.com.