To the Editor:
Illinois has a stockpile of 7,000 governments ... time to do more with less, not only with Illinois’ 1,433 township governments, but also with the state’s 859 local school districts. McHenry County alone has 17 township governments, 17 township road districts, two township cemetery districts and 18 public school districts.
Illinois has the highest number of school districts per capita in the nation. One out of four districts serve just one school; more than one-third of all school districts serve fewer than 600 students. Pennsylvania’s population is about the same as Illinois; however, Pennsylvania only has 501 school districts. If the average Illinois school district served the same number of students as the average of a California school district, taxpayers would be paying for 500 fewer schools. Wow!
Illinois has the most township governments in the nation. Illinois is just one of 20 states where residents have the tax burden of supporting the outdated form of township government. California, a much larger state than Illinois in both land and population, does not have township governments.
With record-breaking property tax bills (the 29th highest in the nation), Illinois state lawmakers need to put politics aside, trust the voters and clear the path to the ballot box for township and school consolidation or elimination referendums.
Illinois townships and school districts have one thing in common: There’s too many of them!