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District 97 Responds to Referendum Lawsuit

School board calls complaint a "waste of valuable time."

Less than a week after an Oak Park resident filed suit against the Oak Park Elementary School District 97 school board, school officials have fired back, calling the complaint a waste of time and an "unnecessary distraction."

In a statement issued Monday, the school board said they are "disappointed that certain individuals have chosen to file a lawsuit that will seek to invalidate the important decision that the citizens of Oak Park made regarding the District 97 referendum."

Last week, Noel Kuriakos and a group called Taxpayers United of America alleging the wording on the ballot question intentionally misled voters and underestimated the impact on taxpayer wallets. According to the complaint:

This language substantially failed to inform the voters of the estimated effect of the tax increase on their property if the referendum were to succeed...Despite knowing that the ballot language was misleading and understated the amount of the tax increase, the District and its members unanimously and intentionally proceeded with the referendum using the misleading language.

On Monday, District 97 distributed a letter saying the "allegation that the district misled voters has no merit." The letter goes on to say "It is unfortunate that fighting this lawsuit will force the district to waste valuable time, energy and money that should be invested in meeting the needs of the families we serve."

A copy of the full letter accompanies this story.

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