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Joliet People Want Donations For Legal Fight to Send Kids to Lincoln-Way High Schools

A Joliet group is raising money for a court battle they apparently expect to wage in hopes of sending their children to Lincoln-Way high schools.

Credit: Getty
Credit: Getty
A Joliet group has set up a Go Fund Me site to build a legal war chest for an anticipated battle to send their children to Lincoln-Way high schools.

"We are a community where our children attend New Lenox grade schools and then are required to attend a Joliet High School," says the Children for Lincoln-Way Go Fund Me page.

"We are looking for donations to help fund our legal fees as we go through this process," the page says. "Our children deserve to stay with their peers as they continue their education."

The Children for Lincoln-Way Go Fund Me goal is $20,000. The group has so far raised $420.

Messages sent to the organizers of the Go Fund Me Page and to its associated Facebook page were ignored. A woman who left a comment on the Go Fund Me page, Sarah Pandolfi, said Wednesday she would call to discuss the effort but did not.

On the Go Fund Me page, Pandolfi wrote, "Thanks to all who have donated the additionl (sic) 20 is from my 3 girls who are happy we are all doing this for them."

The Facebook page said it was "created to provide information to residents of NeuFairfield, Weston Way, the Highlands and residents on Golf Road and Route 6 regarding changing the High School District."

Lincoln-Way High School District spokeswoman Stacy Holland said the subdivisions would have to be annexed into the district for the students to attend Lincoln-Way schools.

"It's a whole long process, and the process runs through the superintendent," Holland said.

If the group succeeds in getting annexed by the Lincoln-Way High School District, the residents will have to pay the district's taxes and "Joliet stands to lose that tax base," Holland said.

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Cat December 12, 2013 at 01:29 PM
Originally, this area was Joliet grade schools as well because the area is within the city of Joliet boundaries. Greedy District 122 accepted the area, as well as the Cherry Hill area, into the District. LW210 is not so greedy and did not. This is NOT good for the kids to go to New Lenox grade schools and then have to go to Joliet Central HS. But, when people purchased their homes in that area knowing this, they believed they would sell their homes when their kids went to HS. The economy and housing market did not cooperate with that thinking. The economy has ruined many people's plans. The students from this area would be within LW West boundaries. LW West has lots of space for more students. So why not let them attend LW West and take the money?
lala December 12, 2013 at 02:08 PM
Leanne - you said "our children to continue their friendships and activities where they have for the past 10 years." If the kids are ALL going to JTC what is the problem? I moved in to my house 20 years ago in a brand new subdivision. I did research what school district I was in before I signed on the dotted line. I had no kids at the time. I would have no qualms about sending my child to JTC either if I were in your situation. If you have a smart kid, they can learn at any school. Did you and your neighbors not know this when your kids started school eight years ago? Housing market was good then and you could have moved. If it not about taxes, what is it REALLY about????
CB December 12, 2013 at 04:35 PM
NL Dad, I believe it says "if they are annexed, they will pay NL Taxes". I don't understand if this is a petition to get annexed, or just for their children to attend NL Schools. If their goal is annexing, then great! Otherwise, there HAS to be more to this story then what I am reading. They can't possibly expect to pay Joliet taxes AND send their children to NL? In my meager research I did on zillow.com, Neufield families pay about $3,000-$5,000 less a year in taxes compared to a similar home in New Lenox. As for the children being with their peers, these people knew that they would run into this situation when they moved in. They took a risk. I was looking at possibly moving into the NF subdivision back in 2003 and decided against it b/c I wanted my children to remain in New Lenox for HS. I wasn't willing to take that risk. I also moved last year, I looked at moving somewhere else b/c of the taxes but decided against it b/c the schools are so great. Also, children move and change schools all the time. It really isn't the end of the world and if it is as big as an issue as it seems to be made out to be, then the parents shouldn't have taken the chance. As I stated previously, if they are looking to be annexed, welcome. However, if they want to go to NL schools and not pay NL taxes, then I think that is wrong.
DRC December 12, 2013 at 04:49 PM
I also looked in NF but joliet HS was stated from the get-go! I'm going another route with the goal for this annex into LWHS... Yes they will go from 3k taxes to 6-8k but that aside look at what their home value will do! Now where u had a 150k house, over night it's 200k in this economy because it broadens your market having LWHS alone! Their goal in my opinion, yes LWHS but also help out some negative equity built into their house. They didn't pay 300+k like I did to be in LWHS, they went the cheap route and want the perks the rest of is have been paying for. Good luck with your endeavor, I will not go-fund you!
NL Dad December 12, 2013 at 04:59 PM
CB, you pay the taxes of whatever districts you are in. If you live in Joliet but attend newlenox highschool and grade school, then you would pay Joliet city taxes, new lenox elementary taxes, and LWHS taxes. Also, I think people would be surprised at how much the HighSchool portion of Joliet taxes are. Not as low as you think. Joliet Central is very old and very expensive to maintain.
Jo Ann Gindville December 12, 2013 at 05:22 PM
This is the same thing that Cherry Hill residents did, but from what I understand it took over 20 years so the better route would be to sell and buy in the Dist 210 boundaries. I know that the economy didn't cooperate but everyone has to understand that you would be buying at a lower cost too...so you would make it up on the other side. I feel for you and your kids but this situation is going to take a long time to resolve
Who dat December 12, 2013 at 05:28 PM
School district boundaries were set a long time ago, and are indifferent to whichever town came along and annexed that particular area. With that said, it looks like the people in that area woud fare much better--both tax wise and value wise as 210's tax rate is much lower than joliets. On a 300K home: lincolnway 210 $1,900 joliet 204 $2,461 I don't blame them for wanting to come into our schools. And based on the fact that they would save several hundred dollars a year and have access to a much better school system. Would 204 give up hundreds of thousands in tax revenue and let 210 take it? Never. Even if your plan works...your kids will still be going to central for many years. This situation exists near Plainfield as well...
CB December 12, 2013 at 05:39 PM
Thanks, NL Dad. I didn't realize that they are currently paying the NL school taxes (pre highschool of course). However, I still don't think it is fair. If Joliet and NL high school taxes are relatively the same, and these residence still pay $3,000-$5,000 less a year than NL, how is that fair? Why wouldn't everyone flock to this area then? They would have all the perks of NL but still pay Joliet taxes. The major reason people live here is b/c of the schools.
NLResident0 December 12, 2013 at 05:52 PM
Did everyone who is complaining about this not realize when they moved into their homes what the school districts were? Before you sign on the dotted line you should check into that thoroughly. Even if you didn't have kids at the time you should have known for resale. Not everyone signs without knowing what school their kids or potential buyers kids would be going to school. These people should fund their own fight. There are so many other causes to donate your money to. I'm sure the homeless and hungry would be a good place. I may sound very unsympathetic to the people in this situation, but you knew or should have known when you bought your houses.
lala December 12, 2013 at 06:13 PM
LW - Please explain this: "Allowing this area to be split after grade school, to begin with, was wrong. I never imagined such a scolding over a change." Do some of these children go to LW and some to JT or do they all go to JT?
btslomski December 12, 2013 at 06:19 PM
Yes, all homeowners probably knew the situation. Has anyone thought this article was written to make certain areas look "bad" and help their own cause? Maybe these sites were started for the people of the areas stated to help donate and do it easily since people have busy schedules. Everyone has options and I think most would always like to better things like their car, job, house, education, etc. If you are part of the petition and want to help, you know how, if you are not and either want to or not, that is your choice. I don't remember anyone going outside the annexing areas begging for donations. If they have, they shouldn't have and that does look bad. Taxes would be paid accordingly and I have family in both areas, know the house prices, taxes, lot size and taxes will be what they are. I don't feel there should be as any negative thoughts and the people working together should continue in move forward.
NL Resident December 12, 2013 at 06:21 PM
@LW A comment full of ignorance? Thanks for schooling me, pun intended. If it’s not about the taxes and to be annexed into District 210 is what you want then I hope it happens for all of you. What is ignorant is asking others to help fund this. You have my support, not my money. I’ll donate to an organization that serves those truly in dire straits.
DRC December 12, 2013 at 06:22 PM
Maybe we should set up to annex them to joliet grade schools! Now they have joliet schools all around. Problem solved!
James Madison December 12, 2013 at 08:07 PM
You mean that our school levy can get even higher than it already is?
wannabe December 12, 2013 at 08:14 PM
Really Drc get over yourself
DRC December 12, 2013 at 08:21 PM
Thanks for the advice, I'll take it in consideration. I'm sorry u "wannabe" in the LWHS district, shoulda thought about that before you bought in joliet.
P K December 12, 2013 at 08:46 PM
There are houses for sale in New Lenox....Buy one and that will solve all your problems.
wannabe December 12, 2013 at 09:24 PM
Listen I don't give a damn about your opinion or do I want your help or your money
wannabe December 12, 2013 at 09:36 PM
Freedom of speech ?
Gary P December 13, 2013 at 10:51 AM
How about working with the Joliet school districts to help improve them. Get involved. Joliet has a lot going for it. My property taxes in New Lenox have increased 100% and the value of my home has dropped. Not a good investment.
mo December 13, 2013 at 11:41 PM
there are a lot of comments here from people who have no idea what is going on with our subdivisions. We are trying to do this for our kids. it is not about taxes being less and it is not about us wanting to take the cheap way out. I personally bought a house in my subdivision because of the location. I lived in Lockport before this and because of work decided this was an ideal location. I have a beautiful house and honestly didn't find a floor plan like it anywhere in New lenox. (not to say that new lenox doesn't have a lot of nice homes) I had very specific geographical reasons for moving here. When I did buy it was after speaking to a police sergeant about crime in the area, and looking at the school district. I personally was told by the builders sales office that they were in the process of annexing into New Lenox high school and I know other people were told the same thing. I was also told that the apartments next to our subdivision were going to be made condos. Apparently neither was true. I was not very worried at the time because my kids were little and didn't neccesarily understand the impact if they were lying. Obviously they were. With that said now that I have 3 kids in New Lenox 122 district and I pay taxes there (for those who didn't understand that we pay taxes to the schools our kids attend) I would like them to be able to continue school with the same kids they go with now. We actually did a survey of the subdivisions and most if not all of the people in our subdivisions do all their extra curricular activities in New Lenox, we shop there, spend our money there. So it isn't like we just want to plop our kids in your school. OH and to the person who said next they will want our water. FYI you get Joliet water if you are in New Lenox. Also a note about the account that was set up. This was not set up for outside people to donate. It was set up because the people who are running the site and doing the leg work on this cannot be available 24 hours a day to take donations from people to fund the legal fees for this. So they set it up at the request of some people who wanted to pay when they could without having to call someone to come get a check or take a credit card payment. So it was set up for us, they have not asked anyone else for money except people who live there. the author of this article is creating drama (as most media does) to get people to the site, and look it is working. In district 210 they should be happy if we got to go there. The high school from my understanding is only about 1/2 full. with our subdivisions going there, it would definitely help that high school and the kids would not be over crowded at Joliet Central. Anyway, with all that said it is important that people understand that the reason for this is for the kids, not the taxes, not the town, we just want our kids to have a good education and a safe one.
mprice December 14, 2013 at 02:02 AM
I'm surprised by some of the comments from people who think you need to live in new lenox to attend the schools. I live in mokena, my children attended new lenox elementary schools and LW central. And of course we pay school taxes!! Everyone does! I also think some areas of Manhattan attend LW west. Im sure these people are only doing whats best for their children. If I were them I would do the same. Why judge??
Who dat December 14, 2013 at 09:38 AM
As I stated previously, school district boundaries were set decades ago. When a town annexes certain territory, the school district does not change, which is why some kids who live in Joliet go to Plainfield HS, while others go to Lincolnway. Most, however, go to Joliets 2 campuses. Manhattan kids go to Lincolnway because Lincolnway is a massive district that stretches from gougar to east of harlem and from route 6, to God knows how far south, which is easily over 100 square miles. Something to consider though in all of this is that when someone builds a home, they are required to pay an impact fee which goes to the schools, library, etc. I would imagine the people here had their fees go to Joliet, but on the other hand, wouldn't it be fair to make them pay another fee to 210, since they would be impacting 210 and its capacity? It's not cheap--like 10 or 12k a home.
CB December 14, 2013 at 10:20 AM
I don't think the Go fund me page was set up so random people would donate... I am fairly certain that it was just easier for people of the subdivision to gather their money. However, I really would like to know if they are trying to get annexed OR if they are just trying to get their kids to stay in Lincoln way. If they are just trying to send their children to our schools, it would not be good for New Lenox. Why would someone buy a home in NL, and pay their high taxes when they could live in Neufield and pay several thousand dollars less a year? Yes, Mokena children do attend New Lenox schools, but the taxes are fairly the same, thus leveling the "playing field". If I had bought in Neufield back in 2002 I would have saved roughly $44,000 in the 11 years. But b/c I wanted my children to stay in the NL community and didn't want to take the chance of them switching HS, I chose NL. How is that fair? I feel like all this "debating" may be all for naught if their intent IS to get annexed. And one last thing, if the driving force behind this case is the "children should be able to stay with their peers", I would have to say that is really a 1st world problem if I ever heard of one. Seriously, people move all the time. You make is sound like it would be the end of the world.
Gary P December 14, 2013 at 11:16 AM
This is for Mo. Like I said before, get involved with the high school. The teachers and administration love when the parents are involved with their childs education. If you're already involved in the grade schools you already know how important your interaction with the teachers can be. Embrace the diversity that is Joliet. On the other hand ,your story about verbal promises from a real estate agent trying to sell another subdivision is naïve at best. Get it in writing. As far as floor plans, all those houses look the same, the floor plan couldn't have been that special. Not sure about the water thing. New Lenox gets Lake Michigan water, at least over where I live. Don't waste time trying to change school districts. Help make the one you have better...or move.
mo December 14, 2013 at 03:37 PM
Not so much the end of the world for us to move if the housing issues weren't there. However, now that it is virtually impossible to sell for a decent price it would be very hard to move. also, I personally like my house and would not like to move. I also understand what Gary is saying about getting involved in the school, but honestly it is not about embracing the diversity of Joliet. It is an idea that kids grow up with other kids and would like to stay with them.
Patricia smith December 14, 2013 at 05:13 PM
I currently live in Joliet but have a New Lenox address. I live directly across Gougar Road from this area trying it get into the Lincolnway HS district. Are people aware that residents from Joliet like me and my subdivision already attend Lincolnway HS?? And yes, we pay the taxes to Lincolnway and we are part of the New Lenox Park District. My kids go to school with these kids and have for years. What is the problem if they want to continue high school with the same group of kids?? People shouldn't comment when they are not aware of the facts. This area is also in the new Lenox Park District and New Lenox grade schools. Why shouldn't they continue in Lincolnway if they are paying taxes to Lincolnway??? Just because people think they have paid more for their homes, doesn't mean that defines a boundary line that was created when this area was all farm land.
Jo Ann Gindville December 15, 2013 at 09:40 AM
As I said before...yes houses are selling for less than they used to, but if you are buying than you will also buy at a lesser price as well. Although I think that perhaps houses within the Dist 210 boundaries might be a little more costly, but again they will bring more money when you would go to sell. If you have done your research than you should know that the Cherry Hill issue took as long as 20 years and so your kids will be long gone by that time so moving would seem to be the best thing to do. I have no problem with your homes being in the Dist 210 boundaries and I am sure Lincolnway would love the larger tax base considering the lack of State of Illinois funds, but it is a long process and Joliet has to agree to lose that tax money.
mo December 15, 2013 at 08:32 PM
It may not take as long as cherry hill. See this is honestly the problem with the Patch. They give snippets of a story to start people coming to the page and commenting, but there is really no info on what the fight for this entails or any real true info about it. Just that the subdivisions were looking for money for this. Most people are upside down in their home and cannot just sell and buy another house. I personally am not but some are. some are just coming out of foreclosure and cannot leave. everyone has different situations. that doesn't mean their children should be allowed to suffer and be pulled from all their friends and go to a school that is clearly not up to par testing score wise. Anyway, all I am saying is that before people judge what we are doing, understand why and then have an intelligent conversation about it.
Kristina Gericke January 07, 2014 at 08:38 PM
We do not want or need Joliet students filtering into our school district. I personally do not feel that the students should have attended any grades in our district. If you want New Lenox schools move to New Lenox. Our family moved to the area and we pay high taxes for the good schools. Not fair to have to have larger classes and less one on one time with teachers because we have outside districts crowding up our schools.

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