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Note: Answers provided have not been edited for grammar, misspellings or typos. In some instances, candidate claims that could not be immediately verified have been omitted.
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Office sought: River Trails Elementary D26
Family: Wife of 32 years, Jennifer Daughter , Amanda 24 Son, Tommy 20
Occupation: Manager for AT&T Digital Electronics Group in Des Plaines 31 years
Education: HS Lane Tech, Chicago 1976
US Air Force 2 years active duty 1977 - 1979
IL Air National Guard 1979 - 1990
Civic involvement: current: River Trails School Board member
current: River Trails Education Foundation Trustee
past: YMCA Indian Guide Nation Chief
volunter coach for baseball,soccer,basketball
Elected offices held: RTSD 26 School Board 2002 - present
Have you ever been arrested for or convicted of a crime? If yes, please explain: No
Key Issue 1
Finances as always. The cost of special education is soaring. Cases of Autism are increasing.
I think tax payers are willing to pay for a good solid education as long as the Board controls spending.
Key Issue 2
Excelling in High School. We must have ongoing communication between the HS and us to insure that our kids are very prepared to excel to the next level of their education journey
Key Issue 3
Bullying. Cyber bullying is everywhere. This is taking the place of old fashioned playground bullying and can be much more dangerous. Kids cannot learn if they are scared or ostracized.
How satisfied are you that your district is preparing students for the next stage in their lives, whether it be from elementary into high school or high school into college or full-time employment? What changes, if any, do you think need to be made?
see # 2 issue I am very concerned. We must do better.
What budget issues will the district have to confront? What measures do you support to address them? If cuts are needed, be specific about programs and expenses that should be reduced or eliminated. Do you support any tax increases for local schools?
Lack of funds from the State.
Timely payments from the State; for the taxes already collected. I have a good relationship with my legislators, Susan Garrett and Elaine Nekritz, and continue to keep school funding up front in my conversations with them. Springfield is where the real funding issue's are hammered out.
We have a huge budget deficit right now, 4 million dollars. I voted for this because we do have a healthy reserve and I am hoping that Randhurst will finally start generating tax revenue for us. I do not see any cuts this year. Next year will be difficult. I do not want to cut any programs.
I did support the recent income tax increase BUT only if 1% of the increase went directly to education. That did not happen.
Is experience as a teacher or support from a union valuable because it suggests educational insights or detrimental because it creates pro-teacher bias? Please clarify whether you have such experience or would accept union support.
I do not think being a teacher on a Board of ED would be a good thing or a bad thing. I do serve with a former teacher on the NSSEO Board. He is on the Dist 25 School Board and I think he does a wonderful unbias job. The most valuable quality to be a BOE member is the passion to help educate the children regardless of his/her background or occupation.
I am not a teacher nor have I been paid to work in the education field.
I would welcome support from the union and I support their effort in collective bargaining. I was a union employee for 28 years and a steward for 10 of those years.
As contract talks come up with various employee groups, what posture should the board take? Do you believe the district should ask for concessions, expect employee costs to stay about the same as they are now or provide increases in pay or benefits?
Negotiations are give and take on both sides. The Board needs to attract exceptional teachers while holding the line on spending. I do not see an increase in benefits. I do see an increase of employee contributions. Our teacher schedule needs to be reworked. The continued step increases over 20 years or more must stop. At what point do we say to a teacher 'you are at top pay'? Electricians, plumbers,etc reach journyman status after 5 years. This will be a culture change but has to happen.
Some of the increases in pay should move to a pay for performance plan.
If your district had a superintendent or other administrator nearing retirement, would you support a substantial increase in his or her pay to help boost pension benefits? Why or why not?
We did in the past but we are starting to take a harder stand on this cost. The time has past when TRS did not pay as much. There is no need to bump up salary to increase pension benifits. It used to be three 20% increases now it is down to 6%. This needs to go to 0%. This is something that must be addressed in Springfield.