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updated: 2/23/2011 3:42 PM

Raymond Kielminski: Candidate Profile

DuPage H.S. D88

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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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City: Villa Park

Website: Candidate did not respond.

Office sought: DuPage H.S. D88

Age: 55

Family: Married, three children, one grandchild

Occupation: Computer Network Engineer

Education: COMPTIA A+ Computer Technical Certification

COMPTIA Network+ Computer Technical Certification

Associate of Arts in Computer Science with High Honors, College of DuPage

Additional College Coursework in Political Science, Business, and Computer Science

Civic involvement: South Westland's Homeowners Association

District 88 Vision Statement Community Committee

SASED Board of Control, Representative and Alternate

Elected offices held: Salt Creek School District #48 Board Member, 2001 -- Current

Have you ever been arrested for or convicted of a crime? If yes, please explain: No

Questions & Answers

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?

I believe that District 88 does an excellent job of preparing its students. I also believe that the district needs to continuously evolve and improve in its mission. I feel that the culture and systems are in place to accommodate these needs, but they must be constantly maintained and adjusted.

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?

We will be faced with increasing costs combined with reduced additional revenues, just like all school districts in Illinois. The district must continue to monitor expenditures very closely, holding the line as much as possible on expenses we can control. Concerning expenses the district cannot control, which include the constant and costly unfunded mandates from the state and federal governments, combined with non-payment of funded programs by the state government, the board should lobby state legislators heavily as well as inform the community to do the same. If and when cuts are needed, I would always first look at everything that is farthest from the core programs and services that directly touch the students. Other than that, any recommendations for specific cuts would be so dependent on the circumstances that would require them, it would be irresponsible to make specific recommendations until that time comes and all of the relevant facts could be considered. I believe that we are in dire need of school funding reform in Illinois. I also believe strongly in preserving local control of schools. I believe that school funding should be corrected by re-allocation of existing tax revenues and elimination of unfunded government mandates. I believe any increases in local taxes for local schools should be a decision that is left up to discretion of the local taxpayers.

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.

There is absolutely nothing inherent in experience or support that prevents someone from being able to objectively consider an issue. Bias is a matter of a person's character and integrity, so it depends on the person. I believe all experience has value. I have no professional experience as a teacher. I believe the school district benefits when the school board has the support of all of the district stakeholders, including the students, the parents, the community, and all of the district employees, both union and non-union.

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?

I believe the School Boards posture should be to negotiate in good faith, negotiate as partners, not adversaries, don't spend money you don't have, and always look for win-win situations. In any negotiation, both parties always ask for concessions. I think it's not realistic to expect costs to stay the same for any significant period of time, and I believe that any increases in pay or benefits need to be offset with other savings or increases in revenue.

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?

Generally no, unless there might be unusual circumstances where there would be a significant financial benefit to the school district and taxpayers to do so.