Candidates in state senate primary races in districts that cover Elgin Area School District U-46 will discuss education-related issues Tuesday evening during a forum at Streamwood High School.
The legislative debate is sponsored by U-46, the district's citizens advisory council, the Elgin Area League of Women Voters, Elgin Teachers Association and the Daily Herald. The forum is set for 7 p.m. in the SHS auditorium, 701 W. Schaumburg Road.
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Kerry Lester, politics and projects writer for the Daily Herald, will moderate.
Tony Sanders, chief of staff for U-46, said the forum is an opportunity for community members to learn about the candidates.
"The most important reason for people to attend is the redrawing of the legislative boundaries," Sanders said. "People may not be sure which members serve their home or their school."
The decennial redistricting shifted several boundaries in neighborhoods served by the school district. There are now five senate districts -- 22nd, 23rd, 25th, 28th and 33rd -- that affect U-46. Previously, just three districts represented U-46.
The forum also will give residents a better understanding of how state government affects public school districts, said Laurel Bault, chair of the education committee for the Elgin Area League of Women Voters.
"The community needs to understand where the power lies as far as our public schools," Bault said. "So oftentimes we think that the responsibility falls with the local school boards. But a lot of power lies in the hands of the General Assembly when it relates to the lack of funding and public education."
Audience members will have the opportunity to submit questions.
So far, nine of 16 candidates have confirmed attendance. Candidates slated to participate are: Democratic primary candidates for the 22nd District Tim Elenz of Streamwood and incumbent Michael Noland of Elgin; Republican candidate for District 23 Carol Pankau, of Itasca, as well as Democratic candidates for the 23rd District, Greg Brownfield, of Bartlett, Thomas Cullerton, of Villa Park and Kevin Allen, of Addison; Republican candidates in District 33 Karen McConnaughay, of St. Charles, and Cliff Surges, of Gilberts; District 25 Republican Richard Slocum of Sugar Grove and District 25 Democrat Steven Hunter, of Geneva.