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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: Carol Stream Elementary District 93 School Board (4-year Terms)
Family: married to Rose Marie, 2 adult children, 4 grandchildren, 2 great grandchildren
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Have you ever been arrested for or convicted of a crime? If yes, please explain: No
Key Issue 1
Needed solution to pension problem as relates to school workers
Key Issue 2
Graduating higher achieving students compared to world students.
Key Issue 3
Ever increasing cost of instruction without increasing student achievement.
What do you think about the shift to the common core standards? How big a role do you think the board of education should play in setting the curriculum for students and what ideas do you have for changes to the current curriculum?
Common core standards appear to be an effort to equal output to input. Educators across America have developed a plan to increase student achievement thru standards found in high achieving countries, adapted to American methods by introducing procedures focused on educational results and by streamlining process rather than doing it the way we did it last year. The State is forcing new procedures based on Common Core so the local boards are limited in their flexibility to implement the new instructional methodology, however, local flexibility must be maintained for individual student needs. The current curriculum is satisfactory to parents based upon parent reaction, therefore, I see no need for large changes.
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?
The district follows up with graduated students to determine their opinion of their grammar school experience. Seldom do the responses indicate a failure to prepare students for high school. In addition the district receives feedback on achievement of former students and adjusts methods as indicated in the feedback. Coincidently, a former student had occasion to publicly speak at a recent board meeting and in the process complimented the district for preparing him for the world after school. The school district is not particularly deficient, rather the American school management philosophy is suspect.
What budget issues will your district have to confront and what measures do you support to address them? If you believe cuts are necessary, what programs and expenses should be reduced or eliminated? On the income side, do you support any tax increases?
Thanks to the tax payers of the district, for an extended period of time, the district does not have a constrained budget situation at this time. That is not to say costs and financial decisions are not constantly monitored looking at ways to be conservative with the resources available. I believe savings can be found in building supplies and maintenance, office supplies, administrative "Perks", daily activities of running a school, and many more small issues that total up to potential savings. Tax increases are a non-starter. Tax decreases appear to be a non-starter as well. Real estate falling values have not been reflected in reducing tax bills for most residents. The problem is not a school issue alone, but rather a real estate tax calculation issue.
As contract talks come up with various school employee groups, do you believe the district should ask for concessions from its employees, expect employee costs to stay about the same as they are now or provide increases in pay or benefits?
The time has come to strip away the insulation that has been protecting public workers including teachers from the economic reality in the community. While taxpayers face tumult, teachers continue to receive wages and benefits as if economic conditions were still back in 2005. Taxpayers are unable to fill the teachers economic pot, while the taxpayers pot has non repairable leaks. The district must seek concessions on teacher cost across all aspects of the contract.
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?
Pay increases to increase pension benefits must stop. First of all what changes for the change in pay. The job description is unchanged, the work is unchanged but the pay rises based on the calendar and retirement rules. The teacher secures an economic advantage without corresponding productivity. Further seven local people are committing the State of Illinois to increased cost without the State having knowledge, consent or input on the agreement. How can 7 people commit the majority of people in the State to a surprise cost increase.