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updated: 2/22/2013 6:37 PM

John Schroder: Candidate Profile

Lombard District 44 School Board (4-year Terms) (Independent)

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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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BioKey IssuesQ&A

 

Bio

City: Lombard

Website: Candidate did not respond.

Office sought: Lombard District 44 School Board (4-year Terms)

Age: 20-Feb

Family: Married, two children

Occupation: Retired Was Financial Analyst for major Chicago bank.

Education: BS Electrical Engineering Rutgers University 1962 MBA Purdue 1976

Civic involvement: AArp (taxes for the elderly) VFW

Elected offices held: Lombard School District 44 Board member since 1981

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

Candidate's Key Issues

Key Issue 1

To provide the best education practicable for every child in the district.

Key Issue 2

The need to exercise extreme fiscal responsibility.

Key Issue 3

Improve communication with ALL stake holders. From the administration to parents, board members, staff and taxpayers.

Questions & Answers

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?

The common core standards --which the state of IL has adopted--are a description of the basic english and math skills our children need to master and are guidelines for us as parents and educators and community members to use to judge whether our schools are providing the educational foundation that our children need for life skills and for future educational success. (if anyone wants to see the standards and judge for themselves, you can find them, along with a lot of explanation at http://www.corestandards.org/). I believe they are a good benchmark our schools must work to achieve. However, they are just that--a baseline--a starting point--and not the final goal of education. I believe the role of a school board is to represent the parents and community in making choices about curriculumm based on the best advice that we can get from our professionals. It is not unlike the process of seeking advice from a physician, getting advice on the various courses of treatment, taking time to learn about the options, and then taking the time to make careful choices.

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 greatest challenge for curriculum is that we are trying to prepare children for a real world that is constantly changing. So we need to be constantly open to new ideas, but at the same time keep in mind that the curriculum improves through evolution, not revolution. I believe that we are doing well--but "satisfied" suggests that the work is finished. It is OK to pat your self on the back for a job well done, as long as you start thinking right away about how you might do it a little better. I would like to see more long-range 3 to 5 year out goal setting and a more stringent review of how well those goals are reached.

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?

The biggest financial problem we have is uncertainty about future unavoidable expenses. You have all read about proposals to move more expenses that the state pays now -- in particular staff pension funding -- to the local school district. This could potentially involve a million or more in new costs. At the present time the district is in good financial shape. But we need to be very prudent in adding new projects today that could put us in the position of having to make painful choices about cuts tomorrow. So, like all of you, we need to understand the new financial reality--think before you put it on the charge card.

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?

I think the district should provide staff with the best benefits and pay we can afford. You can teach without building or books-- but not without teachers and the support staff. And my experience has been that all of these people teachers understand economic realities as well as anybody. They expect and deserve a fair deal and if the district is open and ready to work with our teachers and staff there is almost always a creative way to reach a solution that works for both the district and them

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?

NO! Aside from any moral/Legal aspects. These administrators have been well paid with a specified retirement program.

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