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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: West Chicago District 33 School Board (4-year Terms)
Family: Husband: Dave Sons: Ryan (22); James (18)
Occupation: Management Consultant; retired College Professor
Education: Ph.D. from Arizona State University - Human Resource Management and Organizational Behavior (1988) MBA - Western Illinois University - Human Resource Management (1979) BS - Western Illinois University - Human Resource Management (1978)
Civic involvement: Church Involvement - Vacation Bible School, Choir, Mutual Ministry, Staff Development/Training
Elected offices held: School Board Member, West Chicago Elementary School District 33 (2005 to present)
Have you ever been arrested for or convicted of a crime? If yes, please explain: No
Key Issue 1
Provide the best educational opportunities for students in D33
Key Issue 2
Fiscal responsibility to our community
Key Issue 3
Improve student achievement in all areas; prepare students for success in high school and beyond
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?
I believe the shift to common core standards is positive. NCLB, although emphasizing a focus on student achievement and data analysis, is a punitive system that forces students in subgroupings. It does not look at individual student growth. Common Core Standards were developed by teachers, administrators and experts to provide a consistent framework to prepare students for college and beyond. We have board members who are part of our Curriculum Coordinating Council. The focus of this council is to work from Common Core Standards to write clearly articulated Pre-K to 8th grade curriculum.
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 the focus on Common Core Standards is an excellent step in the right direction to assure students succeed throughout their educational career and beyond. These standards are rigorous, evidence-based, and aid in preparing all students to succeed in our global economy.
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?
We currently have major challenges with our budget. The state of IL is behind in its payments and we must continue to keep up with our expenditures. We must adhere to mandates given by the state regardless if these mandates are reimbursed. As an example, our district is mandated to offer transportation to our students. At one time, the state was reimbursing our district at 80%. That percentage has been decreased dramatically over the last few years, so we need to pick up these costs as a district. As for cuts, over the last several years we have made cuts in programming, staff, departmental budgets, etc. We will continue to make cuts which have the least impact on our students. As for raising taxes, I do not believe now is the appropriate time to ask for a tax increase. District 33 is among the poorest districts in DuPage County - we have one of the highest property tax rates throughout the county for education.
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?
Any change in employee compensation should keep with the average rate of inflation and not go beyond that. Our employee groups need to be treated fairly, within the constraints of the economy and district finances. We need to live within our means just as our community does.
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?
I would not support this, as I would not support the increases in teacher's pay during the last few years of their employment. I believe these inflated increases have contributed to the problems we currently have in Illinois with regards to pensions.