Todd Younger: Candidate Profile
Northwest High School District 214 School Board (4-year Terms)
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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.
City: Arlington Heights
Website: Candidate did not respond.
Office sought: Northwest High School District 214 School Board (4-year Terms)
Family: Married, two children in High School.
Occupation: Commercial Banker, First Midwest Bank.
Education: BA in Economics, University of Illinois, 1986 MBA, Loyola University Chicago, 1996
Civic involvement: Candidate did not respond.
Elected offices held: Appointed to D214 Board in July of 2011, seated August of 2011.
Have you ever been arrested for or convicted of a crime? If yes, please explain: No.
Key Issue 1
Believe in keeping public education strong and competitive with the goal of giving kids the best opportunity for a lifetime of learning.
Key Issue 2
Believe strong public schools create a strong community and higher property values.
Key Issue 3
Believe in fiscal responsibility: maintain excellent programs, support new initiatives, while maintaining a balanced budget.
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?
As a board member, first I try to understand the current curriculum and any emerging trends, and work to ensure the administration and staff align their cirriculums to core standards. Also, work to ensure consistency across all the schools in the district.
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 am really proud of the increases in the number of students that are pursuing post HS education and training. Many students are earning college prep credits that can save families thousands of dollars. Also there are various career pathways supported by the district that include 2-4 year colleges, trades and ROTC for kids interested in military service.
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?
D214 has had a balanced operating budget for 18 consecutive years. The current environment forces us to examine everything very closely. The district has been able to realize over $20 million in cost containment initiatives over the last 5 years without having to make signifigant cuts to educational programs. Also, the administration has done a fantastic job re-allocating resources based on the changing program needs without any major disruptions to staff or schools. We understand the pressures on families and hope the states' woes don't continue to add property tax burdens on our community. I recognize that the community needs to get an equal return on its investment in the schools.
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?
When trying to determine a fair agreement, generally everything needs to be on the table. We have a good relationship with our bargaining groups and will work to craft an agreement that honors our employees and taxpayers.
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 am not that well versed in the current contract rules, but I believe it would not be appropriate or fair for any employee to receive a substantial increase for the sole pupose of boosting a retirement benefit. The days of back room deals or stange formulas, I hope are gone.
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