Eldon Burk: Candidate Profile
Maine Township High School District 207 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: Des Plaines
Website: Candidate did not respond.
Office sought: Maine Township High School District 207 School Board (4-year Terms)
Family: Married, four children, five grandchildren
Occupation: Retired educator
Education: BA, MA.
Civic involvement: Des Plaines Kiwanis Club, past member of the Des Plaines Public Library Board, past member of Des Plaines United Way Board, Peer Jury Coordiantor
Elected offices held: District 207 Board of Education
Have you ever been arrested for or convicted of a crime? If yes, please explain: No
Key Issue 1
With the decline in State of Illinois support for education and the prospect of the state pushing the teacher pension funding back to the local school districts, I feel it is very important for our district to plan accordingly. We need to look at all of our programs and see how we can make them more efficient and beneficial for our students while being fiscally responsible to our tax payers.
Key Issue 2
As a board member I feel it is imperative that we keep up with the newest technology and help the professional staff by providing them the support necessary to give our students the best and most effective methods for delivery of services. The board needs to plan the budgeting process with this concept in mind.
Key Issue 3
Our board needs to continually monitor the progress of our students and the quality of our professional staff. We will need to continue to look for the most qualified and capable leaders for our administrative and teaching staff.
What, specifically, can the school board do to prevent hazing at its schools?
The responsibility of the board is four fold: 1. act swiftly to review and discipline, if necessary, any and all staff and students involved in hazing. 2. review and update any and all policies regarding hazing. 3. provide inservice information regarding the state mandate to report any violation and 4. work with the students to understand the long term ramifications of hazing (ie., potential police records, branding as a sex offender, etc..)
Would you ever support deficit spending in a District 207 budget? How can the district keep its finances healthy going forward?
Although deficit spending is not what any board member wants to do, there could be circumstances when it may be necessary. Examples: major damage to one of our facilities, new state or federal unfunded mandates, sudden increase in enrollment, significant decrease in tax revenues, etc..... Therefore, my position would be only in emergencies would I support deficit spending.
Should the district tie teacher salary increases to CPI?
While this concept would be "fair" it would also be very difficult to determine what path the cpi might follow over the life of a three year contract. The extreme fluctuations from month to month would make it difficult to determine unless you took the average. Unfortunately, a scare in the middle east, a hurricane, a leak in the gulf, etc., all of which could send the cpi into a tailspin. So, my answer is no, we should not base salaries on the cpi but use it as a benchmark.
Discuss the health clinic at Maine East. Are you satisfied with how it is working? Should the idea be expanded to West or South?
I am a bit prejudiced on this topic as I serve on the advisory board for the clinic. It is meeting the needs of many Maine 207 students. I can't begin to tell you of the many success stories achieved in the limited space I have here. I can affirm that the health center has touched the lives of many students and their families in a very positive way. At this time the clinic serves students from all three schools. As expected, the majority are from East because of location but the numbers from West and South are significant and growing each year. Maine East is the best location because of the proximity to LGH which provides most of the medical staff. This program was much needed and is a great success story for our district.to the students. And the best part is that very little tax money is used for this program. Most of the funds come from fund raising, donations and money from the State of Illinois as part of the cigarette settlement years ago. I'm proud to be affiliated with the Maine Township High School Health Center.
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 is good for education in general, however, most of the schools in the northwest suburbs have been there for a long time. Over all, it will improve education in our state and country. My major concern is the major push for going to "college" as the only (most accepted) path to follow. We need to encourage exploring the "trades" and other respected professions which don't necessarily require a 4 year college degree. I believe board members can keep pushing for these programs which will be beneficial to those students who either can not afford a four year college degree or who don't have the skills to do so but who are gifted in areas in which they can make a very good living and contribute to our community.
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