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: Mount Prospect
Website: Candidate did not respond.
Office sought: Elk Grove Township District 59 School Board (2-year Terms)
Age: Candidate did not respond.
Occupation: At-home mom to three children
Education: B.S. Animal Science, Kansas State Univ., 1996 M.S. Genetics, Iowa State Univ., 1999
Civic involvement: Candidate did not respond.
Elected offices held: Candidate did not respond.
Have you ever been arrested for or convicted of a crime? If yes, please explain: No.
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?
Educating our children is more than just teaching them for today. It is important to prepare them for tomorrow. If we aren't educating the students to be successful in the 21st century, we are doing them, and ourselves, a disservice. Common Core addresses that. The changes and efforts on the parts of the teachers and administrators are huge! It will be interesting to see how all of the implementation and then the assessment pieces work out. With regards to curriculum?the Board's role is in approving the necessary funding involved with providing the appropriate curriculum. If current curriculum turned out to be insufficient (as shown by state assessments and expectations among other things) the Board would be involved in the decision-making process of looking for curriculum that would meet the needs of the district in those specific areas. We are not directly involved in finding the curriculum or in breaking it apart though. We leave that to the experts!
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?
District 59 does a good job, but there is always room for improvement! It is important to stay relevant to the nation and world with regards to educating students. How students are prepared today can definitely make a difference in their successfulness in high school, college, and/or a career. District 59 communicates with local high school district(s) about the students feeding in from our schools. With how often state and federal mandates seem to change, it's important to be adaptable enough to make changes in the education preparedness in order to give our students every opportunity to be successful later in life. We need to constantly evaluate our programs and curriculum to make sure they are relevant to the students of today.
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?
Thankfully, District 59 is in great financial shape. The Board and Administration have done a fabulous job of making sure Dist. 59 is financially sound. The team really tries to look at the big picture and project long term when dealing with major financial issues. At this point in time, we don't need to significantly increase taxes or cut existing programs due to budgetary concerns. Other school districts aren't as fortunate. That said, District 59 (and other IL districts) could face a number of budget issues/concerns depending on the outcomes of several key happenings in Springfield. At the very least, we are looking at reduced or late-payment funding for existing programs. That has been happening for years and will likely continue for some time. There's also the potential for shifting pension responsibilities from the state to the districts. From everything we are hearing, it's just a matter of time before this shift occurs. Additionally, the downturn of the economy has affected everyone. As a result, expenses for free and reduced programming have risen the last few years. That will likely continue as well.
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?
That's tricky. In this economy EVERYONE has been affected. In many sectors cost of living increases and raises either aren't being given, or aren't being given in the amounts employees have grown accustomed to over the years. When negotiating, is important to come to an agreement that all sides can live with and walk away feeling like they are valued and what they do is important. I anticipate that there will some give and take in any upcoming negotiations, but at this point in time, I don't know exactly how that is going to look when all is said and done.
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. Substantially increasing pay just to boost pension benefits is abusing the system. Districts will become even MORE aware of that if/when the pension cost shift occurs.