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updated: 2/22/2013 6:28 PM

Herb Ruterschmidt: Candidate Profile

Arlington Heights District 25 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: Arlington Heights

Website: Candidate did not respond.

Office sought: Arlington Heights District 25 School Board (4-year Terms)

Age: 53

Family: Married, 2 children: Christina (11) at Thomas, Eva (9) at Greenbrier

Occupation: Small Business Owner

Education: Bachelor of Arts in Business Rockford College, 1981

Civic involvement: Chicago Kickers Soccer Club

Elected offices held: President, Chicago Kickers Past volunteer youth soccer coach and referee

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

Candidate's Key Issues

Key Issue 1

The School Board must have more accountability and transparency to the parents, teachers and students. There is a great need for more input from the public to the Board. Also, I believe School Board Meetings should be more in the format of an open forum, fostering open 2-way discussion.

Key Issue 2

We must re-analyze how our funds are being allocated. The basic foundations of education must be met before extraneous programs are considered. Classes should not be help in hallways; every LMC should have full-time coverage.

Key Issue 3

Basic programs in the school must not be curtailed or eliminated in favor of optional or experimental pilot programs. Special Ed and Gifted programs are necessary for certain children; these programs should not be dismantled in order to fund special pet projects.

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?

Unfortunately, the explanation of the Common Cure program has been very vague. However, the research I have done, speaking with parents and administrators in other districts, has shown that the vast majority of teachers oppose it. Results in Northbrook have shown that highest-performing level students are not being challenged and the average students are coasting. Teachers are forced to allocate the majority of their time to the poor-performing students. This is not a recipe for success. I would hope the implementation of Common Core can be somewhat tailored to benefit ALL children in the classroom.

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 think they are doing a fairly good job. To ensure success at the H.S. and college level, and beyond, there must be a strong emphasis on technology, basic education (reading, writing and arithmetic) and independent thinking.

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 budget must be re-evaluated in its entirety. It is a travesty to slash the director of a L.M.C. ("the intellectual Hub of every school," as stated by Superintendent Jerome), while at the same time increasing funding for luxury programs, such as Chinese. If cuts are necessary, the Chinese program and the lucrative compensation and benefit packages of the School District's Administrators should be first in line.

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?

If cuts are to be made, I believe they must start with the District's administrators. The payroll for administrators is bloated. We cannot ask people earning $35-$60K per year to take a cut when those making $100 to $170K per year do not.

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, absolutely not. This type of last-minute boost is one of the primary causes of the pension crisis faced by this state,as well as the country. The purpose of a pension is not to make someone rich in retirement.

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