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updated: 2/22/2013 6:25 PM

Scott Epstein: Candidate Profile

Cary District 26 School Board (4-year Terms)

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  • Scott Epstein, running for Cary District 26 School Board (4-year Terms)

      Scott Epstein, running for Cary District 26 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.

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BioKey IssuesQ&A

 

Bio

City: Crystal Lake

Website: Candidate did not respond.

Office sought: Cary District 26 School Board (4-year Terms)

Age: Candidate did not respond.

Family: Married with two daughters

Occupation: President of FOG Equities and owner of IllinoisRealEstate.com

Education: Candidate did not respond.

Civic involvement: Currently a CEC (community engagement committee) panel member for District 26

Elected offices held: Candidate did not respond.

Have you ever been arrested for or convicted of a crime? If yes, please explain: Candidate did not respond.

Candidate's Key Issues

Key Issue 1

Repairing the relationship between the school board and the teacher's union.

Key Issue 2

There needs to be better communication between the school board and the community.

Key Issue 3

Accountability, for both the school board and the administration.

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?

I think it couldn't have come at a better time for our district as our curriculum was so out of date that it forced the board and administration to finally update it. I don't believe the Board should play that big of a role in setting the curriculum, I believe that should be more of a group effort between the teachers and administration. As for changes to the current curriculum I believe we are moving in the right direction by getting new materials. Our ELA curriculum was recently approved and on display and all of the teachers involved in the process along with the administration feel very good about it, but since it won't be implemented until next year I don't have a comment about it. There is also a group of teachers who are currently working with the administration to determine which publisher(s) we will purchase for the new math curriculum for the FY15 school year and I look forward to learning more about our options.

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 our district is doing an okay job at preparing our children and I think most of that credit goes to our very experienced teaching staff. Given that more and more jobs are tied to technology, I think we are behind when it comes to technology. I think it's very important that the administration develop a comprehensive technology plan so our technology purchases are not rushed at the end of the year.

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 will need to keep a close eye on Springfield as revenue from the state has dropped dramatically over the past few years and I don't anticipate that trend changing anytime soon. Add to that the potential shift for pension costs and this could greatly impact a district like ours who is just showing signs of stabilizing. I do think the district is long over due for a limiting rate tax increase but given the recent EAV numbers I don't think now is the right time, but possibly in the not so distant future. I feel that T. Ferrier has done a great job with her projections over the past few years. I haven't always agreed with her methods but I can't argue with her results.

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 it comes to contract negotiations I think they should've already started. I would expect employee costs to remain about the same. Our district has done a good job at balancing the budget and appear ready to bring back PE, Art and Music next year and increased employee costs could jeopardize that. One of the biggest complaints (and rightfully so) from teachers is the lack of planning time. I believe most teachers would prefer the increased planning time over say a 2-3% raise.

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. I feel administrators as a whole are well compensated and I don't believe that just because they are retiring do they deserve increased pay so they receive better pension benefits.

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