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updated: 2/22/2013 6:06 PM

Duane Schmitt: Candidate Profile

Central Unit District 301 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



City: Burlington

Website: Candidate did not respond.

Office sought: Central Unit District 301 School Board (4-year Terms)

Age: 57

Family: Married, three children, one grandchild

Occupation: Recently Retired, Construction Superintendent(30 years)Carpenter and Carpenter Foreman (9 years)

Education: Central High School, 1973

Civic involvement: Central High School Booster Club Member(92-04), Central District Baseball League Board Member(88-03), Central Indoor Soccer League Board Member(90-00)

Elected offices held: This is my first time running for elected office.

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

Candidate's Key Issues

Key Issue 1

Students - School Safety and Academic Performance

Key Issue 2

Budgetary Issues

Key Issue 3

Community Engagement

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?

The common core standards as well as the curriculum should always be evolving to meet the needs of the students so they are prepared for the stages of their lives that comes after high school. The more members of the community we get involved with this process, the better. I see the school board's role as a link between the community and the administration, communicating the need to keep current with these needs.

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?

The district does a lot of great things to prepare students for the next stage in their lives. Trades programs and internships are great examples of how we prepare high school students for college or full-time employment. Students get a lot of real world experience from these programs. However, this is an area that is always changing and needs to continue to improve and develop to meet the needs of future job markets.

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 major budget issues will stem off of what the state budget sets aside for school funding. With that I believe that challenging times are right in front of us. Being newly retired I have the time to research many avenues and to work with the rest of the school board towards a common goal of a balanced budget. I would also look forward to discussing issues like these with members of the communityand and even past board members before reforms take place and move forward to help balance our district's budget. I also believe that a tax increase would be a last resort to any budget problems.

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?

At this point, I do not believe that the district should ask for concessions from its employees. Employees cost should stay about the same as we work to balance our district's budget. In the future, I believe any labor increases or decreases should not only take place among one employee group, but instead should be done across the board.

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 would not support increases to boost pay for administrators or anyone alse nearing retirement just to boost pensions. That was not what way the pension system was intended to operate. Pay increases should be earned and not just given.