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Article updated: 2/22/2013 6:05 PM

Jim Karner: Candidate Profile

Batavia Unit District 101 School Board (4-year Terms)

Jim Karner, running for Batavia Unit District 101 School Board (4-year Terms)

Jim Karner, running for Batavia Unit District 101 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: Batavia

Website: Candidate did not respond.

Office sought: Batavia Unit District 101 School Board (4-year Terms)

Age: 42

Family: Married, four children

Occupation: Stay-at-Home Father

Education: Bachelor of Arts in Psychology, Northern Illinois University, 1995

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

Candidate's Key Issues

Key Issue 1

My primary campaign issue is to foster the highest quality education system that the citizens and students of Batavia deserve. I would like Batavia's education system to be one that will ultimately attract people who are looking to provide the best for their children. A good school system is the foundation of a great community. Batavia has so much to offer beyond our schools, but this is where I believe we should start.

Key Issue 2

I will strive to ensure that an education from Batavia public schools is provided at the best possible value for the taxpayers of Batavia. In these hard economic times, it is important to not only provide the finest educational experience for our students, but also one which will be financially sustainable for years to come.

Key Issue 3

I believe that accountability at all levels of the school system is going to be very important going forward. As property taxes have gone higher over the years, so have many people's expectations of the Batavia school system. I feel it is important to have a general attitude of accountability on all issues throughout Batavia schools, so that we are doing the best service for the residents of Batavia.

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?

What I like about the common core standard is that its end means is to prepare our children for life after school. With an emphasis on English Language Arts, and Math, its primary goal is to give kids the skill sets to get a job and be able to compete in a global marketplace. I believe the Board of Education should play a role in setting the curriculum of our students. Since elected board members represent residents of the community, they should have the ability to shape curriculum if needed. I am a believer that the school curriculum should emphasize the basics: reading, writing, math and science. The mastery of those subjects will give them the skills to succeed in college and beyond.

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?

Chicago Tribunes? 2012 Illinois School Report Cards shows that 55.5% of BHS juniors scored high enough on 3 out of 4 ACT sections to be consideredcollege ready? for key freshman courses. This is positive when you compare it to the Illinois statewide figure which is at only 19%. With that said, there is also room to improve these figures. The shift to the common core curriculum could aid to this end. Common core states that itraises the bar? of academic expectations by its very design. Modeled after the most successful education systems in this country and around the world, it provides a clear and rigorous curriculum that is measurable. I believe that setting high academic standards, and testing kids to see if they are meeting these standards are key to helping our children achieve success in the classroom.

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?

I frequently review my own family budget, as I am sure most people do theirs. When times have been tough, we?ve had to make changes to our budget. Should we treat the district's budget any different? Since the district faces continual budget deficits, difficult decisions are the unfortunate reality we face. I do not support any tax increases.

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?

We don't need another strike in Illinois, but we need to be very careful how we spend taxpayer's money. There are many people still out of work or working two jobs to make ends meet. I do not support increases in pay or benefits.

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?

According to the Chicago Tribune, the TRS unfunded pension liability stood at approximately $54 billion for 2012. Therefore, I would not support any increase in pay to help boost pension benefits.

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