I received a mailer this week and viewed a Facebook video from Stephanie Clark and Curt Buchholz regarding their re-election bid. Below are a couple of claims that stuck out to me.

Claim: "Watched spending and controlled operating expenses over their last 4 years leading to a surplus of $10 million over the last 2 years."

Over $3 million of Buchholtz's referenced budget surpluses were a result of higher-than-expected state and local funding, including a one-time catch-up payment from switching funding models, and a one-time special education fund grant.

Clark and Buchholtz have no influence on state funding and most D41 expenses are teacher salaries, which are fixed. The primary budgeting factor that Clark and Buchholtz have been directly responsible for is their mandate to keep head count neutral, meaning if they hire one employee they need to cut another employee. A staff neutral policy can be problematic as class sizes fluctuate or if new special education programs are implemented requiring additional staff.

Claim: "Successfully negotiated a responsible compromise for a bond issue that resulted in $18 million returned to the taxpayers."

In April 2017, Glen Ellyn passed a $24 million referendum, by fewer than 10 votes, for overdue capital projects within the five schools, at around the same time Glen Ellyn paid off two old bonds totaling $20 million. D41 simply did not return $18 million back to the taxpayers as residents would have seen a sizable decrease in property taxes, nor did taxpayers receive a refund check.

In closing, I want Glen Ellyn to elect Board of Education members who are factual, forward thinking, listen to the community, knowledgeable of D41 and put our kids first.

Dennis Kalten

Glen Ellyn