Gerald D. Chapman: Candidate Profile

Palatine Twp. Elementary D15

Updated 2/23/2011 4:09 PM
  • Gerald D. Chapman, running for Palatine Twp. Elementary D15

    Gerald D. Chapman, running for Palatine Twp. Elementary D15



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: Inverness

Website: Candidate did not respond.

Office sought: Palatine Twp. Elementary D15

Age: 67

Family: Wife, Linda Two grown children, both successful graduates of D15 schools

Occupation: Educational consultant

Education: B.S., Mathematics Education, Northern Illinois University

M.A., Mathematics, Northwestern University

Ed.D., School Administration, Indiana University

Civic involvement: Palatine Chamber of Commerce, Board of Directors, 1990-2001, 2003-present

Palatine Rural Fire Protection District, Trustee and

Treasurer, 2004-present

Bridge Youth and Family Services, Board Chairman, 2002-2005

Palatine Township Cemetery Committee, 1996-present

Village of Palatine, Citizen Corps, 2006-present

Palatine Rural Pension Board, Member and Treasurer, 2004-present

Elected offices held: Board of Education, Community Consolidated School District 15, 2007-present

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

Candidate's Key Issues

Key Issue 1

All District 15 students deserve to have the same opportunities for high quality education. So we must assure that every school has the same rigorous curriculum, highly qualified staff, as well as safe and healthy environments. I would support a comprehensive facilities study to assure healthy and equitable facilities for all students.

Key Issue 2

The quality of education is directly related to the quality of staff. The District needs to hire and retain highly qualified administrators, teachers, and support staff and provide the necessary resources so that staff can work effectively.

Key Issue 3

The board of education needs to continue to monitor the District's finances to assure long-term financial stability. While severe budget reductions are not needed immediately, it is timely to review all areas of the budget for potential future reductions to remain financially responsible.

Questions & Answers

Would you support reductions in staff, specifically classroom teachers, in order to reduce projected deficit spending? If not, what specific budget cuts do you propose?

District 15's financial condition is sound in the short-term, with reasonable fund balances. However, in the long-term, if financial conditions do not improve, budget reductions will be necessary. Long-term finances are difficult to project with absolute accuracy because of the uncertainty of State aid. Maintaining class sizes should be a high priority, but whether that can be done will depend directly on future revenue.

How would you prioritize capital projects? Is the board's direction to budget $2 million annually on capital projects enough? And would you tap into reserves to fund those projects?

The District's architect and maintenance staff are in the process of evaluating all of the District 15 facilities to identify short-term needs. I would rely on their expertise to assist in establishing priorities for capital improvements. Also, I would support a long-term facilities study if it would be cost-effective.

How do you attempt to create equity in District 15, a large elementary district with diverse demographics? What further steps can the schools that have struggled with No Child Left Behind standards take?

Equity among schools is a high priority, to assure that all District 15 students have access to the same high quality curriculum, skilled and dedicated staff, and healthy learning environments. As for No Child Left Behind, our schools continue to make good progress, and that can continue if highly qualified staff are recruited and retained and all schools are held accountable to provide rigorous curriculum. Additional resources have been and should continue to be provided as needed.

What impact do you think the Navigate15 process will have on Dist. 15, and what can be done to ensure the community is engaged in the process? How should the board incorporate community input into future initiatives?

Superintendent Scott Thompson has been outstanding in planning Navigate 15 and engaging the community on a variety of educational issues. The results of these meetings will be presented to the board of education in late spring, and that input will provide the board with insight from the community for future planning.

Would you support another tax increase referendum? Why or why not?

There is no need for a tax increase referendum. Instead, the District needs to continue to balance its budgets through sound long-term financial planning and responsible decision-making.