Kathy Brown: Candidate Profile
Lake Zurich Unit District 95 School Board (4-year Terms)
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.
City: Hawthorn Woods
Website: Candidate did not respond.
Office sought: Lake Zurich Unit District 95 School Board (4-year Terms)
Family: Married, three children
Education: Bachelors Business Admin., Loyola-Chicago 1986 Juris Doctorate Degree, Univ of Notre Dame 1991 Masters in Elementary Education, National Louis Univ 2009
Civic involvement: District 95 Board of Education member since 2005
Elected offices held: District 95 Board of Education member since 2005
Have you ever been arrested for or convicted of a crime? If yes, please explain: no
Key Issue 1
1 Maintaining fiscal responsibility (living within our means)
Key Issue 2
2. Implementation of the common core standards
Key Issue 3
3. Social/emotional well being of our students 4. Technology enhancements for teachers/students
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 switch to common core standards is an important shift in teaching children how to process and analyze information. The Board's role continues to be the funding of resources for our teachers and administrators so that the common core curriculum can be implemented with fidelity. The curriculum should be designed and written by the District's administrators and teachers who have the experience and background to do so. The Board should ensure that the administration's suggested curriculum is rigorous and is implemented consistently throughout the district.
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?
As a unit district, I believe that from elementary school through high school, our teachers do an excellent job preparing our students for college. The curriculum that the district offers is rigorous and allows ample opportunity for college level classes. I believe that we need to continue offering a rounded vocational curriculum to our students who may not be college bound. The Board should continue to monitor vocational offerings and, perhaps, expand those opportunities if there is appropriate student interest.
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 most significant budgetary issue facing our District is the Illinois pension crisis. The shifting of the pension burden to local districts will have a significant financial impact on all school districts. However, because District 95 is in very solid financial shape, no program reductions are anticipated in the near future. Nor is there a short-term need for any tax increases. Our community has already contributed greatly to raising our District's financial stability to the level we now maintain we should not be asking any more of our community at this time.
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?
Over the course of our last two teacher contracts, the Board of Education and the Teacher's Association worked cooperatively to negotiate agreements that, given the economic climates at hand, were fair to the taxpayers and employees alike. The agreements successfully sought to maintain reasonable limits on salary and benefit increases, and those negotiated contracts have allowed District 95 to achieve the highest financial rating possible while maintaining a very respectful and cooperative relationship with our teachers association.
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 anyautomatic? increase in pay designed to help boost an employee's pension benefits. The Board of Education, during my time on the Board, has removed clauses that called for such increases from both administrator and teacher compensation plans/contracts.