Endorsements: Kucik, Lullo, Gillen, Donovan in DuPage High School Dist. 88
In DuPage High School District 88, encompassing Addison Trail and Willowbrook, 53 percent of students come from a home that qualifies as low income. That fact plays into nearly every decision the school board makes.
Where do you set fees for extracurricular activities so that they generate some money for the programs, don't unfairly burden the families who can pay and don't shift the cost to the general population that isn't participating? How do you take advantage of educational technology and give students laptops or tablets when many can't use the devices at home because they don't have Internet access? How can you retain teachers with a competitive wage as the community's ability to pay taxes declines?
The current board has been grappling with these issues and more, and the four school board members elected April 7 also will have to factor in changes the state may make in school funding and teacher pensions. The current board -- including incumbents Sharon Kucik, Lisa Lullo and Timothy Gillen -- has taken steps to protect the district's financial stability, notably tying raises in collective bargaining contracts to the Consumer Price Index.
Kucik, who is seeking her third term, stands out as thoughtful, dedicated and compassionate, combining a historical knowledge of the district with an appreciation for its changing demography. Likewise, Lullo demonstrates understanding of curricular programs designed to prepare students of all abilities for college and careers as well as of the financial issues facing District 88 and school systems statewide.
Also looking to take seats on the board are challengers Blanca Jessen and Jan Donovan. Donovan impresses us with a high level of responsiveness and career experience as an education consultant.
Kucik, Lullo, Gillen and Donovan are endorsed.