Donna Craft Cain: Candidate profile

  • Donna Craft Cain is a candidate for DuPage High School District 88 school board.

    Donna Craft Cain is a candidate for DuPage High School District 88 school board.

Updated 3/11/2019 2:24 PM


Name: Donna Craft Cain


City: Lombard

Office sought: Board of Education Member DuPage High School District 88

Age: 55

Family: Husband, M. David Cain, Jr., Daughters, Theresa Cain, B.S. Chemical Engineering and Mathematics, Rose-Hulman Institute of Technology, Rachel Cain, B.S. Computer Science and Linguistics, Truman State University, M.S. TESOL, Bond University, M.S. Information Security, Lewis University, and Deborah Cain, B.S. History, Political Science and Economics, Coe College, 1st year law student Marquette University

Occupation: Attorney

Education: H.S. Willowbrook High School, B.S. Accountancy -- University of Illinois Champaign-Urbana, Illinois, J.D. Illinois Institute of Technology Chicago-Kent College of Law

Civic involvement: Board of Education Member DuPage High School District 88 2004 to present, President Partnership for Inspired Education Foundation, Past President Villa Park Chamber of Commerce, Board member DuPage County Bar Foundation, member Endowment Committee Tri-Town YMCA

Previous elected offices held: DuPage High School District 88 Board Member

Incumbent? If yes, when were you first elected? 2005 (appointed in 2004)




Issue questions

What are the most important issues facing your district and how do you intend to address them?

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We are the 2nd most diverse district in the State of Illinois so I believe that it is important that we are always reviewing what we are doing and to make sure that we are meeting the needs of all of our students. I believe that it is important to have different programs so that we are making sure that the high achievers have opportunities as well as provide support for students who are not achieving. I want every student to be able to dream and achieve those dreams.

How satisfied are you that your school district is adequately 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?

I believe that we provide many opportunities for our students to be College and Career ready, however, we can always do more. I am pleased that we have taken down barriers for students to take Advanced Placement Classes, however, we need to figure out why some students don't want to take AP classes and figure out the supports that they need to be successful. I also believe we have made great progress with our dual-enrollment classes and certifications, but we need to continue to see what we can add. I would like to see us figure out ways to use technology to allow students to be able to take a class that is offered at the other campus, but may not be offered at their school. I would like to see more on-line opportunities available to students.

What budgetary issues will your district have to confront during the next four years and what measures do you support to address them? If you believe cuts are necessary, be specific about programs and expenses that should be considered for reduction or elimination. On the income side, do you support any tax increases? Be specific.


80% of funding for public education comes from property taxes. With Illinois' new funding formula, I hope that the state will be able to consistently make their payments. If the state and federal government continue to make their payments consistently, I would hope that school districts would not be so dependent upon property taxes for funding. I have always supported passing a levy that allows the district to receive the maximum levy under the state statute which is the lower of CPI or 5% (The last few years the CPI has been around 2%.) I have approached legislators about passing legislation that would allow school districts to not have to pass the maximum levy each year, but to still have that capacity in a future year. However, I have suggested to the administration that if that State consistently makes their required payments, that we could consider an abatement to provide some relief to taxpayers without affecting the maximum. Personally, as an attorney, I try to educate my clients about how the property tax system works and to make sure that their properties are not over assessed and that they are receiving all of the exemptions they are entitled to.

Are you currently employed by or retired from a school district, if so, which one? Is any member of your direct family -- spouse, child or child-in-law -- employed by the school district where you are seeking a school board seat?

I have never been employed by a school district. I have a daughter that currently works for Addison Trail High school as a teaching assistant in the credit recovery program.

As contract talks come up with various school employee groups -- teachers, support staff, etc. -- what posture should the school board take? 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?

I believe that it is important that a school board begins bargaining with an open mind and start by building trust. Each employee group is important and they are the individuals that are directly impacting students. Since payroll is about 70% of a school districts budget, it is important when negotiating to remember the limitation of the increase on the district's budget (ie. -- CPI, State and Federal Funding) Since I have been on the board, most of our contracts have been tied to CPI. Yes, employee costs are taken into consideration when negotiating.

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?

The current superintendent's contract is currently set and provides for 6% increase for the years up until his retirement which is allowed for under the current law.

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