Julie Hill: Candidate profile
Name: Julie Hill
City: Glen Ellyn
Office sought: District 41 Board of Education
Family: Husband -- Tom Hill; Daughters -- ages 8 and 4
Occupation: Stay-at-home parent
Education: B.A. Psychology from Wake Forest University; M.Ed. Teaching and Learning, Early Childhood Education from DePaul University
Civic involvement: Volunteer Local Lead for Moms Demand Action for Gunsense in America
Previous elected offices held: None
Facebook: Julie Hill for D41
What are the most important issues facing your district and how do you intend to address them?
The most important issue will be the hiring or onboarding of a new superintendent. We will need to work together to implement the long range plan for the vision for our district.
With vision comes financial commitments, and we need make decisions that ensure the fiscal sustainability of our district.
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?
We are very satisfied with the education our child has received so far, and love the opportunities like FLES (Foreign Language in Elementary School) that our schools provide. This community would really like to see the implementation of Full-Day Kindergarten, which will require a budget to allow for more space and more staff; I would like to explore achieving this goal in a financially responsible and feasible way.
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.
District 41 will face struggles with finances due to past fiscal decisions. Most of our budget goes to paying our employees, and teachers' salaries are tied to inflation. Benefits increase by about 8 percent yearly. When a district chooses not to increase their available revenue with inflation, it is not financially sustainable because the cost of goods rises, but they have not allowed the revenue to rise.
Are you currently employed by or retired from a school district, if so, which one? Is any mem-ber of your direct family -- spouse, child or child-in-law -- employed by the school district where you are seeking a school board seat?
No. I resigned from Chicago Public Schools in 2010 and bought out my pension shortly thereafter.
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?
To maintain our status as a sought-after district for employment, we need to pay our administrators, teachers, and staff competitively so that we continue to attract the best.
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?
No. It seems unethical; it is unsustainable, and I would question its lawfulness.