Lisa Knauf: Candidate profile
Name: Lisa M. Knauf
Office sought: Board Member, DuPage High School District 88
Family: unmarried, 2 children
Education: BA, Marquette University; JD, Northern IL University College of Law
Civic involvement: Addison Public Library Trustee (see below); Volunteer attorney, Administer Justice; volunteer attorney, Wills for Heroes, Chicago Bar Association; DuPage County Bar Association Judiciary Committee; Girl Scout leader (2005-2014); Driscoll Catholic High School Alumni Board member
Previous elected offices held: Trustee, Addison Public Library (2001- Present)
Incumbent? If yes, when were you first elected? No.
What are the most important issues facing your district and how do you intend to address them?
Costs continue to increase, yet residents cannot be asked to shoulder ever-larger property tax bills. I would like to assist with continuing to find ways to do more with the funds already available.
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 am satisfied that District 88 is doing a good job educating students for the future, I have two children that are D88 graduates. I would like to see a continued emphasis on improving skills in math and reading for non-honors students and raising average test scores across the student population. Also guiding both college bound and non-college bound students to take advantage of the opportunities the district offers, both in and outside the classroom as they prepare for the next phase beyond high school.
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.
Our district will have to find ways to balance the need for more programs and services within the limits of the budget that is available. There may be services that can be outsourced and we need to take a close look at the options available. On the income side, I do not support a tax increase.
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?
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?
There is no doubt that a great staff is necessary for a great school. As contracts come up for renewal, the board needs to look to what other agencies and the private sector pay for salaries and benefits. The vast majority of taxpayers in this district work in the private sector, it is difficult to ask them to fund large increases that are out of line with what they themselves receive. I believe there is a way to balance the cost of a great staff with the ability of the residents to pay for it.
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, I do not support this method of boosting pension benefits, coupled with automatic increases, many retirees now make far more than they did when they were working. I am not opposed to a good pension for these hardworking administrators, but the current method is not sustainable long term.