The fall is proving to be a busy time of year both within District 64 and the State of Illinois. The nominating period has begun for candidates for the District 64 school board. With one year remaining on our current contract, the newly-elected Board members will be responsible for negotiating the new contract with PREA. A number of PREA members have been working to recruit candidates from the community and the District is running an “ABC’s of School Board Service” coffee on Tuesday evening at 7:00 on Tuesday, October 28 which we are encouraging candidates to attend.
Additionally, Tony Belmonte is chairing the PREA Board Election Committee and is looking for interested members to join him. This committee will help to inform the community about candidate backgrounds and make recommendations on supporting individual candidates. Please contact Tony if you can help out on this important committee.
Also, as you know, the gubernatorial race is in full swing and IEA has been working hard to inform all members of its recommendation to vote against Bruce Rauner. Without getting into all the details, Mr. Rauner has pledged to follow in the footsteps of Wisconsin governor Scott Walker. Posted in the “Decision 2014” section to the left is a video that was forwarded to me by a PREA member in which Wisconsin teachers share stories on how the changes implemented by Governor Walker have affected them. Please check out all the election information from IEA.
On a brighter note, during each home Bears game, two teachers are recognized on the Soldier Field screen as Symetra Heroes in the Classroom. Outstanding teachers can be nominated through the Heroes in the Classroom website (http://symetraheroes.com/index.php/team/chicago-bears). It would be great to see a District 64 teacher recognized at a future game!
Finally, you may not know about Senate Bill 16, which is working its way through the Illinois Legislature. The consequences of the passing of this bill could be severe for future contract negotiations. The following is from a recent conversation I had with Dr. Heinz..: “District 64 is closely monitoring action in Springfield on an effort to shift funding from “wealthy” school districts to others with fewer local property tax resources. District 64 is estimated to lose $2.3 million each year -- or 3/4 of our state funding. Maine Township High School District 207 is projected to lose $6.5 million in state resources annually. Senate Bill 16 passed the state senate in May 2014. All 39 school districts in northern Cook County would be stripped of more than $104 million overall in state funds each year, leaving local property taxpayers to fill the gap and/or local schools to slash programs and cut teachers. If enacted, SB 16 would have a real impact on District 64 schools. The bill is currently under review by the House of Representatives; a vote is expected after the November election.”
Thanks for reading, and I encourage all of you to involve yourselves in the local and state elections that affect our teaching careers!
My best, Andy