On the first day of filing as candidates with the county clerk’s office for positions on Evanston’s two school boards, four candidates were in line in downtown Chicago as filing began at 8 a.m. Monday.
Near the front of the line was Patricia Maunsell and not far behind were Lindsay Cohen, Gretchen Livingston, and Nick Korzeniowski.
Lindsay Cohen files for District 65
Maunsell and Livingston are candidates for Evanston Township High School District 202, while Cohen and Korzeniowski are candidates for Evanston/Skokie School District 65. Livingston was the only incumbent among the four.
Nick Korzeniowskit files for District 65
About 750 candidates from 145 suburban Cook County school districts are expected to file paperwork to get on the ballot in the weeklong filing period that ends at 5 p.m. on Dec. 19.
Former District 202 Board President Gretchen Livingston waits for the line to move before 8 a.m.
On the first day, candidates could also file in three suburban locations: Hawthorne Distribution Center at 4545 W. Cermak Road, the Rob Roy Golf Course in Prospect Heights, and the Tinley Park Convention Center.
For the rest of the week, however, paperwork will only be accepted at the clerk’s office at 69 W. Washington, Chicago, and at the Hawthorne Distribution Center.
Several of the local incumbents chose to travel to Prospect Heights to file Monday morning. These included Candance Chow, Anya Tanyavutti, and Suni Kartha of District 65, and Pat Savage-Williams and Anne Sills of District 202.
Although each board has seven members, only four terms expire in 2017, while the other three will expire in 2019. There is an exception this year, however, for District 65. Because a vacancy occurred in the first half of the term of Jennifer Phillips, her replacement, Tanyavutti, must run in this election in order to serve for the final two years of that term.
The election for school board positions will be held concurrent with elections for Evanston mayor and aldermen, on April 4, 2017.
What do we really learn about candidates ?
We are all getting swapped daily with ads from school Board candidates. But do the flyers, columns in papers or even questionnaires tell us anything ? No. They are filled with boilerplate platitudes. Do we really expect a candidate to say they are for segregation, special education for the elite or removing schools in poor neighborhoods ?
Candidates need to tell us specifics of what they would do differently [or if incumbents why they have not done so already].
E.g. would and how reduce administration; change budgets; changes to salary, benefits and pensions or teachers, administration and salary; changes to salary and contracts for superintendents; require higher standards for teachers; how to quickly get rid of bad teachers; make salary increases based on merit not length of service; consolidate schools, and Districts.
Then we would learn something about the candidate other than statements like “bring excellence into our educational system so that all students are prepared for lifelong high paying jobs and knowledge in all area so they can make Evanston and America great and end all inequity in Evanston”—about the level of what is said now.
What more the candidates should say
It would be very informative if each candidate would say “I’ve studies the schools throughly and to accomlish what they should [attached is a complete list] we require $50,000,000 which I will propose at the first Board Meeting if I’m elected.” After all you would expect candidates to have fully analyzed all the issues before running and able to hit the ground running day one.
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