March 29, 2011 1:02PM
Stacey Borgens, candidate Summit Hill SD 161. | Supplied photo
Office Sought: Summit Hill 161 School Board Member
Name: Stacey Borgens
Education: University of Michigan graduate; political science and history degree
Occupation: Director of operations for a local small business
Spouse: John Borgens, married since 1997
Children: Three — Two attend Summit Hill School District Schools now and the third will start in the fall
Family/Government Agencies: n/a
Other Elected Offices Sought: n/a
Criminal History: n/a
Past Political Experience: none
In your view, what are the two most important issues facing your constituents?
Class size and student fees.
Class size — I think that is important for learning purposes to keep class sizes low. Increasing class sizes as a part of the District’s “Strategic Plan” to trim the budget is not acceptable — especially at the elementary level. It’s not fair to students or teachers. It could actually end up costing the District more money in the long term, because the children who fall behind will need extra support staff to help them learn the fundamentals and achieve the goals expected at their grade level.
Student Fees — This is the first year since I have been in the school district (2005) that we have not watched our registration fees and activity fees increase. I applaud our current school board for not increasing the fees. However, there is more to do. Parents are struggling to make ends meet these days. The last thing they should have to worry about is registration fees, late fees and all of the little extras that creep up through the year. Not to mention the long list of school supplies they are expected to purchase at the beginning of the school year. We need to recognize what families are going through and find a middle ground that doesn’t leave them with the guilt of having to tell their child that they can’t participate in an activity because the money just isn’t there.
Please explain something significant you would like to accomplish within the next two years if you are elected to the office you aspire.
I want to establish an open dialogue with teachers and staff.
I am committed to listen, ask questions, be fair, use common sense, and be respectful and tolerant to those who have opinions that are different than my own.
I won’t forget to speak up for parents, tax payers and teachers.
I want to make it easier for the community to access information about what is going on in the school district. Their concerns should be considered when new policies, budget cuts, tax levies, etc. before changes take place.
Do I believe the way Illinois pays for education is working?
* If by paying, you mean late, then the answer is no. My understanding is that Summit Hill School District has been paid in full for their expenses owed to them by the State for the 2009-2010 school year. Little if any has been paid for the current school year. It is my hope that with the increase in the state income tax, Illinois will be able to pay their bills in a more timely manner. Our District has been fortunate enough to not have to rely on the state to fund our entire budget. This year, our school board voted to increase the property tax levy in order to maintain the services they currently provide – homeowners will not know how much this affects their taxes until after the election.
Would you make any changes to the budget of the governing unit to which
you are seeking elected office?
* I am sure there are expenses that could be trimmed in the District’s budget that does not include cutting teachers, increasing class size, cutting extracurricular activities or increasing fees parents have to pay to the District. I recognize that fiscal responsibility is not an option, it is a necessity. There are ways to do it without hurting the students or hitting parents wallets.