March 29, 2011 1:10PM
Kerry Ingram, candidate SD 170. | Supplied photo
Office sought: Board member, School District 170, Chicago Heights
Name: Kerry Ingram
Address: 1125 Campbell Avenue, Chicago Heights, Illinois 60411
Date of birth: 6/14/53
Web site: integrityparty2011.com
Education: B.S. Biology/Education – 1975 Western Illinois University. M.S. Environmental Biology – 1995 Governor’s State University
Occupation, employer: I have just recently retired (6/2010) from Elementary School District 159 of Matteson/Richton Park
Please list all sources of income: Teacher Retirement System pension
Spouse, spouse’s employer: Deborah Ingram- substitute teacher at Glenwood School District 167
Children, age of children, children’s employer (if applicable): Kara (27)- Nestle-Purina Greg (17)- junior at Bloom High School
Please list any relatives, including in-laws, who are employed by a government agency at the federal, state or local levels. What are their job titles and with what agency are they employed? Malcolm Peters (brother-in-law) employed by TSA at O’Hare Airport
What other elected offices have you sought? What year? I have never sought any other political offices.
Have you ever been arrested or charged with a crime? If so, for what? What was the disposition? I have not been charged with a crime.
Do you have any criminal convictions on your record? If so, for what? What was your sentence? I have no criminal convictions on my record.
Political (elected or significant appointment) experience: None
In your view, what are the two most important issues facing your constituents? How would you address those issues? The most important issue facing our school district is adequate funding and appropriate spending. I will compare line items in our budget with line items in budgets of school districts with comparable demographics to determine if any savings can be realized. I will aggressively pursue and lobby for all available state and federal funding since our district’s revenue is 41% state funded and 23% federally funded. The second most important issue, in my opinion, is to restore confidence and pride in the accomplishments of school district 170. Our district has shown gradual improvement on the ISAT test scores (’07-’08 59.4% met or exceeded state standards, ’08-’09- 63.2%, and ’09-’10- 63.7%). We are still below state averages and have much work to do. I plan to interview teachers, principals, and support staff in all buildings to understand what may be working in the classroom and what may need to be fixed. I plan to revive parent advisory committees in each school to encourage parental input and involvement. I would like to see at least one parent advisor from each classroom in the district.
Please explain something significant you would like to accomplish within the next two years if you are elected to the office to which you aspire. The two actions mentioned above (an aggressive audit of our school district budget and increased communication via employee interviews and parent advisory committees) are accomplishments I wish to achieve.
Please explain how you believe the office you’re seeking can help in creating local jobs.
Smaller teacher/student ratios within the classroom usually lead to more achievement by the students in those classrooms. However, no new teachers can be hired unless adequate funding is available. I would like to maintain the pupil-teacher ratio of 19.2 (according to school report card of ’09-’10).
Do you believe the current way Illinois pays for education is working? If so, why? If not, why not? What would you change? School funding relies too much on local property taxes. If I could change anything, which would have to be done on the federal level, I would require all businesses to pay a tax towards local schools that could not be abated. All businesses in all states should have to pay a certain percentage of income towards school funding.
Would you make any changes to the budget of the governing unit to which you are seeking elected office? If so, what? I would need more information about the entire school budget before I could suggest any changes.
Are there any other issues you want to bring to the public’s attention? If so, what? I believe that I would be the best candidate available for this upcoming election because I am the only one of the six candidates who has 32 years of classroom experience.