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Voters without kids in District 54 need to know what is going on there

Published: Wednesday, March 6, 2013 5:00 a.m. CDT

To the voters in District 54: I have spoken to many of you and have come to the realization that there are quite a lot of you who do not have children who attend District 54 schools yet pay the taxes and, therefore, vote for school board members.

I would like to speak to you because I, too, am a taxpayer and am also concerned about how much money I pay to District 54 ($,2800 last bill cycle), but I am also a mother of a child who attends District 54 and I am also a teacher.

With that said, I would like to share with YOU, the non-parents of District 54, what kind of education we are being served:

• Reading assessment is performed by first-year teachers, not reading specialists, which determines in which reading level the child will be placed (very important at an early level where reading frustrations begin);

• My son’s second grade reading textbook was 8 years old and had the stamp “Property of Wilmington Schools” in it;

• There are “21st Century classrooms” at White Oak… but only one per grade…t hese are classes that only use Smartboards and iPads for instruction and learning (who the chosen few are to be in these select classes remains a mystery)… the rest of the classes get used books from Wilmington, apparently;

• This “public” school that is in the most expensive tax bracket in Morris fundraises on almost a weekly basis… magazines, candy, wreaths… I cannot keep up… but they expect my son to be a door-to-door salesman so he can fund his own education;

• The Spanish language program was cut in late September/early October of this school year because the “grant was not available” (when does the fiscal year start? They didn’t know this?

These are just a few examples of instances I have experienced in the last four years that make me think, “What is going on over there!?” Why ARE my taxes so high if we are buying used books from Wilmington?

Why can’t ALL of the classes rotate through the “21st Century classrooms” – like they do the gym, art, and music rooms – so that ALL of the students have a “21st Century” experience?

Why are there administrators getting their educations paid for from the district if my son is expected to fundraise for his?  Where ARE my tax dollars going?

The previous letter to the editor mentioned the worst thing that has happened to District 54:  the loss of great educators.

I wanted the voters to know, especially those who may not have children in the district — or who in the case of many, including a former letter-to-the-editor writer, choose to send their children to I.C.S (even when sitting on the Board of Education for District 54… kind of makes us po’  folks feel a bit humbled to be served by prestigious members of society like yourselves).

Please vote to Save District 54 — if not for your own children, do it for your community:  these kids are your future too.

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