Dear Morris Community High School District 101 taxpayers,
I am proud to be an educator and a former candidate for the high school board.
I am proud to say I am a qualified educator who puts a lot of time into doing what is best for kids. I served as a Nettle Creek School Board member for eight years. My children received a phenomenal education at Nettle Creek, thanks to the dedication of the teachers and the administrators over the years.
The teachers never interfered with politics, following our school board policy 2:105. Our administrators never interfered with politics, also school board policy 2:105. This policy, 2:105 speaks to Prohibited Political Activity by District Employees and School Board Members.
The school code also regulates school board members with a Board Member Conflict of Interest Policy, 2:100 which states, “No School Board member shall have a beneficial interest directly or indirectly in any contract, work or business of the District unless permitted by State law.” These policies are on the school website: www.morrishs.org.
Gossip is damaging. The community didn’t vote on qualified candidates. (And no, I never had any intentions of applying for superintendent of Morris High School). The vote was based on who could do the most gossiping and damage to one’s reputation. This election wasn’t about doing what is best for children, the future of our community.
Does the community know that Morris High School is in its fifth year of being on the state’s academic probation list for school improvement? Some will argue the target was too high and other high schools are also failing. Is this acceptable to our community?
Where is the accountability for rigorous academic standards for ALL students? Our test scores have dropped five years in a row across all socio-economic status: white, Hispanic, low-income, and IEP students (http://fh.suntimes.com/reportcards/results/index/2230) and (www.iirc.niu.edu for the school report card and other data).
And let’s talk about finances. Who cares that we are borrowing $1.7 million each year to pay our bills. As of the last board meeting I attended, the plan is to not hire when teachers retire. What does this do to our classrooms?
Who cares to look at salaries (teacher and administrator salaries are higher than the state average), stipends, full TRS payments, fully paid health insurance, fundraising money, student activity accounts, the tort fund, etc. And no one will look at costs as we now have the majority of Board members making financial decisions for their family members. Who is accountable for finances?
The public has voted loud and clear. We don’t want change at MCHS. We want to stay in debt. We don’t want to follow policy, and we allow our employees to gossip about kind, caring people they know nothing about.
I am an outsider; I wasn’t born here. But through my family’s 18 years here, I have made friends, including outgoing school board members. I am proud of what you all stand for: honesty, integrity, kind and inquisitive. Thanks to all of you for trying to do the right thing – the right thing for the students of this community.
And thanks to all of you who voted for us on April 9th and tried to do what is best for students.