Tuesday, March 31, 2015

Letter: Vote for Allison Reid-Niemiec for Belvidere School Board - Opinion - Rockford Register Star - Rockford, IL

 

Posted Mar. 30, 2015 at 2:00 PM

Allison Reid-Niemiec, Belvidere School Board candidate, is one of four girls who makes me a proud father. She is smart, intuitive and selflessly devotes her time to educational advocacy.
While I previously served as vice president of the District 100 School Board, I observed two very different skillsets. One is a member who “goes along for the ride,” seldom asking questions and willing to accept recommendations without question. These members may have a great personality, be popular in the community and appear to be informed due to involvement in other community organizations. The second type is the “effective, engaged board member.” Effective board members exhibit a broad understanding of finance budgets, laws, contracts, school curricula and the needs of the system as balanced with the resources available.
Allison’s documented, public advocacy and commitment in attending 85 percent of monthly board meetings over the last two years clearly indicates she will be an “effective, engaged board member.” She will do her homework, state her position, ask the tough questions, be a team player and represent the entire community’s interests on the school board.
Join me in voting for Allison Reid-Niemiec on April 7.
— Les Reid, Belvidere

Letter: Vote for Allison Reid-Niemiec for Belvidere School Board - Opinion - Rockford Register Star - Rockford, IL

Letter: Vote for Lynette Danzl-Tauer for Belvidere District 100 School Board - Opinion - Rockford Register Star - Rockford, IL

 

I’m voting for Lynette Danzl-Tauer for Belvidere District 100 School Board. Lynette is one candidate who stands out. Lynette has the background as a Rock Valley College professor to know what is needed for a school system to deliver programs that meet the needs of a diverse student body. Belvidere needs a school board that respects parents, teachers and support staff. We need a school board that will hold the administration accountable, one that is committed to using our tax dollars effectively. Lynette can help to ensure all stakeholders have a meaningful voice in making critical decisions and setting policies. She has the vision and energy to be a great addition to the board. Please give her your support.
— Beverly A. Otte, Belvidere

Letter: Vote for Lynette Danzl-Tauer for Belvidere District 100 School Board - Opinion - Rockford Register Star - Rockford, IL

Monday, March 30, 2015

More sex abuse charges filed against former Belvidere substitute teacher - News - Rockford Register Star - Rockford, IL

 

DEKALB — An additional 19 sexual abuse charges have been filed against a former Belvidere School District substitute teacher accused of inappropriately touching students at Huntley Middle School in DeKalb.
Andrew Arison, 36, was arrested March 13 and charged with three counts of criminal sexual abuse. A witness reported seeing Arison "rubbing the genitalia area of one of the minors and making rubbing motions near the genitalia area of another minor" while working as a teacher's aide at Huntley.
The victims are younger than 13 and were in the early-childhood program.
On March 25, the DeKalb Police Department said it had identified nine more sexual abuse victims younger than 13 who were early-childhood students. The extra counts of aggravated criminal sexual abuse are for crimes police say occurred in 2013, 2014 and 2015.
Last week, Belvidere School District representatives said Arison worked as a substitute teacher at Lincoln and Meehan elementary schools and Washington Academy in Belvidere on six occasions between August and November 2014. That list has since expanded to include Perry and Seth Whitman Elementary schools and Central and South middle schools.
The district launched an internal investigation into Arison's time there immediately after learning of the initial charges. The inquiry, which ran from March 16 to 24, uncovered no evidence of misconduct.
However, "since posting information on our website and Facebook and reaching out to our local media outlets, additional information has been received and our investigation is ongoing," district representatives wrote in a statement released March 26. "The district has and will continue to follow up on all leads associated with Mr. Arison's employment in District 100 and will work with families, local law enforcement and any other agencies as appropriate."
Arison is in the DeKalb County Jail; bail was set at $2.25 million.Belvidere School District representatives encourage anyone with questions, concerns or information regarding Arison's service as a substitute teacher to contact the DeKalb Police Department at 815-748-8400. Ben Stanley: 815-987-1369; bstanley@rrstar.com; @ben_j_stanley

More sex abuse charges filed against former Belvidere substitute teacher - News - Rockford Register Star - Rockford, IL

Friday, March 27, 2015

Bill would bar public funds for graduation speakers at state universities - News - The State Journal-Register - Springfield, IL

 

A proposal in the Illinois House would bar public universities from paying commencement speakers with public funds.
The News-Gazette reports the bill passed a House committee Wednesday. Bill sponsor Rep. Reggie Phillips, R-Charleston, said it's a small way of saving money and that universities could try to find private funding for commencement speakers.
Phillips said some universities pay "$30,000 to $50,000" for commencement speakers.
"I'm just thinking that we could curtail that and private funds could pay for that," Phillips said.
Rep. Chris Welch, D-Hillside, criticized the proposal, saying it's "micromanaging." He said university presidents already have to explain proposed budgets to legislators.
"Isn't that what they're accountable for?" Welch said. "If we're going to do their budgeting for them, they could just pass the torch to us."
The committee passed the bill on the condition that Phillips would bring revisions back to the committee before it goes to the full House. He said changes would clarify its impact on community colleges and other campus speeches

Bill would bar public funds for graduation speakers at state universities - News - The State Journal-Register - Springfield, IL

Wednesday, March 25, 2015

Investigation finds no evidence of misconduct by sub at Belvidere schools - News - Rockford Register Star - Rockford, IL

 

BELVIDERE — An internal investigation launched by the Belvidere School District into the service of a substitute teacher facing sexual abuse charges found no evidence of misconduct.
Andrew Arison, 36, a teacher's aide at Huntley Middle School in DeKalb, was charged with three counts of aggravated criminal sexual abuse on March 13.
Arison worked as a substitute teacher at Lincoln Elementary School, Meehan Elementary School and Washington Academy in Belvidere on six occasions between August and November of 2014.
Belvidere School District Superintendent Michael Houselog said the district launched an investigation into Arison's time in Belvidere schools immediately after learning of the charges. The investigation began on March 16 and ended Tuesday morning, he said.
"We heard about it (last week) and as soon as we did, the first thing we did was take him off the (substitute call) list," Houselog said.
The district interviewed teachers and administrators at all three schools and found no evidence to suggest Arison abused Belvidere students, Houselog said.
According to a statement released by the DeKalb Police Department, officers received a tip on March 12 that a teacher's aide at Huntley Middle School in DeKalb had inappropriately touched two students.
Police said a witness reported seeing Arison "rubbing the genitalia area of one of the minors and making rubbing motions near the genitalia area of another minor."
The victims are under 13 years old and were part of Huntley's early childhood program.
DeKalb Police say there is reason to believe Arison has sexually abused more minors and anticipate more charges forthcoming.
Arison is currently being held at the DeKalb County Jail. His bond is set at $500,000 dollars.
Belvidere School District representatives encouraged anyone with questions, concerns or information regarding Arison's service as a substitute teacher to contact the DeKalb Police Department at 815-748-8400.
Ben Stanley: 815-987-1369; bstanley@rrstar.com; @ben_j_stanley

Investigation finds no evidence of misconduct by sub at Belvidere schools - News - Rockford Register Star - Rockford, IL

Rock Valley College to establish satellite instruction center at Register Star News Tower in downtown Rockford - News - Rockford Register Star - Rockford, IL

 

By Isaac Guerrero
Rockford Register Star

Posted Mar. 24, 2015 at 9:41 PM
Updated at 10:33 PM

ROCKFORD — Rock Valley College will move its downtown satellite center to the Register Star News Tower, where students will be able to complete a GED and take college credit coursework beginning in January.

Trustees on Tuesday authorized President Mike Mastroianni to execute a 10-year lease with the newspaper. The college will pay the Register Star $10 per square foot, or about $150,000 a year, to rent about 15,000 square feet on the second floor of the iconic downtown office building at 99 E. State St.

That price includes parking and costs associated with taxes, janitorial services and utilities. The lease includes two five-year renewal options, Register Star Publisher Paul Gaier said.

"I am very excited about this partnership between Rock Valley and the Register Star," he said. "The college plays such an important role in the transformation of the Rock River Valley, an effort we support daily. This partnership shows the commitment we have both made to redeveloping downtown Rockford. As one of the most long-standing businesses in Rockford, we couldn't be more proud of our coming together."

Rock Valley opened a downtown classroom center inside Stewart Square at State and Main streets in 2011 and moved out last year when the lease was up. Last year, the college signed a short-term sublease for space at the SupplyCore building, 303 N. Main St., and administrators have since searched for a more suitable permanent spot to expand downtown educational offerings.

RVC will continue to offer college transfer coursework, GED classes and adult education classes downtown, Mastroianni said. Additionally, administrators are exploring the potential for unique programs downtown that would draw students from all over the community.

"Downtown won’t be a remedial site," Mastroianni said. "We’ll have GED classes and some developmental courses along with English, math, science and other types of credit coursework for college transfer," Mastroianni said. "You’ll be able to go downtown and take a lot of courses toward your associate’s degree, and we’re exploring the potential for some short-term certificate programs, as well."

Rock Valley staff and board members are discussing what types of coursework might work best downtown. While no decision has been made, Trustee Michael Dunn Jr. said he'd like the college to explore educational offerings that play to downtown's strengths. That could include courses or lab instruction in digital media, Web design or journalism, which would be a natural fit with the Register Star, he said. A hospitality curriculum might also be a good fit, he said, as an indoor sports complex and hotels are developed downtown.

"With more and more young people coming downtown to live and work, Rock Valley has more of an opportunity to offer classes desired by that demographic," Dunn said.

The News Tower offers Rock Valley students proximity to parking and access to bus transportation via the Rockford Mass Transit District. The second floor of the building will be remodeled this year so that classrooms, labs and offices are ready for students in the spring 2016 term that begins in January. Administrators must next obtain approval of the lease from the Illinois Community College Board, then decide what mix of education programs will be available downtown. Once that's known, the college will work with architects and contractors to design and remodel the News Tower space to its needs.

Gaier said the Register Star is making significant investments in the Register Star building and is exploring options to further redevelop other vacant parts for office space or other uses. Upgrades include a new security system, replacing the tower's original windows and other improvements.

Rock Valley College to establish satellite instruction center at Register Star News Tower in downtown Rockford - News - Rockford Register Star - Rockford, IL

Monday, March 23, 2015

North Boone Teachers & Certified Admin Salaries

SEE:  http://www.nbcusd.org/budgetinfo/FY15Compensation%20Report20140922.pdf

Here is the beginning of that list and the District 200’s Superintendent’s salary($180,007.66).  Click on the photocopy to enlarge.

Note:  Most all of the required financial  postings are neatly available on one page on the District 200 website at:  http://www.nbcusd.org/business.shtml

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Friday, March 20, 2015

Former charter schools CEO earning $250K as Rauner's adviser :: WRAL.com

 

former Chicago charter schools executive is earning $250,000 a year to spearhead Gov. Bruce Rauner's top education initiatives, a salary that is more than double what her predecessors received and places her as the highest-paid member of a Cabinet already under scrutiny for its lofty paychecks.

For weeks, Beth Purvis' role in the administration had been somewhat of a mystery. There was no formal announcement when she was hired, and during a House education committee meeting earlier this month, she stood and introduced herself when someone on the panel asked if anyone from the governor's office was in attendance.

Not until after several inquiries from The Associated Press did the Rauner administration disclose that Purvis — a key member of the governor's transition team — is now earning $250,000 a year to advise him on education policy. Purvis is being paid as an independent contractor and accepting neither state health nor retirement benefits, according to the governor's office.

From 2003 until last year, Purvis, who holds a doctorate in special education, served as CEO of the Chicago International Charter School, a network of 15 schools in Chicago and Rockford. She previously worked as a special education teacher in Maryland and Tennessee, as a professor at the University of Illinois at Chicago and served on education advisory councils under the last two Illinois governors.

In an interview with the AP, Purvis said her salary is "commensurate with what I've been paid in the past" and cited her three decades of experience. Rauner spokeswoman Catherine Kelly called Purvis "one of the few education experts in the country prepared to lead a true cradle to career approach to education."

But some Democratic lawmakers questioned whether the pay was appropriate for an employee of the state.

"We want the most talented people to take a turn serving in government," said Sen. Don Harmon of Oak Park. "But most all of us in public service are paid considerably less than if we used our talents in private enterprise. That sort of sacrifice is typically part of the public service deal."

The choice of Purvis also makes a statement about Rauner's priorities early in his tenure — a focus on lifting the state's cap on the number of charter schools allowed in the state. And Rauner last month proposed a budget that included a $300 million increase to K-12 school funding next year while calling for cuts elsewhere, including a roughly $400 million decrease in funding to higher education to offset the bump.

Rauner already has come under fire for paying top members of his administration significantly more than their predecessors but criticizing the average state worker as overpaid. He's spent the first months of his tenure calling for "shared sacrifice" and issuing an executive order halting nonessential spending.

A review by The Associated Press earlier this year found annual salaries of 10 top employees in his administration far exceed those of comparable aides to former Gov. Pat Quinn by roughly $380,000 — or 36 percent.

Previous governors have hired point people on education, but they've largely also had other duties at the same time, state records show. Kristin Richards, who served as former Gov. Rod Blagojevich's point person on education, was paid $120,000 in 2008 to oversee education and the state's Department of Transportation. Gov. Pat Quinn's education adviser, Julie Smith, earned $110,000 annually between 2011 and 2014, state records show.

While Purvis' salary is high for a Cabinet secretary, it's in line with what local school administrators often earn. State records show that the average administrator's salary at the state's 860 districts made $101,096 last year, but are as high as $357,117, the annual salary of Marquardt District 15 superintendent Loren May. According to an analysis by the AP, 65 school superintendents' salaries were higher than $250,000 last year.

While her predecessors have interacted with lawmakers and state education officials, Purvis says she envisions having even more of a public presence.

"I've been charged by the governor to create a more cohesive and coherent educational experience," she said, adding that there are at least seven agencies in the state that deal with children and their educational trajectory.

"That's really confusing for parents. In fact, it's really confusing for me," she said.

Robin Steans, director of the education reform group Advance Illinois, called Purvis "no nonsense" and somebody who can successfully "block and tackle" for the administration.

Former charter schools CEO earning $250K as Rauner's adviser :: WRAL.com

Thursday, March 12, 2015

Athletic Stadium Presentation | North Boone District Blog (Superintendent Steven Baule)

 

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North Boone Athletic Stadium Presentation

The second athletic stadium presentation at PGE had about 40 people in attendance to learn more about the stadium and its potential impact on student athletes and the community. The complete presentation is available here. A couple people also asked about the district's Five Year Facilities Plan which is available here. The previous plans focused mostly on safety, routine maintenance and ADA accessibility. The current plan follows those trends. If you have specific questions you would like to see answered, you may submit them here.
The last informational meeting will be held on March 23 at NBHS at 6:30 p.m.

Athletic Stadium Presentation | North Boone District Blog (Superintendent Steven Baule)

Wednesday, March 11, 2015

VOTE April 7

Municipal election and school board election.  Based upon past experience less than 300 votes will be cast for some of the alderman races in Belvidere and less than 1500 for District 100 school board candidates.  Please vote.  Remind your neighbors and friends—if they vote it certainly will count a great deal.

For the District 100 election Bill P. is supporting Allison Reid-Niemiec and Holly Houk.

Every voter has three votes:  One for one of the three Belvidere Township candidates.  Two votes for two of the four candidates from the other townships.

The following advertising literature was handed out at the District 100 Candidates Forum on Monday, March 9, 2015.

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Click on the photocopy to enlarge:

VOTE FOR ONE OF THESE THREE:

 

DIstrict 100 Candidate  REID

DIstrict 100 Candidate  REID

 

 

 

DIstrict 100 Candidate  Marks 1 of 3

DIstrict 100 Candidate  Marks 2 of 3

DIstrict 100 Candidate  Marks 3 of 3

 

Current School Board President, Michael Rathbun had no literature.  A statement regarding his candidacy  and the other candidates’ statements are available at: http://district100watchdog.blogspot.com/search?updated-max=2015-02-21T15:07:00-06:00&max-results=7

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VOTE FOR TWO OF THESE FOUR

 

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DIstrict 100 Candidate  Houk

 

 

imageDIstrict 100 Candidate  Dnazl-Tauer 1 of 3

DIstrict 100 Candidate  Dnazl-Tauer 2 of 3

DIstrict 100 Candidate  Dnazl-Tauer 3 of 3

 

 

 

 

 

 

imageDIstrict 100 Candidate  Sell-Wick 1 of 3

DIstrict 100 Candidate  Sell-Wick 2 of 2

 

DIstrict 100 Candidate  Galluzzo 1 of 2

DIstrict 100 Candidate  Galluzzo 2 of 2

Administrative Department Highlights Feb 2015

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Monday, March 9, 2015

April 7, 2015 Consolidated Election Absentee by Mail Application | Boone County, Illinois

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There are elections:  municipal and school board.

For the April 7, 215, Consolidated Election, the Boone County Clerk's Office is now accepting applications to vote absentee by mail.  If you wish to vote by mail click on the attachment below and return to the Boone County Clerk's Office at 1212 Logan Ave, Suite 103, Belvidere, IL 61008.  The last day applications are being accepted is April 2, 2015.  If you have any questions please contact the County Clerk's Office at (815) 544-3103.

 

Click on the following for the application:  Application for Absentee Ballot 2015_04_07.pdf
128.34 KB

April 7, 2015 Consolidated Election Absentee by Mail Application | Boone County, Illinois

Saturday, March 7, 2015

At 100 Colleges Around the Country, Adjuncts Take Action to Demand an End to Precarity and Low Pay - Working In These Times

 

…..While the word adjunct literally means “a supplementary rather than essential part,” adjunct faculty are an integral part of the new corporate model of higher education that has come to dominate academia in recent decades. As colleges have increasingly cut back on tenure-track appointments since the 1970s, adjuncts, as well as graduate student teachers who also typically work for low pay, have picked up the slack.

According to the American Association of University Professors (AAUP), 76 percent of college instructors in the United States are no longer in tenure-track positions. Forty-one percent of faculty, according to the AAUP, are adjuncts.

As the ranks of adjuncts have swelled and pay has failed at many colleges to even keep up with inflation, adjuncts have been organizing for years, pushing for better working conditions and representation. They are unionizing in increasing numbers, as well as engaging in grassroots organizing to raise awareness of the issues adjuncts face.

The media and public have taken note. When an 83-year-old longtime adjunct, who was not renewed for her adjunct position at Duquesne University, died on the streets after bouts of cancer and quasi-homelessness in late 2013, adjuncts and their supporters pointed to her as a symbol for systemic exploitation. Stories of adjunct exploitation became commonplace in the news, and social media became an incubator for online activism, with hashtags like #NotYourAdjunctSidekick used to keep the discussion public….

Read the entire article by clicking on the following:  At 100 Colleges Around the Country, Adjuncts Take Action to Demand an End to Precarity and Low Pay - Working In These Times