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New St. Charles School Board Members Ready to Start

One of three re-elected to the St. Charles Community Unit School District 303 Board of Education outlines her plans for the coming term.

The newest member-elect of the St. Charles Community Unit School District 303 Board of Education said in an email last week that he is ready to step into the position, while one of the three re-elected board members said she looks forward to her continued service to the district.

“As I mentioned prior to the election, my primary objective is get accurate information to the parents and taxpayers in a timely manner as decisions are being contemplated,” board member-elect Edward McNally wrote in an email to St. Charles Patch after last Tuesday’s election. “I want them to have adequate time to consider items being put up for a vote, so they can express properly informed views to their representatives on the board.”

Corinne M. Pierog was one of the three board members who were re-elected — the others were Steven L. Spurling and James Gaffney. Pierog also emailed remarks to St. Charles Patch after the election.

“I am looking forward to continuing my service on the St. Charles Board of Education, serving the parents, students and the St. Charles community,” she wrote. “While I have confidence that the newly elected board will be strong advocates for our students there are a number of issues facing us that may have some impact upon the district.”

One of those issues is all-day kindergarten. Legislation already has been proposed in the General Assembly that, if signed into law, would require children to start school at age 5 instead of age 7. “While I am fully supportive of early childhood education, additional resources and classroom space will have to be found to accommodate and support these new students as we move from half-day to full-day kindergarten,” Pierog said.

But Pierog also pointed to the ongoing pension reform talks in Springfield, which will have an impact on local governments.

“Future pension legislation may ask suburban districts to pay for our teacher’s pensions,” she said. “If this legislation passes and while the payment schedule will slowly increase over time, what will be the impact upon our school budget to accommodate this new budget line?”

She also expressed concern about the virtual charter school proposal that the Board of Education voted unanimously to reject a week ago.

“… The board’s decision to deny their proposal  will most certainly challenged by this publicly traded company,” she said. “If the Illinois Charter School Commission approves K12’s request. how will we manage this new educational venue?”

“Going forward I am looking forward to working collaboratively with our administrators, teachers  and the St. Charles community  finding solutions to these and other issues that are always in the best interest of our most valuable asset- our children.”

Spurling and Gaffney did not respond to St. Charles Patch’s emailed request for their reaction to last week’s election.

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