End Stipends for State Boards

Article excerpt

End stipends for state boards

In the last several months, I have seen comments from the Herald about this or that board whose members receive a stipend. The latest is the Illinois tollway board, whose members receive a stipend of $31,426. Your editorial board has also recommend that tollway employees give up free access to the tollways as a job perk. That may be a good idea. But how about those political insiders giving up their "stipend."

They meet 12 times a year, and assuming they work an eight-hour day, probably with a free lunch and assuming they work through lunch that works out to be $327.35 dollars an hour. Not bad for a stipend. And, I bet that one way or another it bumps up their state pension.

If it is such an honor, they should serve as a dollar-a-year person for the public good.

Jim Sather


Confusion over kindergarten

We received a letter from J.B. Nelson school on June 1 informing us which session of kindergarten our children have been placed in. On the bottom of that letter is written: "Please note that there has been a change in the specials schedule for half-day kindergarten starting this fall. In order to increase the amount of daily minutes that our half-day students will have working with the core curriculum, half-day students will not be leaving the classroom for Art, Music and Physical Education. They will have wellness class one time a week with the school social worker."

In this statement, there is no mention that their day has been shortened 15 minutes from the previous year. This statement mentions nothing about budget cuts as a reason as later described by the superintendent. The school tries to make it appear that these changes will benefit our children.

Shortening the day and eliminating specials is not a benefit. Forcing kindergarten teachers to teach more in less time will not benefit anyone, especially the students.

This statement also leads parents to believe that all kindergartners will have specials cut equally since Batavia 101 only offers half-day kindergarten. It fails to mention that if you are enrolled in "morning with after-school enrichment," your specials have been retained.

On your website for Batavia Public Schools, it states: "Illinois Public Schools are required to provide a half-day kindergarten program for students. BPS101 only offers a half-day kindergarten program." How can a district provide different education to the same students from the same grade?

They are all half-day kindergartners. Some parents have chosen to pay for their children to stay after their morning half-day kindergarten class is over to "practice and reinforce skills taught in kindergarten." This paid program is called the "After School Enrichment Program." It is not full-day kindergarten.

Music, art and physical education are not part of the after-school enrichment program. They can be "practiced and reinforced" in the after-school enrichment program, but they cannot be introduced as new education.

You cannot group these children into two separate groups and teach them differently. There is only one kind of kindergarten student in BPS101, a half-day kindergartner.

Chris Hunecke


End tax breaks for corporations

At a time when the free enterprise system needs to flourish and the size of government must shrink, I have an actionable first step to getting the nation back on track. End corporate welfare as we know it. …