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April 18, 2016 / jeffnward

Quick Hits – April 18, 2016

Goddam Democrats part 2

If you recall, we originally tackled this topic on Friday.

But the whole U-46 CEO Tony Sanders serving as superintendent bill getting derailed by a Waukegan Democrat didn’t sit very well with me, so I started digging. And wouldn’t you know it, I managed to come up with a couple of fascinating facts.

sanders2It would seem that State Rep Rita Mayfield is far from consistent on this kind of licensing thing. In fact, for a woman who just said “[Sanders] does not have the credentials to be superintendent” she’s sponsored some rather strange bills.

The first was HB3191, which would mean than administrators of a bilingual school programs no longer need to be certified. So what if you can’t understand a bleepin’ thing your teachers or students are saying! I wonder which one of Ms. Mayfield’s “cronies” would benefit from that bill?

The second one is even better! HB3192 would remove the requirement for school nurses to be certified because every parent wants their child to be treated by someone who stayed at a Motel 6 last night.

What’s next? Bus drivers without valid licenses?

Thankfully, both bothersome bills are bottled up in committee, but the notion of the queen of decertification suddenly worrying about the lack of Sanders’ credentials started to bother me even more. So I dug deeper.

And wouldn’t you know it, word on those shadowy Springfield Streets is that the Speaker himself – Darth Madigan – ain’t terribly enamored of Sanders’ leading the equitable school funding Springfield charge.

With all due respect to my favorite school district CEO, since he’s simply an annoyance – we aren’t talking Ken Dunkin here – the most Madigan’s willing to do is stall the bill that would allow CEO’s to serve in place of Superintendents.

Given this scenario, the odds of the bill hitting the House floor anytime soon are pretty much nil. But there’s always a chance the companion Senate legislation might get wings. Regardless of anything the Speaker does, the U-46 School Board has no interest in changing the status quo, so Sanders will continue to serve.

 —

 “A flaw in the system”

 I’m sure you’ve heard about the Burlington middle school student who, after threatening to shoot his fellow students, was arrested by Kane County Sheriff’s deputies as he exited the bus last week.

Nothing surprising there.

But what did surprise me was that this student was charged with disorderly conduct, which neither puts him in jail nor prevents him from returning to the school. So I talked with my radio show co-host, Larry Jones to better understand the process involved.

But first, let’s be clear that the students who make these kinds of overt threats rarely act on them. It’s the kid who’s slowly sinking into isolation while leaving a frightening trail of intent that we need to worry about.

Meanwhile, Larry explained the orderly contact charge was used because it did apply and it will get this teenager “into the system.” You see, the courts can’t simply mandate treatment, there has to be a criminal charge to move the case in the appropriate direction.

Another local official agreed with Larry’s assessment and said the need to charge first and treat later is a flaw in the criminal justice system. Of course we never want to take something like involuntary commitment lightly, but there should be some social safety net process that gets likely non-offenders the help they need without wasting the court’s time.

For now, let’s just hope this one turns out well for everyone involved.

 —

You shall not pass!

Is it something in the water? Are we facing an invasion of the body snatchers scenario? Perhaps too many of ‘em are travelling to Colorado! But whatever it is, the City of St. Charles is certainly seems to be going off the deep end these days

D304First it was a player selection scandal on their high school sports teams. Then it was the Quad St. Charles, and now it’s the possibility of D303 floating a $50,000,000 school referendum that would increase the average homeowner’s property taxes by $150 a year.

Yo! D303! The city couldn’t get voters to give the thumbs up to a $20 million athletic center which would’ve benefitted everyone. And If that one couldn’t pass, what on God’s green earth makes you think senior citizens and empty nesters will ever go for it?

In fact, I doubt that D303 could get a $10 million referendum to fly.

And your “this isn’t really a property tax increase” logic is DOA as well. If the school district simply retired that bond debt, it would save the average homeowner a whopping $600 a year. But give it your best shot! Go ahead and tell taxpayers that this isn’t a hike, it’s a “smaller tax reduction” and see just how far you get.

As the great Paul Simon once sang, “Who do you think you’re fooling?”

So please, please, please, don’t waste all the time, money and effort necessary in putting the question on the ballet, getting the “it’s not a tax increase” message out, and printing all those pro-referendum yard signs because it will all be for naught.

Just one similar Kane County ballot initiative has passed in the last ten years and, trust me, this one won’t be the second.

One Comment

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  1. The Other Jeff N / Apr 19 2016 8:51 am

    I do agree that Rep. Mayfield is off base on this bill allowing CEOs, and I also think her bills are off base, but to be fair her HB3192 would not have allowed unlicensed medical professionals to treat the kids. They would still have to be registered nurses licensed by the Division of Professional Regulation. They would just no longer have to also be certified by ISBE as long as their duties were only medical, not educational, in nature.

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