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Barrington High School’s stadium could receive a new artificial turf surface before the 2019-20 school year at a price lower than initially projected.

The high school’s current turf, installed in 2008, is nearing the end of its life, according to Barrington Area Unit District 220 officials.

The District 220 board next week is expected to vote on a proposal to install a new surface from FieldTurf USA Inc., which handled the original 11 years ago.

Board member Joseph Ruffolo, a member of the advisory facilities committee, said officials have been prepared to spend nearly $800,000 for the replacement surface. But now, with a likely credit from FieldTurf for reusing current material, the bill isn’t projected to exceed $700,000.

“We got a better deal than we thought we were going to get,” Ruffolo said during a facilities committee session this week (Editorial note: Isn’t it amazing how things work?).

Read more here.

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Over the years, we’ve seen the worst of townships, as when the separately elected township supervisors or assessors or road commissioners or clerks or boards do battle, duplicating costs and getting less work done for the public.

Recall, for example, the assessor in Antioch Township in Lake County moving her staff out of the township building and renting new offices after fighting with the supervisor. Or Algonquin Township in McHenry County almost running out of road salt after highway commissioner Andrew Gasser ordered a supply and the township board refused to pay for it.

We’ve also seen the best of townships, as when well-run food pantries or senior transit or general assistance programs provide safety nets for suburban residents who’ve run out of options.

With that in mind, we’re not fully in the growing “throw them out” camp that seeks to abolish townships as rural throwbacks not needed in the suburbs.

Read the full Daily Herald editorial here.

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The race for Barrington Community School District 220 Board of Education includes five contenders running for three available seats in the April 2 election, in addition to the referendum on the ballot that asks voters about a multi-million spending plan.

Angela Wilcox, who has been a board member since 2015, is the lone incumbent.

Board President Brian Battle decided not to run again, ending a stint on the board that began in 2003. He’s stepping down, he said, because he has met many of the goals that he set for himself throughout his tenure.

“We established solid financial footing for School District 220 and, when I got to the district, it was annually on the financial watch list of the Illinois State Board of Education,” Battle said in December when he announced he would not seek re-election

Read more here.

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Come and prepare yourself for the upcoming April 2, 2019 election by attending a candidate forum for Barrington Hills and Barrington Village Trustees. Information about the School District 220 referendum will also be provided.

Presented by the League of Women Voters of the Palatine Area.

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Barrington Hills resident Angela Wilcox

The focus in Barrington Unit District 220 leading up to the April 2 election is on the district’s ambitious referendum asking for $185 million for renovations and building projects throughout the school system.

School board President Brian Battle of Barrington is stepping down after 16 years on the board and Joseph Ruffolo of South Barrington is leaving after eight. That’s a lot of experience to give up, especially since the new board will be grappling either with how to proceed with all of the district’s building projects or how to retrench if those projects fail to gain voter approval.

Five candidates are on the ballot, and all appear to be capable. We were impressed all-around by the level of constructive conversation during the group’s interview with a representative of our Editorial Board. Each candidate clearly is focused on the welfare of the students in the school system.

All the candidates are supporting the referendum, although some would have preferred, for practical reasons, a lower price tag.

Read the full Daily Herald endorsements here.

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Barrington Area Unit District 220 board members Wednesday night hosted a final information session for residents on a ballot measure seeking permission to raise property taxes for $185 million in building projects.

Some in the crowd raised questions about whether too much money is being spent on high-level administrators and whether the district should have designed the ballot measure to seek money for a third middle school.

Officials said debt from the district’s last round of building projects will be off the books in 2021. For an owner of a house with a $500,000 median value, the construction debt payments have been about $750 annually and are on schedule to vanish, but they would be replaced by the new round of borrowing if the $185 million request were approved.

Harris said work would take 3½ to four years to complete. If the request is rejected, officials said, District 220 could not return to the ballot until March 2020.

Read more here.

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Wheeling Elementary District 21 Superintendent Michael Connolly knows payroll for his district is higher than average, but he doesn’t expect that to change any time soon. 

The district’s pay level helps retain employees in a state experiencing a growing teacher shortage, Connolly believes.

“We do have teachers that when they come to us they stay with us,” he said. “We have become a destination district and that’s a very good thing for us.”

A recent report issued by Advance Illinois, a public education policy and research group, showed more than 1,000 teaching vacancies throughout the state. Only one of those unfilled positions was in District 21.

Nearly 60 percent of District 21’s 530 educators were paid more than $90,000 last year, according to the district’s 2018 Annual Statement of Affairs report submitted to the Illinois State Board of Education.

A Daily Herald analysis of 95 suburban school districts showed more than 35 percent of educators in those districts received “gross compensation” of $90,000 or more last year. Those figures include salaries for full-time certified teachers and administrators as well as any coaching or teaching stipends that count as pensionable earnings with the Teachers’ Retirement System. ISBE requires districts to identify how many educators fall within certain compensation ranges. The $90,000-plus category is the highest tracked in the reports.

Read more from the Daily Herald here.

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