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Archive for the ‘Deception’ Category

“The next regularly scheduled Board meeting is Tuesday, Dec. 1 at 7:30 PM. Due to new restrictions that limit gatherings to 10 people, the meeting will be held virtually. School Board members and district leaders will be discussing how to proceed with the 20-21 school year beyond winter break, however there will be no formal vote taken at this meeting. 

The meeting will be live streamed on the Board’s YouTube channel. If you wish to make public comment it can be made in one of two ways:

  • Submit your comments via email by sending them to Recording Secretary Jeanine Stark at jstark@barrington220.org. Please use the subject line “Public Comment.”
  • Between now and 4:00 PM on Tuesday, Dec. 1 you can leave a voicemail at 847-842-3576. This will be played during the public comment portion of the Dec. 1 Board meeting.”

A copy of the agenda can be viewed here. The Board’s web page can be found here.

Please note District 220 is proposing a 4.4% increase to its property tax levy for 2020 (SeeDistrict 220 expects (4.4%) hike in property tax levy), and we strongly encourage taxpayers to voice their opinions.

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Infusion of party resources fails to bring big blue wave as Republicans relish results

(Click on image to enlarge)

Illinois Democrats and their financial backers spent big – much more than Republicans – on races for statehouse districts that include portions of McHenry County in this month’s election, but ultimately failed to flip more than one area seat.

“I think this election showed a lot of the electorate agreed with Republican values and policies, and we don’t necessarily have to spend as much if we’re strong on the policy,” McHenry County Republican Party Chairman Tyler Wilke said.

Despite Republican campaigns being at a huge fundraising disadvantage to Democrats in the three races for the statehouse seats representing the southeast corner of McHenry County, the GOP still put in more effort to hang onto those three local state offices than it has in the past, McHenry County Democratic Party Chairwoman Kristina Zahorik said.

(Click on image to enlarge)

Republican Martin McLaughlin, who handily won election to the District 52 seat over Democratic challenger Marci Suelzer and Green Party candidate Alia Sarfraz, said he thinks the varied geography of his supporters shows there is a conservative tilt among voters in the region visible across jurisdictional boundaries.

McLaughlin earned more votes than Suelzer in each of the four counties – McHenry, Lake, Cook and Kane – that make up his district.

“That’s a good sign that our message cut across the main street communities in the 52nd (House District) and the bedroom communities, and all different kinds of economic and social metrics,” McLaughlin said.

Read more here.

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The recordings have been released from last week’s Board of Trustee’s meeting (11.17.20), and the Village Attorney’s report contained the following update:

“The only thing I can report is that the ongoing litigation relative to the horse boarding text amendment we’re zeroing in on the close of discovery. We’ve been taking depositions almost every day, and discovery closes next week and thereafter I’m sure you’ll start seeing a flurry of motions. As a matter of fact, Miss Paul becomes a deponent tomorrow.”

To listen to the recording of the November 17th BOT meeting, click here.

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#Suckers?

Barrington Area Unit District 220 is proposing a 4.4% increase to its property tax levy for 2020, including a 2.3% cost-of-living hike plus new property growth.

That would amount to a property tax levy of $132 million, Assistant Superintendent of Business Services David Bein told the school board Tuesday night.

However, the actual anticipated levy increase is 2.55%, because the district projects an estimated $7.5 million in new construction, or a 0.25% increase in the equalized assessed value of the district, plus the cost-of-living increase, Bein said. It’s difficult to precisely estimate new construction figures, particularly in Cook County, so levying a higher amount ensures all new growth is accounted for under the state’s tax cap law, he said.

The district’s proposed levy increase is just below the 5% threshold that requires a public hearing under the state’s Truth-in-Taxation law. The district will have a public hearing nonetheless, as it has done for the last decade or so, school officials said.

The board will meet via Zoom Dec. 1 due to COVID-19 guidelines. Anyone who wishes to make public comment can send an email to jstark@barrington220.org with the subject line “public comment,” or leave a voicemail at (847) 842-3576 by 4 p.m. Dec. 1.

Read more here.

Related: “Voters approve $147 million Barrington District 220 borrowing request for building projects” – April 18, 2020 Daily Herald

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Supporters of a plan to create a graduated income tax rate system in Illinois are conceding the race.

“We are undoubtedly disappointed with this result but are proud of the millions of Illinoisans who cast their ballots in support of tax fairness in this election,” said Quentin Fulks, who led the Vote Yes for Fairness campaign. “Now lawmakers must address a multibillion dollar budget gap without the ability to ask the wealthy to pay their fair share.”

The amendment required either 60% of those voting on the amendment to vote yes, or a simple majority of all ballots cast in the election must favor it. The most recent figures show the proposal to change the state’s constitutional requirement of a flat income tax rate lost outright by hundreds of thousands of votes.

With about 97% of the state’s precincts reporting, unofficial results show 55% of voters were against the proposal.

“It is clear that Illinoisans do not trust this legislature and this administration to spend more of their precious tax dollars without restraint,” said Illinois Chamber of Commerce President and CEO Todd Maisch.

Read on here.

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The Illinois High School Association’s decision Wednesday to defy Gov. J.B. Pritzker’s order to put high school basketball on hold set off a whirlwind of discussions, and frustration, from school administrators Thursday.

The IHSA opened the door for schools to play basketball beginning in November, putting school district administrators in the position of having to decide on the issue as the COVID-19 numbers across the state continue to spike.

“It’s disappointing that the IHSA and the (Illinois Department of Public Health) are not able to get on the same page,” Barrington Area Unit School District 220 Superintendent Brian Harris said. “It’s frustrating from a superintendent’s perspective that that is now pushed onto our plates. It makes it extremely difficult and puts us in a very difficult position as a district.”

“Unfortunately, I don’t think the IHSA is seeing the whole picture,” Harris continued. “Yes, the social part and the emotional part of sports are all valid. But there’s more to it, there’s the whole educational component and we’re in the middle of a pandemic.”

The Illinois State Board of Education issued a statement late Wednesday imploring school districts to follow IDPH guidance. The statement said defying the guidance opens schools up to liability and other ramifications that may hurt school communities. Gov. J.B. Pritzker is saying the basketball season should be postponed until the spring and suggested schools defying the public health guidance could have public funding withheld.

Harris said the liability issue is paramount.

I have a responsibility to the taxpayers in my district to manage the liability of this situation and (playing basketball when it is considered high-risk by the IDPH) is going against my best judgment there,” he said. “I want our kids to participate in sports. Absolutely. But I want it to be in a way that keeps our kids safe.”

Read more here.

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Authorities estimate that about 500 people turned out for the “Barrington Back-to-School Rally” Sept. 14, 2020 at Citizens Park in Barrington.

At their October 20th meeting, Board President Penny Kazmier announced there will be four school board seats up for election on the April 6, 2021 consolidated election ballot. School Board members serve a four year term.

Community members who are interested in running can feel free to reach out to current Board members to ask questions and receive candidate information at the Cook County website. The Illinois Association of School Boards website also provides helpful information.

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Ellie Luciano adjusts her backpack while keeping a physical distance form her peers at Wiesbrook Elementary in Wheaton

A bellwether for school reopening efforts in the pandemic, elementary classrooms in Wheaton Warrenville Unit District 200 welcomed back students two weeks ago for the first time in more than 170 days.

As of Tuesday, the district has reported at least four students and one employee have tested positive for the coronavirus. But the district hasn’t identified any close contacts with those cases across the 13 elementary schools. Administrators credit physical distancing measures for helping to thwart the spread of the virus.

After months of enormous challenges preparing for an in-person start, the district still faces the complicated task of keeping the doors open in elementary schools. It’s also one of the major suburban districts pushing for at least a mix of face-to-face and virtual learning for middle and high school students.

Elmhurst Unit District 205 is providing another template, gradually sending students back to schools. On Monday, elementary students moved to a hybrid schedule. Sixth and ninth grades will follow suit Sept. 21. Populations of students with special needs also are now receiving on-campus instruction.

Algonquin-based Community Unit District 300’s school board will vote next Tuesday on the district’s learning plan for the second quarter.

District 300 originally had planned on starting the year in-person but switched to remote learning. Now the administration recommends moving elementary, middle and high schools to a hybrid schedule for the second quarter beginning Oct. 13.

Read more here.

Editorial notes: During last night’s Board of Education meeting, Superintendent Brian Harris gave no date for reopening 220 schools even at a hybrid level much to the frustration of parents and students who spoke during the meeting.  

One could sense the frustration on the part of board members, but all Harris seemed to want to do was talk about metrics, doing more surveys and fumble with his PowerPoint slides. Meanwhile, only 80% of teachers and staff are willing to work on 220 property while the rest work elsewhere.

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Parents in Barrington Area Unit District 220 said at a rally Monday evening at Citizens Park in Barrington that remote learning is a struggle no matter how much they try to help. (John Starks | Staff Photographer)

Holding signs like “Schools not screens” and “Stop playing politics, start playing ball,” more than 200 parents and students in Barrington Area Unit District 220 took part in a rally Monday evening asking the district to allow in-person schooling and sports.

District officials have said that students will be doing remote learning until at least Oct. 16. The “Let Them Play” rally at Citizens Park in Barrington asked Gov. J.B. Pritzker to “get our athletes on the field and kids back in the classrooms.”

Among the organizers were parents Jerry and Heather Ewalt of Barrington, who have four children in elementary, middle and high school in the district and said families should be given a choice between e-learning and sending their kids to school.

“Why are they not in school? They should be there,” Jerry Ewalt said. “I am asking for a choice. I understand some people are not going to be comfortable with going into school, and that’s OK.”

A survey conducted by the district earlier this summer showed 70% of parents wanted their children in school, he pointed out. “So why are they not in school?” he said, getting applause and cheering from the crowd.

The survey also showed about 50% of the district’s staff had concerns about returning to work.

Read more here.

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One of the most widespread challenges facing modern elections is false information. In Illinois, officials say misinformation and disinformation schemes are getting more aggressive.

“As we get closer to Election Day, I think we’re going to have more and more misinformation schemes,” said Marisel Hernandez, chairwoman of the Chicago Board of Elections. “But we’re determined to be ahead of the curve and be out there letting voters know what is correct and what isn’t.”

The Tribune has fact-checked reported scams circulating in Illinois. Here are facts to know leading up to Nov. 3:

  • Voting more than once in an election is illegal
  • There is no such thing as voting online or through text
  • Nothing in the voter registration system indicates party affiliation
  • Voter information is not being sold or redistributed
  • Illinois upgraded its cyber defenses to prevent hacking and scams, and
  • Don’t interact with social media posts from untrusted sources

Read explanations of each of the points laid out above in the Chicago Tribune article here.

Editorial note: Granted, most of these facts are obvious to many of our readers. But we’re constantly amazed (and sometimes troubled) to learn what is actually news to some which is why we’re sharing this story.

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