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The Barrington 220 Board of Education is meeting tonight at 7:00 PM at 515 West Main Street. A copy of their agenda can be viewed here.

The board is not scheduled to meet again until October 6th, so those wishing to comment publicly on current topics of interest would be advised to attend and speak. For those who cannot attend, meetings are streamed on YouTube, and the link can be found here.

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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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Gov. J.B. Pritzker and other Democratic politicians want voters to profoundly amend the Illinois Constitution. Call their proposal the “Pritzker Tax,” placed on the ballot thanks to exclusively Democratic votes in the General Assembly.

For the first time since Connecticut in 1996, if approved, an American state would switch from a flat income tax to a graduated tax. That is, if you earn five times what your neighbor earns, you must pay five times as much to the state. In 2018, Colorado voters rejected an amendment to convert from flat to graduated. North Carolina and Kentucky have gone the opposite direction, to flat taxes.

The switch hasn’t gone well for Connecticut, where progressively higher income and property taxes have driven residents to other states. The change would be similarly bad for Illinois, which already has lost population for six straight years. As young people abandon this state or don’t return here to start their families and careers, the Illinois Exodus intensifies. Every time a taxpayer departs for Florida, Tennessee or Texas, the tax burden on those of us who remain grows heavier.

So each of us should think skeptically, not reflexively by political tribe, about what the Pritzker Tax would do to Illinois. Five reasons, among others we’ll discuss in future installments, why you should vote it down:

  • The pols haven’t earned trust
  • ‘Save Illinois — and get a tax cut too!’
  • ‘Double pinkie swear, this time is different!’
  • What the Dems don’t admit
  • ‘Let the people vote’

Read the full Chicago Tribune Editorial Board’s opinions 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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The Daily Herald is reporting, “Monday, some parents in Barrington Area Unit District 220 are planning a ‘Get Our Kids Back to School and Let Them Play!’ rally at 6 p.m. at Citizens Park.”

We’ll provide further information when it becomes available.

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Martin McLaughlin, left, and Marci Suelzer are candidates for the 52nd state House District seat.

Six candidates vying for three Illinois House seats from the North and Northwest suburbs on Nov. 3 debated the state’s response to the COVID-19 pandemic and its impact on the state budget during a Zoom interview with members of the Daily Herald Editorial Board this week.

The interviews were with candidates running for seats in the 51st, 52nd and 54th House districts.

In the 52nd District, Democrat Marci Suelzer of Island Lake and Republican Barrington Hills Village President Martin McLaughlin are vying for the seat long held by GOP Rep. David McSweeney, who isn’t seeking reelection.

McLaughlin criticized the state for passing a 2020-21 fiscal year spending plan, including a $6 billion deficit and without addressing the economic impact of business closures due to the pandemic.

“I believe the legislature should have been involved in the decision making,” he said. “And I’d like to see that taken up in fall session because I think we’re going to miss our numbers by more than we could ever imagine. I just want the state to recognize the revenue will not be there, and to be proactive about that, whatever that takes as far as reductions in spending or cuts or an overall look.”

Read more here.

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Nearly all of Barrington Hills is in the U.S. House 6th District

Join a virtual candidate forum for Illinois 6th Congressional District from 7 to 8:30 p.m. Monday, Sept. 21. It will feature incumbent Sean Casten and challengers Jeanne Ives and Bill Redpath. This Zoom forum is hosted by a coalition of 10 League of Women Voters’ chapters from the Illinois 6th District.

Register in advance at lwvnaperville.org for the Zoom event. Capacity is limited. The event will be recorded and available for later viewing.

The 6th District includes parts of Cook, DuPage, Kane, Lake and McHenry counties.

All candidate forums are run by trained, nonpartisan moderators. Equal time is given to all candidates to answer each question. The candidates will have two minutes to present an opening statement, in turn, alphabetically.

Questions will be vetted in advance by the League for appropriateness and relevance from those solicited from League members as well as community members and nonpartisan groups. The moderator will ask questions in rotation so that each candidate will have the opportunity to be the first to answer.

Candidates will have an equal and predetermined amount of time to answer each question.

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Tom Wilbeck

Some candidates for the McHenry County Board pushed for body cameras for the sheriff’s office, arguing they would help protect officers as well as residents, but others appeared hesitant because of the capital cost of such an endeavor.

This discussion was part of an endorsement interview last week facilitated by the editorial boards of the Northwest Herald and the Daily Herald. The Northwest Herald will be publishing additional stories in the days to come, laying out the background and positions of candidates across county, state and federal races.

The McHenry County Board is made up of 24 members representing six districts. Voters this fall will be tasked with picking two candidates for the district where they live. Half of the county board’s seats are open this election year.

District 1 — in the southeastern corner of McHenry County and includes all or parts of Huntley, Algonquin, Barrington Hills, Trout Valley, Fox River Grove and Cary — is represented by Tom Wilbeck, a Republican from Barrington Hills, and Yvonne Barnes, a Republican from Cary. Democrat Theresa Meshes also is running in the district.

Wilbeck told the editorial boards Thursday he believes in small government and saving taxpayers money. Barnes and Meshes did not participate in the interview.

Read more here.

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Demonstrators hold signs along Harnish Road Tuesday during a rally for the reopening for in-person learning at the Algonquin-based Community Community Unit District 300 Central Office in Algqonquin. (Matthew Apgar/Shaw Media)

Saying that remote learning has not been successful, a group of concerned parents and students from Algonquin-based Community Community Unit District 300 rallied outside the Center Office asking district officials to reopen to in-person learning.

District 300 has been remote since the beginning of the year because of COVID-19.

Several speakers at the rally said they were worried for children’s mental health and the social isolation they might feel from not seeing their friends.

One Algonquin resident, Sharon Vandermeir, said her grandchild, in kindergarten, is not learning anything.

“She gets distracted easily, she’s bored, she doesn’t like to sit in front of a computer for six hours a day,” Vandermeir said. “The kids need an education, and Zoom is not an education.”

Read more here.

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Students lined the front row at a rally at Memorial Park in Wheaton Tuesday to demand in-person schooling be allowed.

As students across the Western suburbs begin the school year with remote learning, hundreds of parents rallied in a downtown Wheaton park Tuesday night to demand that students be allowed to return to classrooms and youth sports.

Parents of student-athletes in Wheaton Warrenville Unit District 200 organized the demonstration to increase pressure on school systems to make the leap to in-person instruction even as coronavirus case counts continue to climb in much of the region, particularly among young people. DuPage County has registered more than 1,300 new infections within the past 14 days.

The gathering in Wheaton’s Memorial Park drew participants from as far away as Mokena and Orland Park, Western Springs and Huntley.

Along with students, some teachers and coaches, parents at the rally made the case for reopening classrooms, arguing that the loss of social interaction in schools hurts their children’s emotional, mental and social well-being.

“Any parent could tell you that it’s not good for kids to be staring at a screen for 25 hours a week,” said Eric Brown, a parent of five children learning from home in District 200. “It’s not good for the kids. It’s not good for the teachers and what they do best.”

Read more here.

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