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bhpd-logo-2-2021

The Barrington Hills Park District Board will hold their regular monthly meeting this evening in person and via Zoom at 7:00 PM.  A copy of their agenda can be viewed here.

Instructions for accessing the meeting remotely can be found here.

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220 Schemes

“At the October 5 Board of Education meeting, Dr. Robert Hunt, Superintendent of Schools and Dr. Craig Winkelman, Assistant Superintendent of K-12 Schools and Operations, shared a tentative timeline to embark on creating a new strategic plan for the district. The process most likely will begin in early 2022 and it will involve much community engagement, in order to shape the future of Barrington 220.

A strategic plan formalizes a school district’s mission, vision, values, goals, and objectives. Barrington 220’s most recent strategic plan “Vision 2020” was a 10 year plan created in 2009, which began as a vision of the year 2020, when the kindergartners of 2008 would enter their graduating year at Barrington High School.

Click here to view the full presentation, including the tentative timeline. You can also listen to the presentation in the Board meeting video beginning at 1:16:40.”

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Illinois School GradesEducation is a road to a better life. A quality education allows children to maximize their potential, and providing that for every child is one of the most important undertakings of state government.

But research shows Illinois is failing to live up to the promise of high quality or efficient education, as Illinois schools consistently spend more than neighboring states only to produce worse test scores.

Between 2003 and 2019, Illinois per-pupil spending was the highest among neighboring states, despite worse outcomes. Illinois spent between 8% and 25% more per student, only to fall behind every neighboring state on reading assessments according to the Nation’s Report Card. Similarly, all but two states, Kentucky and Missouri, outscored Illinois on math assessments.

To boot, all Illinois’s neighbors also boasted higher graduation rates between 2003 and 2019.

When benchmarked against each state in the nation, Illinois ranks 15th in per student spending, but falls to 27th in both math and reading assessments since 2003.

Fifteen states spend less per student while producing better results on the NAEP in both math and reading.

Read more here.

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220 Admin

The District 220 Board of Education meets this evening at 7:00 PM at the District Administration Center, 515 W. Main Street.  A copy of the agenda can be viewed here.

The meeting will be livestreamed on the district YouTube channel.

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Oy

Nate Rouse, the first director of equity, race and culture diversity initiatives for Barrington Area Unit District 220, recently discussed the district’s efforts to close “achievement gaps.” (John Starks | Staff Photographer, January 2021)

Barrington Area Unit School District 220 encourages all students to be successful, but the achievements haven’t always been equal among its diverse student body, the district’s new director of equity, race and cultural diversity initiatives told school board members this month.

“We have well-documented history of (success) and should be extremely proud of our accomplishments,” said Nate Rouse, who began in the newly created administrative post last fall. “At the same time, we have also been aware of the fact that we have not been as successful over the years with our students of color.”

The district has been working on methods to deal with those disparities, or “achievement gaps,” he said.

As he took up the initiative during the pandemic, Rouse was focused on equal relationships and more equitable outcomes for the students.

The work involves creating a more inclusive environment, Rouse said, with teachers using “culturally responsive teaching” to focus on individual students and what makes each unique.

In one class, the teacher chooses books from diverse authors that lead to discussions about cultures and historical topics that include immigration, Native Americans, the civil rights movement and Japanese internment camps.

Lessons focus on kindness and acceptance, while students learn ways to deal with situations in which something negative has been said or done, Rouse said.

Read more here.

Related: “District 220 expands equity initiatives

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Springfield

Illinois taxpayers are on the hook for nearly double the debt burden of just 12 years ago. That’s according to a new report on the fiscal state of the state.

Truth In Accounting (TIA) has been evaluating state governments for how much debt the state has versus how much they bring in. Their Financial State of the States 2021 published Tuesday.

For all 50 states, the total amount of state government debt taxpayers must pay back is $1.5 trillion at the end of fiscal year 2020.

For Illinois, TIA Research Director Bill Bergman said the amount owed per taxpayer went from about $30,000 in 2009 to $57,000 in the most recent report.

“In other words, it’s almost doubled since 2009,” Bergman said. “That’s significant for a few reasons, including the beginning of that period was in the middle of the worst economic and financial crisis since the Great Depression and Illinois has only deteriorated since then despite the massive recovery in financial markets since 2009. That’s scary.”

Only two other states were in worse financial condition than Illinois. New Jersey’s taxpayer burden is at $58,300 and Connecticut’s burden is at $62,500 per taxpayer. Only 11 states had taxpayer surpluses. The rest are considered “Sinkhole States” by TIA.

Read more here.

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Teacher Pension

Rapidly rising pension costs compete with classroom spending, reducing resources for teachers and students while driving up property taxes.

Growing pension costs for retired educators and administrators are quickly crowding the classroom out of Illinois budgets.

Pension costs are crowding out direct education spending throughout Illinois school districts.

In the coming school year, 39% of the money the state allocates to education will be diverted away from teachers and students to meet required pension payments.

This represents a 458% increase in spending on teacher and administrator pensions since 2000, compared with a mere 17% increase in general education spending during that period, adjusted for inflation.

This massive growth in pension spending is especially concerning for younger teachers new to the workforce and parents with children enrolled in public schools whose needs will be delayed to make room for rising retirement costs.

Pensions aren’t the only thing crowding out student needs. Pensions take the first and largest bite out of the budget, then excessive administrative costs caused by Illinois’ overabundance of districts take another bite before any money actually gets to the classroom. Furthermore, district administrators tend to have some of the largest pensions with some collecting millions in retirement.

Read on here.

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Blue Hands

“At the Sept. 21st Board of Education meeting, Nate Rouse, the district’s Director of Equity, Race and Cultural Diversity Initiatives, gave a presentation to the Board about the district’s ongoing diversity, equity, and inclusion efforts.

During the presentation, Rouse shared information about Critical Race Theory in order to provide context to the conversations currently taking place locally and nationally around the concept and its place in K-12 schools. Critical Race Theory is NOT being taught in Barrington 220 schools. It is an academic concept that is generally taught in higher education systems; primarily law schools. Rouse also discussed several ongoing efforts under his leadership, including:

  • A new district equity webpage which provides more information and clarity related to the district’s efforts in equity, race, and inclusion.
  • The work of the District Equity Team, which is made up of district staff, PTO members, Board of Education members, and representatives from various community organizations.
  • Current examples of culturally responsive teaching strategies being implemented throughout the district.
  • Upcoming opportunities for district staff to participate in professional development that will deepen their understanding of the district’s commitment to equity and the actions needed to move towards equitable outcomes for all students and staff.
  • Collaboration with community organizations in order to keep the community informed about the district’s equity work.

You can listen to Rouse’s full presentation beginning at 1:25:03 in the Board meeting video.”

The new Equity 220 webpage can be found here.

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New BOE

The District 220 Board of Education meets this evening at 7:00 PM at the District Administration Center, 515 W. Main Street.  A copy of the agenda can be viewed here.

The meeting will be livestreamed on the district YouTube channel.

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RCBH

The Riding Club of Barrington Hills (RCBH) recently released their September, 2021 newsletter. One of the sections provides an “update” on the August meeting of the Village Equestrian Commission regarding, Equestrian Trail Licenses:

“The Equestrian Commission met on the 19th of August to discuss the continued need for the Equestrian Trail Licenses issued by the Village for the purpose of riding on the Village deeded easement trails. 

By Ordinance in June in 2005, certain trails traversing private land in the Village exist as easements recorded in favor of the Village. The easements are generally in and around the newer subdivisions in the Village where the Village and the Equestrian Commission worked successfully with developers subdividing tracts of land to protect the continuity of the trail network and to maintain the unique character of the Village. Easement trails are maintained by the RCBH.  As set forth in Title 6 and Section 8-5 of the Village Code, equestrian use of easement trails is allowed solely by licenses issued by the Village of Barrington Hills. 

There is an ongoing discussion with a need for further information. As soon as the Equestrian Commission has that information a date will be determined for the next meeting.”

In other words, they’d rather not reveal anything that was discussed. No surprise.

A copy of the RCBH newsletter can be viewed and downloaded here.

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