Archive for the ‘District 220 referendum’ Category

220At Tuesday’s Board of Education meeting, Dr. David Bein, the Assistant Superintendent of Business Services/Chief School Business Official, along with Sarah Lager, the district’s Director of Fiscal Services, presented the Board with an amended budget for the 2020-21 school year.

The budget was adopted by the Board last September, however the evolving pandemic created unforeseen financial needs that require changes. While local revenue is less than expected, overall expenditures (such as transportation, salaries) are also less than expected. Therefore, the district is looking at a larger than budgeted surplus. A public hearing on the amended budget will be held at the Board meeting on May 18. The Board is anticipated to adopt the amended budget at its first meeting in June. 

Click here to view the entire amended budget presentation.

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A wave of incumbents will return to school boards across the suburbs, alongside some newcomers, amid ongoing criticism over how school leaders have handled pandemic learning and the gradual resumption of in-person classes — an issue that sparked some of the most contentious elections in recent memory.

Emotions ran high this election season due to the pandemic affecting communities across the suburbs differently, as local school boards struggled to keep pace with evolving health guidance while facing criticism from parents and teachers alike.

In District 220, where 11 candidates were vying for four board seats, two of the winners — newcomer Erin Chan Ding and incumbent Sandra Ficke-Bradford — were endorsed by the Barrington Education Association. But union-backed candidates Lauren Berkowitz Klauer and Thomas J. Mitoraj lost.

Instead, voters picked Katie Karam and Steve Wang — endorsed by the GOP-backed ACTION PAC, or the Advancing Change Together in Our Neighborhood political action committee. They, along with fellow slate member Malgorzata McGonigal, criticized the school board for staying in remote learning last fall.

“It was more emotionally intense than any election that I remember for Barrington 220,” said Chan Ding, of South Barrington. “When to reopen schools, the approach that we should take, and the national partisan nature of that debate also filtered into our local school board election. There was an anti-teachers union sentiment that we have never seen this intensely before.”

Chan Ding said that by electing two candidates each from opposing camps, voters have signaled their desire to have a wide range of viewpoints and ideologies represented on the board. “We know that our approaches are different and at the same time we know that our goals are similar,” she said.

The divisiveness seen in this election has been long prevalent in the community, said Wang, of Barrington.

“The goal is to make sure that we provide the best possible environment for our children and to make sure that our community heals from all of this divisiveness over the last several years,” he said.

Read more here.

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Though results are not yet final, the 220 teachers union was only successful in getting two of four candidates (Erin Chan Ding and incumbent Sandra Ficke-Bradford) elected to the District 220 Board of Education.

Voters throughout the Northwest suburbs sent educators a message Tuesday — for the most part endorsing the gradual reopening approach most districts have taken in response to the pandemic.

In school district after school district, candidates who put a priority on listening to the health experts were elected, apparently often with the help of teachers unions.

This was the case in Glenbard High School District 87, Stevenson High School District 125, Palatine-Schaumburg Townships District 211 and Northwest Suburban High School District 214.

But there were exceptions: In Arlington Heights Elementary District 25 and Barrington Unit District 220, voters split their choices between measured reopening candidates and those who were strongly critical of the remote learning environment.

Voter concerns about the impact of the pandemic on local students did not turn out many incumbents.

Out of 34 incumbents in contested races on school board ballots throughout the Northwest suburbs, only three appeared to have been defeated, according to unofficial tallies — Janice Krinsky in Elk Grove Township Elementary District 59, Michael Shackleton in Barrington Unit District 220, and Aurora Austriaco in Maine Township High School District 207.

Unions openly backed candidates in Glenview Elementary District 34, Elk Grove Township Elementary District 59, Glenbard High School District 87, Palatine-Schaumburg Townships High School District 211, Northwest Suburban High School District 214, and Glenbrook High Schools District 225, among others.

Those union candidates were successful virtually everywhere. The lone exception was in District 220 where union-backed candidates Lauren Berkowitz Klauer and Thomas J. Mitoraj lost.

Read more here.

Related:Here’s a SHOCKER! District 220 “TEACHERS UNION endorses 4 candidates of the 11 running for a seat on the Barrington School District 220 board.” Follow the money…

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220 Green

We received file last night that appears to be a continuation of a recent post (seeSo you wanna run for Barrington CUSD 220 Board?”).  The PDF file can be viewed and downloaded here.

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With so many candidates running for various offices, we’d like to remind readers of the candidates The Barrington Hills Observer wholeheartedly endorses:


If you haven’t already, Please Vote tomorrow! 

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Penny Kazmier – President CUSD 220 Board of Education (And winner of the 2011 Daily Herald Cook of the Week Challenge)

From a friend of The Observer…

“Dear Friends,

As most of you know, I have served on the Barrington 220 School Board for the past 16 years and am not seeking re-election on Tuesday.  My friend, and former board colleague, Brian Battle and I are concerned about the tone of the election and put together the letter below to express our thoughts.  if you have already voted, great, but if you haven’t, please be sure to vote this coming Tuesday, April 6.

Hope you had a wonderful Easter!


# # #


We are both writing to share our thoughts on the current election for 4 seats to our Barrington 220 School Board this Tuesday, April 6.  After each having served 16 years on the Board, we remain committed to the success of 220, and have been closely following the candidates in this year’s election.  We know you still care about 220 also, but may not have had the time to invest in watching all 3 candidate forums.

COVID has certainly created an interesting backdrop for this election.  The constantly changing guidance has stressed School Boards, teachers, parents and students.  Districts across the suburbs have taken different approaches, however there is no single approach that has proven to make all stakeholders satisfied. One result of this universal frustration is the large numbers of candidates for School Boards across suburban Chicago.  Barrington 220 has 11 candidates that will appear on our ballots, confirmation of the vital role of our schools in our community.

Another result of the COVID response, is the increased presence of partisan support for candidates.  Again, this is a statewide trend, and Barrington 220 is no exception with PACs, partisan political organizations, and employee unions supporting different candidates.  We do not support partisan politics injected into School Board elections.  However, it is not in violation of any election laws.  We suggest you simply ignore this issue as unwanted noise, and focus on selecting the best candidates that will serve our community for the next 4 years.

Regarding the issue of COVID and schools, we have been listening for candidates that appear knowledgeable, take into account all stakeholders, and demonstrate a willingness to be flexible while recognizing the diverse needs of our community’s families and students.  However, we want to emphasize that in choosing which candidates to vote for, our experience has taught us that single issue candidates don’t make the most effective Board Members over the entire 4-year term.

We believe that the next Board will need to address significant issues in addition to re-opening.  These issues include working with a new superintendent, planning and executing the facility improvements approved in last year’s referendum, developing a new long-term strategic plan, negotiating both employee union contracts, addressing equity issues, and maintain our existing strong curriculum and strong financial position.  To accomplish these objectives, we need Board members committed to effective community communications.

After watching the 3 recorded forums involving all of the candidates, as well as discussions with many of the candidates, we believe there are 5 strong individuals worthy of your consideration.  Those five are Sandra Ficke-Bradford, Erin Chan Ding, Tom Mitoraj, Lauren Berkowitz Klauer, and Robert Windon.

We strongly recommend a vote for Sandra, Erin and Tom.

Sandra’s experience will be valuable on the Board with all the challenges we described during the next term.  Sandra is completing her third term on the board and has served on numerous Board committees including finance, policy, labor management. Sandra considers the impact of a decision from all sides and listens to other board members when they speak.

Erin demonstrates a depth of knowledge, enthusiasm, and a commitment to engaging our community. During conversations, she has shown the desire to understand “why” something is the way it is, while thinking creatively about how it might be improved.  Erin is a good listener which comes from her background as a journalist. We believe she will bring thought-provoking ideas to the board, while also respecting the opinions of others.

Tom impressed us during the candidate forums.  Tom is thoughtful, creative, and thoroughly assesses a problem before trying to solve it.  He will be a strong school board member who takes his role seriously, and has financial management experience that will benefit the Board in budgeting and negotiations.  He has also demonstrated his commitment to serving his community through his many years of service to the U.S. Navy.  Tom is forthright and honest, and will do the hard work needed to become an active and involved board member.

For your fourth vote, we suggest you look closely at both Lauren and Robert.  Lauren appears to be genuinely interested in serving our community, and Robert has great community service experience as a trustee for the Village of Barrington.

If you are interested in learning more about these five candidates, here are links to their campaign websites:

Highly Recommended

Sandra Ficke-Bradford:           www.sandrafor220.com
Erin Chan Ding:                       www.erinfor220.com
Tom Mitoraj:                           www.tomfor220.com


Lauren Berkowitz Klauer:       www.facebook.com/lbkfor220
Robert Windon:                      https://www.windon220.com

We hope this helps you in deciding how to cast your votes. Please feel free to forward this email to your friends in our community and as always, contact us if you have any questions.

Please vote next Tuesday, April 6!

Penny Kazmier & Brian Battle”

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The next regularly scheduled Board of Education meeting is tomorrow night, April 6th right after the polls close at 7 PM. The meeting will be held in person at the District Administrative Center.  A copy of the agenda can be viewed here.

The number of people in the room will be limited to 50, as suburban Cook County and Lake County are in Phase 4 under the State’s Restore Illinois Plan. The livestream of all meetings are viewable via the Board’s YouTube channel.

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The Barrington Education Association (BEA), the teachers union for D220, has been very vocal publishing social media posts, emails, and flyers supporting their four endorsed candidates for school board election. Beyond being vocal in support they have been extremely vocal in criticizing the three candidates (Katie Karam, Steve Wang and Malgorzata McGonigal) who chose not to meet with them to seek a union endorsement, nor to meet with an organization called Be the Change Barrington (BTC).

Who is BTC? They have a website that lists various positions and recommendations for the administration and education of students in D220. However, nothing on these pages identifies who exactly they are, who they are accountable to, where they live, or even if they are residents of D220.

Their list of recommendations (more accurately demands) is a platitude of critical race theory, alleging widespread racism and social injustice within D220. However, from police sources, there is little evidence of hate crime within our district. So what are these recommendations based on?

Apparently, a survey of around 600 alumni and active students. The survey does not break down the percentage of alumni to current students, nor does it identify whether any of these alumni are currently living within D220, parents of students, or taxpaying members of our community. Yet, the BEA has crowned them as an important representative voice of D220 and has lambasted and shamed the three candidates who chose not to meet with these unidentified individuals.

Why should you care? To follow are some of the recommendations of BTC for your children:

“BTCB calls on Barrington 220 to critically examine and make changes to its staff training, curriculum requirements, and administrative policies in the pursuit of anti-racism and dismantling white supremacy.”

“All educators and students must undergo a mandatory anti-racism training and unconscious bias training. Anti-racist and unconscious bias training is necessary for supporting the multiracial, multilingual, and multicultural student body within Barrington 220.”

“Barrington 220 must play an active role in challenging the myths of colorblindness and meritocracy within the education system, and instead commit to practicing anti-racism, anti-bias, and equity. In order for training sessions to be sustainable and meaningful, they must go beyond the intellectual work of fighting oppression and challenge staff and students to do the deeply personal, emotional, and communal work of dismantling racism and white supremacy culture.”

The list is much broader and can be found at this ink: https://drive.google.com/file/d/1N9DdAepfjRtjNjhA0UMddGkrXMFfNHU-/view

These recommendations have been cited by the BEA and its four endorsed candidates as important lesson plans and discussions that your children should be given in their D220 education.

The BEA has a lobbyist group (iPACE) that sends out mail pieces, i.e. “in-kind” donations, on behalf of the four candidates endorsed by the BEA and also provides monetary donations to those candidates. Recently, the Palatine League of Women Voters (LWV) hosted several Candidate forums, including forums for school board candidates and library board.

For a group that claims to be “non-partisan“, the BEA through its lobbyists, iPACE, has donated significantly to Democratic candidates, including $52,800 in 2019 to former Speaker Michael Madigan.

Also, LWV was outspoken in a recent Herald article surrounding Karam, Wang & McGonigal, for school board and Croll, Ordway & Stenberg for library board: “A partisan political group in Barrington has expressed support for candidates in school and library board races, a move criticized by the League of Women Voters, which says party politics has no place in local elections…”

Wow! Pot? Kettle?  Sounds like the BEA and LWV need to take a long look in the mirror.

So, in what conceivable way can the LWV forum have been considered non-partisan under these circumstances? Particularly where the BEA, which pays dues to IEA and iPACE, started a full court press on endorsements and social media posts supporting Ding, Klauer, Ficke-Bradford, and Mitoraj by February 6th, a month prior to the LWV forum, and iPACE had already made donations to Ding which she stated she used for signs and mailers (mailers that coincidentally didn’t include campaign disclosure information as required by SBOE).

There is a lot of ugly going on around the D220 community.

The BEA is flexing its union muscle and it wants to con you into voting Ding, Klauer, Ficke-Bradford, and Mitoraj. They even went so far as condescending to come back to full time school the week before the April 6th election. Why? Because they want their handpicked four to be elected and vote the BEA union byline.

Make no mistake, D220 families; if Ding, Klauer, Ficke-Bradford, and Mitoraj are elected to the school board on April 6th your kids will be back to e-learning and remote school on April 7th.

If you want a board that will advocate on behalf of your children, tax dollars and community, it is imperative that you VOTE KARAM, WANG, & McGONIGAL for school board.

    – Guest essay

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There are a number of exceptionally qualified candidates running for office in the upcoming Consolidated Elections April 6th.    

Following is a summary of candidates running for various offices in the order they appear on the ballots for those offices. The Observer has noted those candidates we endorse with a check mark.

Early voting is available to registered voters now through Election Day.

Pres VBH

Trustee VBH

220 VBH 1




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Editorial note: The Barrington Hills Observer supports the candidacies of Katie Karan, Steven Wang and Malgorzata McGonigal.  To learn more about them, please visit Action PAC.


The race for four open seats on the Barrington School District 220 Board of Education in the April 6 election has drawn 11 candidates – and teachers union endorsement of four of those hopefuls.

The long list of candidates running in the election next month includes incumbents Sandra Ficke-Bradford and Michael Shackleton, and candidates Katie Karam, Lauren Berkowitz Klauer, William Betz, Jonathan Matta, Thomas Mitoraj, Steve Wang, and Robert Windon, all from Barrington. Erin Chan Ding, of South Barrington, and Malgorzata McGonigal, of North Barrington round out the field.

The four candidates picking up Barrington Education Association endorsements are Chan Ding, Ficke-Bradford, Klauer and Mitoraj. Of the four, only Chan Ding acknowledged receiving a campaign contribution from a political action committee affiliated with the BEA.

BEA President Melissa Atteberry confirmed that her association reached out multiple times to all 11 candidates. Seven of the 11 returned written questionnaires, she said. Those candidates were invited to an interview and from that group, the four endorsed candidates were chosen.

Union officials said the four candidates BEA endorsed “exemplified” key characteristics, including an eagerness to dive deeply into a wide range of topics within education; a willingness to listen to a broad range of views and work collaboratively with all stakeholders; an understanding of the many accomplishments of the school district, but also of the great challenges ahead; and a proactive approach to campaigning and the ability to mobilize support from the community.

In separate phone interviews with Pioneer Press, all four candidates defended accepting the endorsement, while acknowledging that they could, if elected, find themselves voting on contracts and other matters concerning teachers.

Read more here.

Related: “’Barrington Teacher Union President Communicates with Members’ – Posted by McHenry County Blog,” “Right to Choose for Barrington School District 220

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