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Archive for the ‘District 220 referendum’ Category

If you would like to skip the crowds and the politics on March 17, early voting starts today through March 16. To view early voting locations, times and more information for your county, click on the corresponding link: 

Please note: The Barrington Hills Observer does not support the Barrington 220 Referendum.  We’ll share our reasons for voting “No” later this week.

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Barrington Area Unit District 220 will seek voter approval next month to borrow $147 million for building projects, including safety and security upgrades at all its schools.

Regardless of the outcome of the March 17 referendum vote, district residents will see a reduction in their property tax bills. How much depends on voters.

Former school board President Brian Battle said the decision to pare the proposed borrowing by $38 million shows officials listened to voters.

Battle, now part of a residents’ group called Yes for Barrington 220’s Future, said the timing is right to support the request. That’s in part because of historically low interest rates.

However, some like Barrington resident Willard “Bill” Bishop are questioning the district’s request, saying that after extensive study, he’s concluded too little annual spending on building maintenance has led to the $147 million proposal.

Over the years, Bishop contends, the school board elected to “fully support spending on personnel in each year’s budget” while not devoting enough to facility maintenance.

Read more here.

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The Illinois State Board of Education upheld Barrington School District 220’s May 2018 decision to fire a math teacher after pornographic images were A Barrington High School teacher is now officially — and finally — fired from the district after he had been let go two years ago but unsuccessfully appealed to the state board of education to get his job back.

A Barrington High School teacher is now officially — and finally — fired from the district after he had been let go two years ago but unsuccessfully appealed to the state board of education to get his job back.

The Barrington School District 220 Board of Education voted at a recent meeting to terminate former math teacher Matthew Mizanin. He was found to have pornographic photos on his school district laptop while he was under investigation for “grossly unprofessional” classroom conduct, according to official state documents.

The official termination comes nearly two years after the SD220 board initially fired Mizanin in May 2018, based on charges that he “engaged in grossly unprofessional behavior and exercised extremely poor judgment,” according to the documents.

Being a tenured teacher, Mizanin filed an appeal of his termination with the Illinois State Board of Education.

Read the full story here.

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A civil lawsuit seeking $25 million, filed Feb. 3, 2020 in Cook County Circuit Court, alleges that a former special education teacher at Barrington Middle School – Prairie Campus sexually abused her student on school premises between 2002 and 2004.

A $25 million lawsuit was filed this month against Barrington School District 220 by a former student who alleges that he was sexually abused by one of his middle school teachers more than 30 times from 2002 to 2004.

The plaintiff in the lawsuit, which was filed Feb. 3 in Cook County Circuit Court, is now 29 or 30 years old and is identified only as John Doe. According to the civil complaint, he was between the age of 12 and 14 at the time of the alleged abuse.

According to the complaint, the student has been diagnosed with post-traumatic stress disorder, regularly attends therapy and “continues to suffer from emotional and psychological injuries” as a result of the alleged abuse.

The lawsuit names as defendants the school district and the estate of former teacher Susan Maylahn, who the Cook County medical examiner’s office indicates died April 21, 2014.

Read what updates the Chicago Tribune has uncovered to this previously reported story here.

Related: Lawsuit alleges abuse by former District 220 teacher – Daily Herald, 2/4/2020

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A Barrington High School student addresses the 220 Board of Education February 18, 2020

The Barrington District 220 Board of Education met earlier this week, and as is the custom, the board opened their meeting to public comment. They received only one, but it was a good one:

Well, hi, my name is (student), and I am a junior at Barrington High School, and why I’m up here right now is because I’m aware that the staff members with Barrington two two-twenty are not drug tested and there has been a lot of rumors going around about teachers that have been doing illegal drugs, not like marijuana, like cocaine and meth and stuff like that.

I mean, I been hearing it going around, and there’s been a lot of rumors and most districts drug test their staff members, and I think that’s very important because these/they’re the ones supervising the children, especially in the elementary school. That’s all I have to say.”

Dr. Brian Harris, Superintendent of District 220, was asked if he had any comment before moving on. After rather long (and perhaps uncomfortable) pause, Harris stated:

Um…, Quickly…, you know there is no statutory retirement, um requirements of drug test staff, uh, except for buss drivers, AND we do drug tests on certain employees in the district that do drive our district vehicles. So, um, and it’s random, and it’s administered, so just so you’re aware.”

To view recording of the public comment portion of Tuesday’s meeting, click here.

We don’t know if District 220 is prohibited from conducting drug testing due to the current teacher’s union contract(s). We don’t know if such testing is cost prohibitive (though it’s unlikely).

Whatever the reason, it’s inexcusable. We believe anyone employed by District 220 be subject to some form of drug testing, and the sooner this occurs, the better for all concerned.

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Barrington School District 220 held the first in a series of informational meetings Wednesday about the $147 million referendum voters can expect to see on the March 17 ballot.

Supporters of the referendum, including Helen Lodowsky, leader of a local advocate group called “Yes for 220,” said the district needs this referendum to pass for the students’ sake.

“You guys are talking about money, I get it,” she said. “But these are the people who are our future.”

Others, like community member Bill Bishop, shared concern for the referendum. Bishop said he has a hard time supporting it currently because he doesn’t see a full strategic plan in place for how the district will adapt to changing needs in the community over the next 20 years.

Read more here.

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District 220 seems to be pulling out all the stops in advance of the March 17 referendum, but it’s doubtful taxpayers will receive an accounting of the total money spent in the process.

The Barrington High School commons area was crowded Thursday morning as students lined up to join the electorate during the school’s first voter registration drive.

BHS social studies teacher Cary Waxler organized the daylong event. He said he’s helped students register on an individual basis for years but wanted to offer the big event to make it easier.

“Eighteen- to 29-year-olds are the lowest voting group by age bracket,” he said. “We wanted to do something to remedy that.”

Illinois law allows any voter who will be 18 by the time of the General Election to also vote in the primary, even if the voter is only 17 at the time of the primary. Because of this, Cary said the school has about 900 students who are eligible to vote in 2020, and the goal for the event was to get at least half of them registered throughout the day.

Read more here.

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