Letter Policy

Letters Policy

 

taylorvilledailynews.com welcomes letters to the editor, as a way we can let our readers and listeners sound off on the issues most important to them. If you wish to submit a letter, please note the following guidelines:

 

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Letters

LETTER TO THE EDITOR

Posted September 14, 2021

 

Dear Editor:

 

The state’s mandates regarding masks and vaccinations are merely the headlines and excuses of the moment in an incremental dismantling of local control in public education – and other arenas -- that began decades ago, with the pace only picking up since.

Indeed, the latest top-down decisions from the governor and Illinois State Board of Education – and at times we’ve seen this at the federal level, as well – are just a continuation of the pattern of higher officials substituting their judgments for those of local school boards. That has included matters of curriculum, testing, student dress codes, accommodations, discipline, athletics, school lunch offerings, etc. “Unfunded mandates” – directives without the dollars to implement them -- have been a local rallying cry for as long as many of us can remember.

It is fair to ask: What is the point of electing local school boards at all?

We would grant that public safety is of the utmost importance – we want to protect our kids, employees and ourselves, too -- and that people of good intention may differ on the approaches to this pandemic and how best to protect the short- and long-term health and interests of our students. What we would not concede is that we must abandon our principles as a nation in order to preserve and protect the nation and its citizens. Among those principles is the rule of law.

Since March 2020, Gov. Pritzker has issued more than 80 executive orders regarding COVID-19 that have carried the force of law. The actual lawmaking branch of government – the Illinois General Assembly -- has been missing in action.

Lest anyone think our stance here is political, whether it’s a Republican governor of Florida or a Democratic governor of Illinois making these unilateral calls, it is clear that this has become a bipartisan affliction. The aims may be different but the behavior is the same, and worthy of objection in either case.

Indeed, it is impossible to believe that governing by executive order is what this nation’s Founders had in mind when they were forming our nation. Not only have school boards been made irrelevant, but evidently legislatures have been, too. This is not what we teach our students in regards to how our republic is supposed to work. We may not always agree with the legislative outcome, but at least our time-tested processes have been respected.

Meanwhile, federal and state law are abundantly clear as to where the authority lies in regards to public education: “Parents have the primary responsibility for the education of their children,” while other public and even private jurisdictions “have the primary responsibility for supporting that parental role.”

Gov. Pritzker himself once subscribed to that view. As recently as July, he stated that “families should be involved in making decisions for their own families. And, school districts and school boards will make decisions for the schools within their districts.”

Evidently, the Governor and ISBE really don’t believe this.

Meanwhile, those of us who took the governor at his word are now dismissed and derided as an extreme minority, the enemies of science and compassion.

First, too many of our state leaders mistake compliance with agreement and consent. More of us than they apparently wish to admit have serious misgivings about how decisions are being made in Springfield.

As for the science, it – or at least the communication of it from the CDC and others – has been inconsistent, at best. Finally, who’s really being punitive here – and to schoolchildren, not adults – when the consequences of not falling in line are to make high school diplomas worthless, or deny funding, or prevent students from participating in athletics? It is precisely because we do care about our young people that we are sparing them these threatened punishments.

In short, may Springfield forgive those of us who have come to view it as less a partner than an adversary in the education of our children.

To say this is a challenging and unprecedented time understates it, but the zig-zag nature of
decision-making out of Springfield has made it far more difficult to manage our classrooms, our schools, and our districts, creating unnecessary conflict in our communities. None of that serves our students – our reason for being – well.

It’s not just about the pandemic. It’s about all of the decisions that have been taken out of local hands by those who are all too distant from the resulting fallout. Enough is enough. Absolutely, it is the principle of the thing. Please, restore local control and accountability to our communities and those of us who know them best.

Respectfully,

Taylorville CUSD#3 Dr. Chris Dougherty, Superintendent and Board of Education

Morton CUSD# 709 Dr. Jeff Hill, Superintendent and Board of Education

Central Community High School District #71 Dr. Dustin Foutch, Superintendent and Board of Education

El Paso Gridley CUSD #11 Mr. Brian Kurz, Superintendent

Odell CCSD #435 Mr. MarkA. Hettmansberger, Superintendent and Board of Education

Meridian CUSD #101 Mr. Jonathan D. Green, Superintendent

Regional Office of Education #11 Dr. Kyle Thompson, Regional Superintendent

Midwest Central CUSD 191 Dr. Todd Hellrigel, Superintendent and Board of Education

Trico Community Unit District #176 Mr. Larry D. Lovel, Superintendent

Carlyle CUSD #1 Ms.Annie Gray, Superintendent and Board of Education

CentralA&M Dr. DeAnn Heck, Superintendent and Board of Education

Mt. Zion CUSD #3 Dr. Travis R. Roundcount, Superintendent and Board of Education

Damiansville ESD #62 Mr. Dustin E. Nail, Superintendent and Board of Education

Pana CUSD #8 Mr. Jason Bauer, Superintendent

Shelbyville CUSD #4 Mr. Shane Schuricht, Superintendent and Board Members:Abbie Ballard, Jake Hankins, Gary Hayden, Ellen Trainor and Scott West

Red Bud CUSD #132 Mr. Jonathan Tallman, Superintendent and Board of Education

Gardner South Wilmington High School #73 Mr. Josh DeLong, Superintendent and Board of Education.

South Central School District #401 Mr. Kerry Herdes, Superintendent and Board of Education

Paris CUSD #4 Ms.Danette Young, Superintendent and Board of Education

Braceville Elementary School #75 Mr. Josh DeLong, Superintendent and Board of Education

Nokomis CUSD #22 Dr. Scott E. Doerr, Superintendent and the following Board members: Mr. Chad Ruppert, Board President, Mr. Carl Kettelkamp, Board Members, and Mr. Denny Bauman, Board Secretary.

Clifton Central CUSD # 4 Ms. Tonya Evans, Superintendent and Board of Education

Havana CUSD #126 Mr. R. Mathew Plater, Superintendent and Board of Education

Eureka CUSD #140 Mr. Robert Bardwel, Superintendent Board of Education

Freeburg Community High School District #77 Mr. Gregory Frerking, Superintendent

Woodlawn USD #209 Mr. Eric Helbig, Superintendent and Board of Education

Windsor CUSD #1 Mr. Erik Van Hoveln, Superintendent and Windsor CUSD #1 Board of Education

Cowden-Herrick CUSD #3AMr. Seth Schuler, Superintendent and Board of Education

Bartelso SD #57 Mr. Tom Siegle, Superintendent

St. Libory CSD #30 Dr. Thomas Rude, Superintendent

Mt. Pulaski CUSD #23 Mr. FredrickALamkey, Superintendent and Board of Education

Ridgeview CUSD #19 Mr. Erik Young, Superintendent and Board of Education

Flanagan-Cornell District #74 Mr. Jerry Farris, Superintendent and Board of Education

New Berlin CUSD #16 Ms. Jill Larson, Superintendent and Board of Education

North Clay #25 Mr. Travis Wyatt, Superintendent and Board of Education

Benton Consolidated High School District #103 Mr. Benjamin Johnson, Superintendent

Marshall CUSD #C-2 Mr. Kevin Ross, Superintendent

Red Hill CUSD #10 Mr. Jakie Walker, Superintendent and Board of Education

Community Unit School District #4 Mr. Scott D. Riddle, Superintendent and Board of Education

Bourbonnais Elementary School District #53 Dr.Adam Ehrman, Superintendent

Vandalia C.U.S.D. #203Dr. Jennifer Garrison, Superintendent and Board President Joe Lawson

Tremont CUSD #702 Mr. Sean Berry and Board of Education

Roanoke-Benson CUSD #60 Mr. Thomas Welsh, Superintendent and Board of Education

ROE 21 Ms. Lorie LeQuatte, Regional Superintendent

Iuka Grade School CCSD #7 Mr. SamAlli and Board of Education

Oakwood CUSD#76 Mr. Larry Maynard, Superintendent Central City School #133 Mr. Tim Branon, Superintendent

Farmington Central CUSD #265 Dr. Zac Chatterton, Superintendent

Field Community CUSD #3 Mr. Wayne Stone, Superintendent

LeRoy CUSD#2 Mr. Gary Tipsord, Superintendent and Board of Education

Payson CUSD#1 Dr. Donna Veile and Board of Education: Lisa Schwartz, Vinson Sill, Chanse Barker, Clint Twaddle, Danelle Donley, and DeniseAlbsmeyer

Benton CCSD #47 Mr. Steve Smith, Superintendent

Neoga CUSD #3 Mr. Bill Fritcher, Superintendent

St. Elmo CUSD #202 Ms. Julie Healy, Superintendent and Board of Education

Okaw Valley CUSD #302 Mr. Kent Stauder, Superintendent and Board of Education

Mount Vernon Township High School #201 Ms. MelanieAndrews, Superintendent and Matthew Flanigan, Board President

Ramsey CUSD #204 Ms. Melissa Ritter, Superintendent and Board of Education.

Teutopolis CUSD #50 Mr. Matthew Sturgeon, Superintendent

Sullivan CUSD #300 Mr. Ted Walk, Superintendent

Bluford USD #318 Dr. Shane Gordon, Superintendent

Mulberry Grove CUSD #1 Mr. Robert Koontz and Board of Education

Effingham CUSD #40 Mr. Mark E. Doan, Superintendent

Anna-Jonesboro CHSD #81 Mr. Rob Wright, Superintendent

Anna CCSD #37 Dr. Julie Bullard, Superintendent and Board of Education

Beecher City CUSD #20 Mr. Philip Lark, Superintendent and Board of Education

ROE #13 Mr. Matt Renaud, Superintendent

Damiansville ESD #62 Mr. Dustin E. Nail, Superintendent and Board of Education

Freeburg Community Consolidated District #70 Dr. Melanie Brink and Board of Education

Hutsonville CUSD #1 Ms. Julie Kraemer, Superintendent and Board of Education

Altamont CUSD #10 Mrs. CaseyAdam, Superintendent

Gifford CCSD #188 Dr. Jay P. Smith, Superintendent

Salem Community High School #600 Dr. Brad Detering, Superintendent

Brownstown CUSD #201 Mr. Mike Shackelford, Superintendent and Board of Education

Prairie du Rocher CUSD #134 Mr. Rob Pipher, Superintendent

Calhoun CUSD #40 Ms.Andrea Lee, Superintendent

Delavan CUSD #703 Dr.Andrew Brooks, Superintendent

Scott-Morgan CUSD #2 Dr. Kevin Blankenship, Superintendent and Board of Education

Winchester CUSD #1 Dr. Kevin Blankenship and Board of Education

DeLand-Weldon CUSD #57 Ms.Amanda Geary, Superintendent and Board of Education

Spring Garden CCSD #178 Ms. Tammy Beckham, Superintendent

Chester CUSD #139 Mr. Brian Pasero, Superintendent

Norris City-Omaha-Enfield CUSD #3 Mr. Matthew J. Vollman, Superintendent

Clinton CUSD 15 Mr. Curt Nettles, Superintendent

Cumberland CUSD #77 Mr. Todd Butler, Superintendent

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