What you need to know about the April 2019 election
Name: Vicki M. Reulecke
Occupation: Retired Collinsville Unit District 10 educator
Position seeking: Collinsville Unit District 10 Board of Education member
Why are you running and why should people vote for you? I have chosen to run for the Collinsville Unit District 10 Board of Education because I have a continued interest in working with the students, staff and families of our school district. I believe my experience and knowledge will allow me to help the Board of Education make decisions that improve educational outcomes for our students.
I would ask voters for their support because of my knowledge of the community, the Board of Education and the school district. I am a CHS graduate, a career Unit 10 employee, a grandmother to a current Unit 10 student, and along with my husband Larry, I am also a Collinsville small business owner. During my tenure in Unit 10, I served the district in both teaching and administrative capacities. I also had the opportunity to serve the Regional Office of Education by providing training to local districts in the area of school improvement. These experiences give me a working knowledge of many of the issues that face the Unit 10 Board.
What are the most important issues the school district faces, and how would you approach them? Our district has faced and continues to face issues such as fluctuating funding, a need to refocus fiscal resources to support changing mandates/priorities, and maintaining a focus on effective educational programming. In our district, it is an exciting time as we welcome a new Superintendent. Our Board of Education has a responsibility to support him as he addresses issues such as student achievement, comprehensive staff development, educating our diverse population of learners, increased effective use of technology in instruction, and continuing to increase our graduation rate. This support should include allocation of time and resources to evaluate the effectiveness of current educational practices, as well as allocation of fiscal resources to support any evidence-based changes he recommends.
Under what circumstances would you vote to raise property taxes? The Board of Education in Unit 10 has a history of being fiscally responsible. They have explored ways to cut expenditures on an ongoing basis and made cuts when necessary to operate within the funds available. I anticipate this practice will continue. If all possible cuts have been seriously considered and acted upon, if all possible sources of funding have been explored, and if the funds are not present to cover the expenditures required to perform our basic educational functions, then I would vote to take a referendum to the voters.
What are your goals for the district/what do you want to accomplish? A new section was recently added to the oath a Board of Education member must take when they are seated on any School Board in Illinois. It states, “I shall strive to ensure a continuous assessment of student achievement and all conditions affecting the education of our children, in compliance with State law…” That is my goal. To work with my fellow board members to continuously assess student performance, make certain the Board’s vision and goals align with improving student performance, developing a long-term plan to support the vision/goals, and allocating funds in a manner that matches these priorities.
What is your position on the proposed increase in minimum wage for teachers in Illinois? I support the Illinois politicians who have been proponents of the bill, as long as they do not structure any such legislation as an unfunded mandate. If the issue of teacher wages is important enough to require legislation, it should also be important enough to fund.