Letters to the Editor – March, 2013 Issue

| March 1, 2013

The views expressed in the Letters to the Editor and Open Forum are the expressed views of the submitters and do not represent the opinions of the publisher or People & Places Newspaper. The editor reserves the right to edit any submissions.

Dear Editor,

In the February issue of People and Places, board member DAVID STACHURA, who is running for re-election, states that he is, “an independent and fierce advocate of the taxpayers and school district families.”  In response, we would like to say that members of SPEA, consider themselves FIERCE ADVOCATES OF THE CHILDREN of this community.

Mr. Stachura also states that he has, “worked tirelessly on the taxpayers behalf through the utilization of the FREEDOM of INFORMATION ACT, to obtain information for the benefit of the taxpayers.    Since 2010 Mr Stachura’s, self proclaimed ‘tireless efforts’ have cost the taxpayers a total of $10,492 dollars.  While we understand it is his right to do so, as our very own board president has repeatedly reminded him, all of the information that he has asked for could have been given to him with a simple phone call or visit to our district office and the cost to our taxpayers would have been nothing.  Since Mr. Stachura repeatedly argues about the district’s need to be fiscally responsible, perhaps he should take that into consideration before making the conscience decision to unnecessarily waste more taxpayer money.  He has needlessly cost the taxpayers $10,492 dollars but let me politely remind community members what he has cost the CHILDREN and STUDENTS of this community.  Mr. Stachura may not think that $10,492 dollars is a significant amount of money , however, that amount of money could have purchased 31 ipads for the  schools of the district 81, thus assisting our students in becoming more technologically advanced and better prepared to compete in high school and the world beyond.

These items would have served the children and families of the children that, as a board member, Mr. Stachura is supposed to be advocating for.  It is this communities children, many of whom whose parents also pay taxes, that deserve the very best each and EVERY board member has to offer.  Being a member of this school board is not a right, but rather a privilege and most of the school board members have demonstrated that they are indeed here for the children.  The children that attend the district 81 schools need to start becoming a priority for him because it is these very children who will be going out into this community and making decisions for him and his future.  The children seem to have been an overlooked detail in his recent letter to the editor of People and Places, and the SPEA felt it was important to respectfully remind the community that Mr. Stachura’s service on this board is supposed to be about the very best he can do for our children.

The Teachers of the Schiller Park Education Association

Dear Editor,

We would like to take this opportunity to clarify some misconceptions and shed light on our ELL population.

In District 81, we have a total of 435 ELL students and there are over 20 languages spoken.

Regarding federal and state mandated testing and subgroups. A group is considered a subgroup if it has minimum of 45 students in that subgroup size for AYP assessments.  In Illinois, a school cannot make AYP if one of its subgroups does not make AYP.

Due to NCLB, the state requires that ELL students MUST take the same grade level assessments as all other students even though they have NOT achieved English proficiency.

It has been said that we are not doing enough to meet the needs of our ELL population.  Look closer at the facts. Research shows that it takes 5-7 years to learn ACADEMIC Language.

  • As students progress through the grades, they are becoming English proficient and exiting from the ELL program.  As a matter of fact, in FY 12 there were 85 first graders in the ELL program compared to 15 in 8th grade half of which were also Special Ed or were not enrolled in our district since Kindergarten.
  • Last year, 50 students were exited from the program.  This is why Lincoln School does not or ever has an LEP subgroup.
  • Many of our students who were once part of the ELL program are transitioning in 5 to 7 years.

As a district, we have done the following to address the needs of our LEP population:

  • Tuition reimbursement to teachers who are pursuing the ESL and /or bilingual endorsements.
  • DISTRICT –WIDE  – We have a total of 33 teachers who have their ESL endorsement and 5 teachers who hold their bilingual certification for the languages of Spanish, Polish and Bulgarian.
  • Many other teachers are in the process of getting their certification.
  • Our district ELL committee is working on aligning the WIDA or language development standards to Common Core Standards.
  • We have also developed a LEP database that shows student progress over time in the 4 language domains.  This is shared district wide to help guide instruction for our students
  • We differentiate instruction that meets the needs of all learners including guided reading in the reading room and we work collaboratively in teams to meet the needs of all students.

There are other misconceptions regarding certifications:

  • All Pre-k teachers, not kindergarten teachers, who work with LEP students will be ESL certified by July 1, 2014.  We will be in compliance.
  • In addition, the requirement for administrators of the bilingual education program with 200 or more students does not begin until July 1st 2014.

We will continue to provide all of our students with rich, authentic experiences with multiple measures of growth not simply one test mandated by the state.


The Teachers of the Schiller Park Education Association – SPEA

An Open Letter to our Senators

The time has come for all Republican elected officials to come together and to plow full speed ahead with impeachment proceedings for President Barack Obama and Vice President Joseph Bidden.

There is now evidence coming forward about election fraud in many states. This does not surprise me because I live in Cook County, Illinois. The epic center for Mr. Obama and his major political upbringing is Illinois, which already has two governors in jail for questionable politics.

The results of the recent presidential election were determined to be won by President Obama before the west coast even closed there polling places. There are stories of electioneering inside polling places in urban communities. What happened to the voters who were displaced due to Hurricane Sandy? Did they get to vote?

Another issue is the continued abuse of the Presidential Mandate. This president and vice president are out of control to a point of dictatorship like activity regarding Presidential Mandates. They are by-passing you Senator! They are disrespecting your office and your right to speak and work for your constituents who elected you.

Now they want to disarm all Americans. How convenient. A disarmed America would make us ripe for an invasion from a foreign power. No country has dared to invade our mainland due to the overwhelming amount of armed citizens. I would be willing to bet China, Iran, and many others are all for our citizens being disarmed. I honestly feel that this is what this administration is looking to accomplish, to leave us vulnerable to a conflict on our turf. I also feel we have been sold out by this administration to many foreign powers who despise America. Another factor to this theory is the recent call for a reduction in our troop numbers. Weakening America is dangerous and the Trojan horse is in the White House.

We now have a dismal one sided and biased main stream press in America. What happened to real journalism with only the facts being presented for the reader to ponder over? Did this administration intimidate our American press into submission? It appears as if they are mesmerized by President Obama. This being to a point of idolization and worship. This sort of mind set is seen in countries run by Communist dictators. It seems our mainstream American press has sold us out. It is very seldom that the truth which may hurt the Obama administration will come out via the main stream media. A weapon like this held by one political party can be powerful enough to destroy the others credibility.  It is also a weapon and method of brainwashing the American public. All of the news which comes out now is in crisis mode and it is a convenient distraction from the real hard core issues plaguing America now. Our constitutional rights are being systematically dismantled. We appear to be on the path to a one party system.

What will America look like in four years? At this pace I fear to even think of about it. What’s the next mandate going to be? That the president s office will not have term limits anymore.

Start the impeachment proceedings before it is too late.


Alfonzo Baldassano

Northlake, Illinois   60164

C.C. Sent to all Republican Senators.


Dear Editor,

Current revelations regarding the usage of Schiller Park School District 81 vehicles clearly reinforces the concerns that Board of Education Member David Stachura raised at several  Board Meetings.   Mr. Stachura requested that the District examine the installation of cameras and GPS technology on the District owned school buses.   This was turned down without discussion by the Dr. Boryszewski, the Superintendent of Schools and Mary Ann Desecki, Board of Education President.

Clearly, Mr. Stachura has the foresight to protect first and foremost the  interests of the children and secondly the interest of the taxpayers.

Installing a GPS system on the District 81 buses would provide the District with real-time and historical views as well as allow the District to know where their buses and student riders are located at all times. If there is an incident on a bus, the driver can simply press an Emergency Button on the bus to notify the Schiller Park 911 Center directly. The District can activate a system to listen in on the bus in real time and record the conversation to protect drivers and student riders. Speed alerts will notify the District when a driver exceeds a district-defined threshold to keep riders safe and secure.  The buses go out of town on field trips, this would ensure the safety of the children both in and out of the District.

GPS tied with video surveillance can corroborate the driver’s side of the story of what happened, when and where. School bus drivers can focus on safely doing their jobs to the best of their abilities without the concern of being falsely accused of wrongdoing.  Video surveillance could record traffic violators who threaten the safety of children embarking and disembarking from the school bus, allowing for follow up by the police department.

Let’s afford our children in Schiller Park School District 81 with the same safeguards that many of us have in our own family vehicles with “On Star” or some other car manufacturer’s product.

The Board of Education of District 81 needs to revisit the request of Board Member, David Stachura, to consider installing GPS along with video surveillance on all school buses.   Such action is in the best interest of the children of Schiller Park District 81.

Mr. Kowalski
Schiller Park


Dear Editor:

There is mounting evidence that the School Board Election for District 81 involves some very interesting players who are playing politics in the halls, teachers’ lounges, Administrative offices and cafeterias of the schools instead of sticking to the responsibility of educating the children of the community!  Frankly, since scarcely any of them live in the community, I would wonder why they feel it’s in the best interests of the community to ‘push’ the Mayor’s candidates.  I encourage them to move into the District—if they can afford to pay the taxes.  Otherwise, I would urge them to take care of their primary responsibility:  teaching the children—and let the candidates get their own messages out to the public!

I’ve come to the conclusion that some of the concerns I’ve raised at Board meetings may have ruffled some feathers. The ones who stand to lose their ‘business as usual’ set-up are assured of keeping their spending/overspending habit if their candidates win.  I am even more determined to end this practice, so I leave it to the voters to decide who they trust with their tax dollars.

For example, the long-time incumbents on the Board vote with the Superintendent’s recommendation on virtually every item.  This is an efficient means of getting through a Board meeting, but I am not by nature a ‘rubber stamp person.’  I like to know why we are spending money, firing someone, or providing contracts to the companies we spend millions with …and if we can afford it!

Some of the questions I asked were to the former Superintendent, Dr. Roberta Taylor.  When I asked where the money was coming from for one of her ‘projects,’ she told me a grant was approved to pay for it.  When I asked for documentation, she stated she ‘didn’t have to show me anything.’  Really???

The result of that exchange was that there was no approved grant, no project went forward, and my ‘trust’ in the Administration died.   This is the same Superintendent that ‘gave away’ District property (you paid for it!) when the new Lincoln School was built.  The Board passed a “CYA” resolution after that when I objected to this action.

The current Superintendent has finessed the Board majority to grant her a 5 year extended contract with generous raises and increased her spending threshold by $20,000 (requiring no Board approval.)  She has manipulated raises for fellow administrators mid-contract, and enjoyed the mentorship of the previous Superintendent whose judgment I clearly did not trust.  I believe the new Superintendent is still a little too ‘green’ and unproven to demand those terms.  Maybe if she had been able to show some restraint in spending during her first year as Superintendent, I would have voted to loosen the reins a bit.  However, I found the request to be premature and could not provide a “yes” vote.

Since then, I have continued to ask questions and voice concerns.  I have been the victim of sarcastic attacks, bullying and disrespect from other Board members and loyalists to the new Administration.  I have attended Board meetings in other Districts and observed that we are definitely in a ‘class of our own’ when it comes to lack of leadership and unbecoming arrogance.   The current beneficiaries of the District’s generosity don’t want to ‘kill the golden goose’ (your tax dollars!) and they want me to go away!

I believe that you–the voters in the District– are smarter than the opposing candidates and their backers think you are.  I believe that you want a School Board that considers the safety and education of the children a top priority.  I believe you want children to experience an enriched curriculum that prepares them for the rigors of high school and beyond so they can grow to their fullest potential.   I believe that you want the District to spend tax dollars prudently and stop practices that include tax-payer funded private Christmas parties, personal use of District-owned vehicles, and no-bid contracts to ‘friends of the Administration/Board.’

I believe we would be a better Board if we adhered to our own policies instead of acting outside of their boundaries.  I believe we could serve the community better if we brought civility and respect back to our Board meetings to replace manipulation, intimidation and power plays.  I believe we would be of greater service to the children and community at large if we elected people to the Board who are passionate about education instead of politics and self-serving greed.

In my opinion, once the election is over, the District will be in need of some expert scrutiny in the area of finances and ethics.  I welcome the opportunity to serve the community and urge you to see past the smoke and mirror tactics of the politicians who currently run this District!

I have been criticized by the Teacher’s Association and Board for costing the taxpayers huge sums of money to obtain information about District spending and other questionable practices through the Freedom of Information Act (F.O.I.A.) legislation, yet they see nothing wrong with spending thousands of dollars on tax payer funded Christmas parties and redecorating rooms in a new school.

In closing, I think we’re long overdue for a change in membership on the Board to start a culture of   decision-making based on research, data, and discussion rather than rubber-stamping.   Do you want to replace the outgoing members with more of the same—political puppets—, or bring in honest, hard-working members who have YOUR best interests at heart?  Remember too to ask those D81 employees who will knock on your door or approach you at the polls if they live in the community!


David C. Stachura
District 81 Board Member
(MSgt. Ret., U.S. Air Force)


How I Love Schiller Park!

I moved into Schiller Park in the early 1990’s. Since the day I moved in, I have been harassed. The day I was moving in a neighbor came to tell me that the tree branches from my property were encroaching her property and I needed to cut the trees down. I told her that after I moved in that I would do that. The following day I was attempting to cut the trees down and as I was doing that the fire dept arrived and told me I was doing it wrong. The fire dept and police dept. proceeded to sit there all day and give me instruction on how to trim the tree. My neighbor also sat outside and videotaped it. I later found out that the neighbor had a friend who was a lieutenant on the Schiller Park Fire Dept who worked with the housing dept. in Schiller Park as well. It appears that people are in cahoots! I had to leave for a couple of hours and when I returned my chain saws were gone. The police and fire dept (who never left) told me they didn’t see anyone take the saws. This was just the beginning.

Since then it has been a yearly ritual that I receive town compliance tickets from a Greg S who works for Schiller Park housing. 12-38 tickets per year; everything from license plates, vehicle stickers, (all valid), can’t put aluminum cans in my own garbage cans, can’t have a table and chairs in my own backyard, can’t leave my lawnmower in my yard (even if I just left it to go and get gas) it has to be put away, can’t have a plow on my pickup truck or it will be towed (even though other people in town have them.) Court appearances have cost me thousands of dollars of which I cannot afford and I have never been found guilty of any of the so called charges they impose upon me.

I am currently disabled, on oxygen, and have congestive heart failure. My house sits back on my property. About seven months ago, I was having some painting done and the curtains were off in the kitchen. Because of my disabilities, I sleep nude for comfort. I woke one morning around 6 am to find Mr. Greg S taking pictures of me through my kitchen window. My neighbor also witnessed this. What is wrong with this man? Although I went to court to try and press charges against him for this, I was told to first speak with his boss first. His boss told me that it’s Mr. Greg S’s job to take pictures. It’s his job to take pictures of someone in a state of undress in their own home?

It seemed like every time I turned around Mr. Greg S was there. The tickets continued; Flat tire on one of my trucks, ticket; broken window on one of my vehicles that a cat took residence in so they concluded it was unsanitary conditions; ticket. Not my cat, I have no control over it. Had a new washer and dryer sitting in my pickup waiting for a friend to take it out for me; nope, can’t have that, ticket. All of these tickets were issued in my deceased mother’s name, yet when I went to the hearing the arbitrator would not allow me to speak and I was found guilty. Each time these one sided hearings are scheduled, the fines increase. The adjudicator who oversees these hearings is hired by the town and works for the town. He adjudicates just for the town! The adjudicator’s fines go to the town in the amount of the entire fine. If you went through the court system and are found guilty, the town receives a small percentage of the fine. That is why these tickets are directed to the adjudicator.

It appears the town has an agenda against me and I do feel that my health is damaged in part by the constant harassment from the town of Schiller Park. They seem to enjoy singling me out. I do not bother anyone but I’ve been told that if I am arrested I would not receive my needed medication and I will die in jail! What are their intentions?

Anna Montana, our mayor, does not help Schiller Park residents. Instead of helping residents, she allows harassment and uses laws to injure residents. This economy, my medical condition and inability to work makes it almost impossible for me to defend myself from persecuting me in any way.

Gary Austin
Schiller Park






Category: Letters to the Editor, Opinions

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