Kristin Fitzgerald – Candidate for Naperville School Board 203

Priorities

Priority One — Working to Help Every Child Succeed

My number one goal in running for the District 203 School Board is to ensure academic excellence, challenge and opportunity for each student in the district. We have an outstanding school district, and I strongly believe that we need to build on the track record of success we have established.

I believe the education of our students is one of the most significant responsibilities we have as a community. District 203 students are extremely successful, our district achievement scores are almost double the state average and well exceeding our benchmark districts. However, achievement for our students is not equal. Some of our students have large achievement gaps, primarily students who are low-income who are also disproportionately minority.

I want to see each of our students achieve their potential and I want to see our school district and our Board continue to work to surmount whatever barriers stand in the way of student success.

Priority Two — Priorities and Goals for our Students and our School District

Naperville School District 203 is an outstanding district in an outstanding community. Our commitment to kids, outstanding teachers and administrators, resources and “know how” is second to none.

However, our district may face reduced state funding in the future. Since 2013, Springfield legislators have debated a restructuring of the education funding formula, a property tax freeze, the shifting of pension costs to local districts and numerous state mandates.

The cumulative impact of these changes, had they all been adopted, would have dramatically reduced our state funding and the resources we have to help all kids be successful.

The commitment of the District 203 School Board to ensure that we are able to achieve the priorities and goals for our students and our community is essential.

As important as setting our core priorities for the future is ensuring that our budget reflects those priorities. District 203 is well prepared for the future with a balanced budget and a surplus to account for funding losses. However actions from our state may put additional financial pressure on our school district.

Whether or not these measures come to pass, we must always prioritize our spending to ensure that our budget reflects the initiatives most important to our students’ continued growth and development. Budget expenditures must mirror the priority system set by our Board and community. It is only in this way that we can be sure that our greatest priorities will be successful.

We must always keep the burden of taxation on our citizens in mind as well, reducing the burden when possible and striving to do things in the most efficient way possible.

We must continually assess our progress in meeting all of these goals. Future decisions should have a clear relationship to our priorities and the progress we are making toward reaching our academic goals while ensuring our financial stability. In this way, our decisions ensure the success of our schools and our community.

Priority Three — Partnering with the Community

Finally, it is essential that the District 203 School Board is a partner with the community. Throughout our district, parents, teachers, administrators and community members work together to make our schools succeed. Just one look at the calendar of events taking place at each of our schools will confirm the successful partnerships that are already in place.

Like the efforts we make to build on our academic success, we must also build on the successful community partnerships taking place in our schools. The District 203 School Board and the Administration must understand and utilize these ongoing partnerships when developing plans, communicating policies, and obtaining the views of the community. It is through these types of efforts that the Board and Administration build and maintain the community’s trust and cooperation.

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