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Election

2017 Election Questionnaire: Berwyn South School District 100 Board of Education candidate Julia McAleer-Forte

Berwyn South School District 100 Board of Education candidate Julia McAleer-Forte
Berwyn South School District 100 Board of Education candidate Julia McAleer-Forte

Age

48

Current occupation

Stay at home Mom
Campaign Coordinator
Former business owner of 22 years

Education

B.S. Exercise Science
Minor: business
Western Illinois University

Immediate family

Spouse: Kerry McAleer-Forte
Children: Jackson 14, Sophia 14

Civic involvement

I am involved in local advocacy, providing aid and resources to El Rescate, an LGBT homeless shelter for teens 18-24.
Campaign Coordinator for Jeanie Reardon in Berwyns 3rd ward.
End of school year gently used/unused school supplies collection, which is gifted to local charities.

Previous elected offices held

none

Why have you decided to run for this office?

Schools are such an integral part of any community. When people with children research areas in which to settle down in, the first thing they look at is the school system. Whether you have children in South Berwyn schools or not, you are impacted by the school in your district. The more after school programs a district has relates directly to less youth crime, and more well rounded adults. Improved educational opportunities for our kids provides stability in our community, now, and in the future and I'd like to be a part of improving the community of South Berwyn, and that begins with our schools.

What experience and strengths would you bring to this office if elected?

My 22 years of experience as a business owner, budgeting, payroll, insurance and client relations. I believe in good scientific research, and in asking the right questions to the appropriate people. I'm a great communicator that can talk to people I disagree with, and have the ability to compromise. I have no problem asking questions about issues I don't fully understand and am committed to researching before I vote.

Where do you stand on the district’s referendum measure asking for an increase to the limiting tax rate?

... I am not currently a board member, and therefore did not have input in how much money to ask the community for, but I am in favor of the referendum. I believe it is asking for the smallest dollar amount that will maintain the programs we have, therefore minimizing the burden on South Berwyn taxpayers. ... Without referendum, we face the 17/18 school year with cutting after school programs of which 75% of our kids take advantage of, higher class sizes, and fewer teachers. The following year school closures are a reality. I respect the difficulty this will place on many of our residents, but also know that improving our schools only strengthens the community as a whole.

What are your thoughts regarding Illinois’ school funding formula?

The current state funding formula, is convoluted and unfair at best. The formula should be applied evenly across the state, so poorer communities have less burden, and receive the same opportunities (Dollar amount spent per child).

What types of new technologies or styles of learning should the district explore or implement in the coming years?

I am interested in revisiting the research regarding technology and kids K-3. There is research that is both positive and negative on the topic, I'd like to see a current evaluation.

The current political climate across the United States seems more divided than ever. What will you do to foster cooperation and compromise on the board?

The strength of our country comes from its diversity. America is religious, atheist, LGBT, cisgendered, black, white and all shades in between. As an LGBT person, and member of the South Berwyn community, I represent an addition to the growing diversity of the School Board. Additionally I bring the ability to listen to and respect people I may disagree with, which leads to conversation, cooperation and compromise, because in the end we all want what's best for our community and our children.

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