Eva J. Porter: Candidate profile

  • Eva J. Porter is a candidate for the U-46 school board.

    Eva J. Porter is a candidate for the U-46 school board.

 
Posted3/11/2019 12:01 AM

Bio

Name: Eva J. Porter

 

City: Hanover Park

Office sought: U-46 School Board

Age: 64

Family: I am married to Village Trustee Herbert Porter of Hanover Park. We have three adult children, and one grandchild. I am a proud parent of U-46 graduates.

Occupation: I am a retired educator of 30 years of teaching

Education: M.S. in Curriculum Instruction and Supervision + 30 hours in Education at Northern IL. Univ. and additional educational credits. B.A. in K-9 Intermediate Education from Shaw University in Raleigh, N.C.

Civic involvement:

• Cook County Deputy Registrar.

• Supporter of Rahab's Daughter (a human trafficking awareness organization).

• Mentor with Kid's Hope USA.

• American Cancer Society -- Caregiver Support.

• March of Dimes -- March for Babies fundraiser and participant.

• Blessing Bags -- I started a program in which I collect donations of sample and travel sized toiletries, gloves, hats, socks and necessity items to pass out to the homeless

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Previous elected offices held: Trustee of the Poplar Board District Library Board, Secretary, Finance Committee

Incumbent: No

Website: www.evaporter4schoolboard.com/

Facebook: @EvaPorter4SchoolBoardU46

Twitter:

Issue questions

What are the most important issues facing your district and how do you intend to address them?

Closing the achievement gap affecting all students, which includes acknowledging the diverse makeup of our student population, which is over 60% minority and over 50% low income is an important issue in the district. We have a broad spectrum of students to educate that require a lot of resources to assist them in achieving their fullest educational potential.

Equitable funding for all schools to maintain access to resources and sound infrastructure is another major issue. Performance outcomes vary greatly throughout the district. With two buildings dated back to the 1800's the age of the infrastructure is of critical importance. When I worked in the District, I worked at Garfield Elementary School and at Grant Elementary School, which has since been demolished. Being in an older building we faced challenges of maintaining a comfortable room temperature and being able to adapt the classroom to technology. All facilities should be evaluated to determine the cost of maintenance and repair, assuring our students a safe and comfortable environment to learn in and adaptability to the latest technology.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                       
 

Sustainable and fair contracts with the Elgin Teaches Association and Bus Drivers is a third critical issue. As a former member of the NEA/IEA teacher's union and a retired teacher of the IL Retired Teachers Assoc. (IRTA) teacher's union I am aware of the importance of working with a fair negotiated contract in order to attract and retain the best qualified teachers. A fair negotiated contract with the bus drivers in order to retain the current employees with many years of training and commitment to this community and district is a high priority.

How satisfied are you that your school district is adequately preparing students for the next stage in their lives, whether it be from elementary into high school or high school into college or full-time employment? What changes, if any, do you think need to be made?

As a longtime resident of the district and a parent of students who moved successfully through the system, I am satisfied that the curriculum is set up to promote success at the next stage in a student's life. The district has incorporated learning initiatives such as Play-Based Full Day Kindergarten and Pathways to Success College and Career Academies. These programs, along with many others, are on trend with current educational models that have proven records of success. I am aware that not all students achieve at the same level. Trauma-informed care, as well as meeting the needs of our special needs students and English Language Leaners should all be a priority to make sure the needs of every student are being addressed.

A continuous focus on educational best practices must be at the forefront of all decision making. Students must have access to the most up to date equipment and resources to be prepared for our fast-changing technological world. They must be in modern and comfortable facilities. Teachers should be empowered to be creative and passionate about each child's educational possibilities. Parents should be welcomed and engaged in the classroom. The community should be engaged along with our local businesses to promote student engagement with their world.

What budgetary issues will your district have to confront during the next four years and what measures do you support to address them? If you believe cuts are necessary, be specific about programs and expenses that should be considered for reduction or elimination. On the income side, do you support any tax increases? Be specific.

During the 2018-19 years the district will be operating on a proposed $558 million budget that earmarks $20 million for capital projects. Many of the budgetary issues will continue to cover a four-year implementation process with a new and ongoing budget each year. Some of the budgetary issues will include the following:

* New technology update. Providing the best resources available to the students for a better achievement and success rate.

* Hiring new staff and teachers. Development of high-quality trained teachers and administration to better understand the curriculum and social needs of the students that are being served.

* Transportation. New and safe buses and a fair contract for drivers.

* Facility maintenance. Infrastructure improvements and repairs.

* Early education interventions. The earlier students are identified and given more educational support the greater the opportunities for their success.

* Class size. At every grade level, allowing for more individualized instruction enhances the student-teacher educational relationship for a more successful outcome.

My recommendations would be made to support the District's short term and long terms priorities according to the Strategic Plan. Recommendations should be made to see where additional funds would be best utilized, considering the current budget, along with a reconsideration of any previous cuts that were made from the budget due to lack of funds or increased funds. In concert with the board and the staff, it would be necessary to critically revisit the consequences of the prior cuts, to determine if those items should be reinstated, and if so how. I believe we could use this same process to review and determine our current status related to short and long terms goal, as well as our strategic plan to determine the best way to spend and save, with great consideration to all stakeholders, including teachers, parents, and taxpayers while keeping student success in the forefront of all budgetary decisions. With all things in consideration necessary changes would be made to support the goals. I understand the burden that increased taxes could have on the community so careful considerations will be made.

Are you currently employed by or retired from a school district, if so, which one?

I am a former teacher of U-46 (years) and retired from Schaumburg School District 54

Is any member of your direct family -- spouse, child or child-in-law -- employed by the school district where you are seeking a school board seat?

No

As contract talks come up with various school employee groups -- teachers, support staff, etc. -- what posture should the school board take? Do you believe the district should ask for concessions from its employees, expect employee costs to stay about the same as they are now or provide increases in pay or benefits?

Most employees should be working under a contract as we are a union district. I believe we must restore the faith and confidence in our working relationship with our teachers and staff. I believe that the contract negotiations with the transportation department should continue and our bus service should not be outsourced. I am a lifetime member of the NEA/IREA, and I believe in abiding by the rules set in place after fair negotiations and working with a contract that will be beneficial to all parties involved.

I believe the district has a duty to fairly compensate all employees. I believe their compensation should be consistent with industry standards and competitive enough to attract the best talent. Contracts and pay scales should always be honored. Working under a pay freeze is not best practice.

If your district had a superintendent or other administrator nearing retirement, would you support a substantial increase in his or her pay to help boost pension benefits? Why or why not?

No, I would not support a substantial increase to boost pension benefits nearing retirement.

U-46 should pay fairly and competitively during a superintendent's or other administrator's tenure with the district and not provide "golden parachutes" on the way out the door. The positions for Superintendents and Cabinet members are highly competitive positions and we want to attract the best to our district. U-46 is a complex, difficult district to work in and we must have experienced, to-notch administrators. A set scale isn't best practice for some positions.

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