Tina Rio: Candidate profile
Name: Tina Rio
Office sought: U-46 School Board Member
Occupation: Airline Industry
Education: High School
Civic involvement: active
Previous elected offices held: None
Incumbent? If yes, when were you first elected? No
Facebook: Tina Rio for U46
What are the most important issues facing your district and how do you intend to address them?
One of the most important issues facing U-46 are that students are not taught how to think critically. Critical thinking is one of the most sought after skills in almost every workplace. The curriculum in many cases does not offer enough information or facts for students to be able to analyze or evaluate what's being taught. American History is not being emphasized enough. Knowledge of American History among students and even adults is rapidly declining. Polls and reports find college students fail basic civics and American History tests. Students should graduate with a sense of gratitude for the former generations who made great sacrifices for our freedom. Another issue is constant tax increases while enrollment declines. The district should not look for ways to spend money and must find ways to stop mounting pressure on taxpayers. As a board member I intend to govern by engaging the community, advocating for students and teachers while monitoring curriculum and budgets. Also, I would bring a fiscally responsible voice to the process and stand against tax increases. There is much work to be done in allocating the funds that are already available.
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?
Many parents that I have talked to like the extra curricular activities and the Academies that U-46 offers. While others have said that they avoided U-46 or moved just outside the district. I think the schools as a whole do a good job preparing the students, however the report card shows average or below average in some places. I believe we can do better. I think the schools should focus more on academics and much less on controversial social and political topics. According to parents I have talked to, schools, at times overstep boundaries, but instead should be more general and wholesome.
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.
One of the biggest budgetary issues are dropping enrollment. Difficult choices may have to be made on where money is spent. Many facilities may be underutilized and may need to be combined or condensed. Services may need to be scaled back accordingly. I do not support tax increases.
Are you currently employed by or retired from a school district, if so, which one? 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 to all of the above, however I was a lunch mom while my kids were in school.
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?
Teachers and support staff are the greatest resources the district has. They should be treated with respect and fairness. The district should negotiate with the interests of the taxpayer in mind. After all, teachers and staff are taxpayers too.
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?
I would NOT support any such activity. I consider that to be a breach of public trust and unacceptable.