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*** UPDATED x1 *** Big teachers union wins prompt grumbling

Monday, Apr 12, 2021

* Thread…

That Chatham race was quite something. Tiffani Saunders, Andrea Rediger and Ann Strahle all won seats on the board and campaigned on progressive platforms.

* Daily Herald

Numerous incumbents in DuPage County’s most contentious school board races appeared to hold onto their seats Tuesday, fending off a flood of opposition candidates in an election largely seen as a referendum on COVID-19 restrictions and the pace of reopening classrooms.

Unofficial results indicated voters seemed to favor experience over new blood as many districts shifted to return to in-person learning after spring break while navigating a possible pandemic resurgence in DuPage.

From Naperville to Glen Ellyn, sitting board members fought off challengers who focused their campaigns on expediting school reopenings.

The debate sparked protests across the suburbs as frustrated parents called for their children to return to classrooms while school leaders said they were following the advice of health experts. It also made for clear fault lines in large fields of candidate

Lots more in there.

* More Daily Herald

Janice Krinsky, school board president in Elk Grove Township Elementary District 59, appears to have been ousted by the political strength of widespread teacher opposition.

Krinsky, of Arlington Heights. had lost the backing of the faculty because of her previous support for departing Superintendent Art Fessler, the subject of controversy among teachers partly because of how he introduced a new currciulum.

Teachers instead backed the other four candidates in the race: longtime incumbent Mardell Schumacher of Elk Grove Village, incumbent Roberto Mancilla Jr. of Arlington Heights and challengers Daisy Espino of Mount Prospect and Joseph Sagerer of Elk Grove Village.

* Jeanne Ives…

When only 15% of voters show up to vote, expect more tax hikes, more indoctrination at your school with less learning, more public debt, overly generous public employee contracts, and more wokeness from your school boards.

The teachers union - who has kept your schools closed and property taxes high - cleaned up in the suburbs because many people didn’t care to vote.

For those of you who did show up - THANK YOU!

* Ives is not alone, however

The Illinois Education Association’s local union chapters vetted and endorsed candidates in 38 school board and college trustee races statewide. Of 132 union-backed candidates, 107 were elected, according to unofficial results.

Additional union-endorsed candidates could prevail once all votes are counted, including provisional ballots and late-arriving mail votes, IEA President Kathi Griffin said Friday.

“Some of the races are quite close,” Griffin said. “Basically, we have about 81% (of candidates) currently successful, as of yesterday.” […]

Political groups trying to influence local school board elections is cause for concern, say leaders of the nonpartisan League of Women Voters.

“It changes the game,” said Heidi Graham, president of the League of Women Voters of Arlington Heights, Mount Prospect, Buffalo Grove and surrounding areas. Graham said the league supports getting special interest money and influence out of local nonpartisan elections.

While Graham opposes political parties in local elections, teachers unions also should get out of the business of endorsing candidates, she said.

Or, they could move these elections to presidential/governor years.

* Related…

* Slowik: Integrity squeezed as politics creeps further into south suburban public higher education

*** UPDATE *** John Kass on March 12

Suburban parents are rightfully angry. They pay among the highest residential property taxes in the nation and most of it goes to the public schools.

And they’ve agonized as parochial and private schools have been mostly open through the pandemic while their public schools have been closed and their children waste away on remote learning. […]

Elizabeth Bauer is a writer for Forbes and a suburban mom running for the District 214 board in the northwest suburbs. The district includes John Hersey High School and schools in Mount Prospect, Buffalo Grove, Elk Grove Village, Rolling Meadows and Wheeling. Bauer knows how to read a budget. She’s well-known on Twitter as @JanetheActuary. I respect her.

The other day Bauer wrote a superb op-ed in the Tribune asking parents to run for school board seats. The headline: “Want to reopen schools and hold them accountable? Run for office.” […]

“I suppose this is a test, in my own small way, to determine if Illinois is broken at all levels,” Bauer said. “I guess we’ll find out.”

Bauer finished in 5th place. She has questions about why she lost

if I hadn’t lost a weekend of door-knocking due to the emotional hit of the board-meeting blindside?

if the Daily Herald editorial board hadn’t endorsed the incumbent slate despite their admission that they operate behind the scenes?

if the union hadn’t sent out its postcard using the D214 logo to imply endorsement, and the Superintendent hadn’t refused to comment?

if the Superintendent hadn’t timed the full reopening to coincide with the election?

if an unrelated personal matter hadn’t taken much of my time and energy in an unplanned way?

if I hadn’t been navigating the strategy and trying to work out, from scratch, how to best get my message out, and if I hadn’t been learning as I went along, about what my key concerns were, as I watched the academic year play out and researched the board’s actions?

- Posted by Rich Miller        

  1. - Flyin' Elvis'-Utah Chapter - Monday, Apr 12, 21 @ 9:58 am:

    Ive’s crying and placing blame because her side lost.

    Gotta love that party of responsibility and self-reliance.

  2. - SWIL_Voter - Monday, Apr 12, 21 @ 10:05 am:

    This wasn’t a problem for these same people when it was their team doing it. My local community college board got taken over by partisan right wingers, and we just have to live with it.

    Agree with the suggestion to eliminate odd year elections. Saves money, makes sure your reps are elected by a representative number of voters.

  3. - Four eyes - Monday, Apr 12, 21 @ 10:06 am:

    ===While Graham opposes political parties in local elections, teachers unions also should get out of the business of endorsing candidates, she said.===

    They should get out of the business of advocating for their members?

  4. - TheInvisibleMan - Monday, Apr 12, 21 @ 10:08 am:

    It’s also starting to slowly percolate upward that making risky decisions can increase your municipal liability insurance.

    Many underwriters are massively increasing their premiums due to the increased risk profile of organizations and businesses proudly and publicly proclaiming they will be ignoring science, regulations, and health codes.

    In this aspect, the same people complaining about local property taxes, are the direct and proximate cause of why local property taxes are going to be increasing for many people.

  5. - Flyin' Elvis'-Utah Chapter - Monday, Apr 12, 21 @ 10:10 am:

    “teachers unions should get out of the business of endorsing candidates”

    Sure, if the NRA does first.

  6. - EssentialStateEmployeeFromChatham - Monday, Apr 12, 21 @ 10:11 am:

    What about move the local races back to the November Election Day date in odd-numbered years? (For example, this year’s actual Election Day will be Nov. 2). I remember some local school-related races and other local campaigns used to be in November in odd-numbered years as recently as the early 1990s. Unless it was in my area I grew up in–and I vividly remember them because they concerned possible school consolidation proposals involving the unit district I attended.

    Maybe turnout might slightly improve if we moved Local elections to Odd-numbered years’ November Election Days?

  7. - City Zen - Monday, Apr 12, 21 @ 10:17 am:

    “teachers unions also should get out of the business of endorsing candidates”

    And bond referendums.

  8. - DuPage Saint - Monday, Apr 12, 21 @ 10:19 am:

    I always vote. I understand the reasons for the April election but it is time to move them to November. I voted at 9:15 and I was the 9th voter of the day. There were more judges than voters. And as I am unincorporated of all the offices township library park district assessor and school board and college board there were only two contests there were more no candidates to vote for than contested elections. A total waste of money and time for poll workers.

  9. - Socially DIstant Watcher - Monday, Apr 12, 21 @ 10:24 am:

    ==While Graham opposes political parties in local elections, teachers unions also should get out of the business of endorsing candidates, she said.==

    Who does Graham think should be in the business of endorsing candidates? Whose hands are clean enough for the LWV to express opinions?

  10. - EssentialStateEmployeeFromChatham - Monday, Apr 12, 21 @ 10:25 am:

    “Election fatigue” and “voter fatigue” was the common excuse made at least in the Springfield media (SJ-R and Channel 20 among them) for the pathetically low voter turnout last Tuesday:

  11. - Ghost of Mike Royko - Monday, Apr 12, 21 @ 10:28 am:

    The interests of the teachers unions might not be the same as educating your child full time. So ? What’s new?

  12. - Can - Monday, Apr 12, 21 @ 10:34 am:

    == and more wokeness from your school boards.==

    Imagine being “asleep” on social justice issues… and being proud of it.

  13. - Roman - Monday, Apr 12, 21 @ 10:37 am:

    Interesting that Ives is complaining about low turnout. I actually thought that might help the “open-everything-up” crowd, given that their side of the debate definitely seems more energized. It didn’t. Another win for the silent majority who favor Covid restrictions. A good sign for the Governor.

  14. - 8675309 - Monday, Apr 12, 21 @ 10:41 am:

    Imagine thinking social justice is anything more than a cash grab, with BLM leading the charge.

  15. - Fav Human - Monday, Apr 12, 21 @ 10:45 am:

    Union candidates for ECCs board lost - but in general any organized group with lots of campaign workers can do well in low turn-out elections.

  16. - Incandenza - Monday, Apr 12, 21 @ 10:46 am:

    League of Women Voters - “politics shouldn’t be political” … “if you have a political interest, you shouldn’t influence politics” … “everyone is an atomized individual and no coalitions should form around any causes whatsoever”

  17. - lake county democrat - Monday, Apr 12, 21 @ 10:52 am:

    Not that I expect anyone to remember this, but I’ve been very hostile to teacher unions here, and I went out of my way this election to vote against an “open schools now” slate.

  18. - Flyin' Elvis'-Utah Chapter - Monday, Apr 12, 21 @ 10:58 am:

    Losing challengers had a rally headlined by Paul Vallas and Darren Bailey.

    I’m sensing a theme.

  19. - Oswego Willy - Monday, Apr 12, 21 @ 11:13 am:

    The loudest whiners don’t necessarily mean the majority of voters.

    Good news.

  20. - Oswego Willy - Monday, Apr 12, 21 @ 11:15 am:

    Maybe “concerned CPS parent” who has a radio show can opine about the suburbs also rejecting her silly ignorance.

  21. - Oswego Willy - Monday, Apr 12, 21 @ 11:19 am:


    === “I suppose this is a test, in my own small way, to determine if Illinois is broken at all levels,” Bauer said. “I guess we’ll find out.”===

    … Chaser.

    === if ==

    Losers use “if”, winners make policy.

  22. - Glenview Beavers - Monday, Apr 12, 21 @ 11:20 am:

    The OAN/QANON crowd in Glenview running for the D225 school board got smoked like a pack of Swisher Sweets. They were all over the “open faster” mentality.

  23. - Schitt’s Creek Chronicle - Monday, Apr 12, 21 @ 11:20 am:

    You mean Elizabeth Bauer’s interview with Dan Proft and Amy Jacobsen and all the interviews her supporters like Illinois Policy Institute’s Laura Schillmoeller did with Proft’s fake news North Cook “News” … DIDN’T help Bauer win?!?

    Somebody just found out the suburbs aren’t in Trumplandia.

    Cry me a river.

  24. - Sterling - Monday, Apr 12, 21 @ 11:21 am:

    All for moving local municipal/township/etc. elections to November, but there’s an issue with moving school board elections to November: since the school year runs Aug-Jun having a November board elections means some boards would be changing mid-year, which could be potentially problematic. Not sure if there’s a good way around that though, other than keeping school board elections in the spring.

  25. - DuPage Saint - Monday, Apr 12, 21 @ 11:26 am:

    If, if I love a little Rudyard Kipling

  26. - JS Mill - Monday, Apr 12, 21 @ 11:31 am:

    =And bond referendums.=

    Right after the corporations and wealthy people get out of the donating and endorsing business.

    =The loudest whiners don’t necessarily mean the majority of voters.=

    Thank goodness.

    We took a pragmatic approach to fully opening, but faster than most suburban and CPS schools. Fortunately we have a lot of local support and our board election was quiet.

    What the “open now crowd” filed to do is count. The numbers at their rallies were not big. A few hundred in NAperville. Volume of noise doesn’t mean votes.

    Ives is the poster child for oblivious noise makers who then cannot understand that it is their message, not a conspiratorial cabral, that is responsible for their rejection by voters. At times I wish that I could be so oblivious, it really is a talent. But the whining is annoying. Do they teach that at West Point?

  27. - Roadrager - Monday, Apr 12, 21 @ 11:41 am:

    Jeanne Ives blaming low voter turnout for Republican electoral failures as Republicans nationwide push legislation designed to lower voter turnout, citing high voter turnout for Republican electoral failures.

    Oh, do continue.

  28. - Crash - Monday, Apr 12, 21 @ 11:42 am:

    Regarding low turnout in the suburbs, I did not turn out in Arlington Heights.

    The campaigns consisted of a lot of yard signs. I had no idea what any of the candidates stood for and even whether Arlington Heights has real issues (things seem fine to me).

    At some point if candidates want the vote in local elections, they need to do the real work.

  29. - JS Mill - Monday, Apr 12, 21 @ 11:48 am:

    Reading Bauer’s blogs it is clear that she doesn’t have the foggiest notion of how a school board or any governmental body works. She sees plenty of conspiracies though.

  30. - Norseman - Monday, Apr 12, 21 @ 11:51 am:

    The proverbial view that organizations that only agree with me can be involved. This is called hypocrisy, a phenomenon we find rampant in politics.

    Voting is fundamental

  31. - Hoss - Monday, Apr 12, 21 @ 11:59 am:

    Elizabeth Bauer: Government is not self executing. It requires hard work and talent to make it run well and serve. Bureaucrats that lack talent or time are generally disappointing public servants.

    If you don’t have the time or talent to execute a coherent campaign, perhaps you should consider that you’re not ready to serve. You’ll have another chance in four years. Invest in what it takes to serve or move on.

  32. - Moe Berg - Monday, Apr 12, 21 @ 11:59 am:

    I don’t know for sure, but I suspect Elizabeth Bauer’s middle name is Karen.

  33. - Product of the '60's - Monday, Apr 12, 21 @ 12:08 pm:

    Live in DuPage county. Back in the late ’70s I ran for school board and the elections at that time and for quite awhile after were always held in November off years. Seemed back then many complained about the low turnout. The Illinois Association of School Boards annual convention was always held about a week after the election and they had special sessions for the newly elected.
    For the first time in the 44 years I’ve lived in my town the elementary board race had twice as many candidates as positions and virtually all had yard signs everywhere. Had never seen yard signs for the elementary races, high school, often.
    Yes I ran because I was upset over various things that had gone on over a year and a half before, but in mean time some had been rectified. It caused two incumbents not to run. However, due to the lack of interest it was just me and the other incumbent for the 3 seats.
    At our very first meeting when we went into Ex, I found out one of the two members who chose not to run wanted to come back and be considered for the open seat which the board now had to fill.
    I won’t say what I thought!!

  34. - Paddyrollingstone - Monday, Apr 12, 21 @ 12:08 pm:

    Ms. Bauer seems to be channeling someone on Fox. And by someone on Fox, I mean Mr. Burns:

    Burns: This anonymous clan of slack-jawed troglodytes has cost me the election, and yet if I were to have them killed, I would be the one to go to jail. That’s democracy for you.

    Smithers: You are noble and poetic in defeat, sir.

  35. - tea_and_honey - Monday, Apr 12, 21 @ 12:21 pm:

    Bauer must be exhausted after all that energetic finger pointing.

  36. - Voterr - Monday, Apr 12, 21 @ 12:21 pm:

    What’s interesting is that people in every part of the state had more reason to pay attention to their school boards than maybe any other time in history. I watched every D.186 school board meeting. I never watched them before. So, it makes sense that when voter turnout is still low, that incumbents or those who backed the district’s actions were the winners. The opposition’s voters were a minority or weren’t motivated enough to turn out.
    Another newsflash, people tend to support candidates backed by their teachers. If we’re going to take $$ out of elections, then it has to apply to every group or business, not just a select few. (That’s never going to happen)

  37. - hisgirlfriday - Monday, Apr 12, 21 @ 12:30 pm:

    That LWV quote is bizarre.

    Teachers unions endorsements are helpful to both people who do and do not support teachers unions.

    If that LWV local president is so opposed to politics breaking out in contests for political office maybe than push the state LWV to oppose elected school boards.

  38. - Arsenal - Monday, Apr 12, 21 @ 12:37 pm:

    You’d think conservatives would eventually learn to stop antagonizing teachers.

  39. - Ed Equity - Monday, Apr 12, 21 @ 12:47 pm:

    If these elections were held along with the Presidential/national elections we’d likely see similar swings with school boards as we do with Governor’s and Presidents. Mostly Illinois would support the status quo, but occasionally as in the case of when we recently voted for an R Governor, we’d vote for disruption. Keeping these elections separate is a tactic of the teachers unions to avoid that. Smart. Not good for kids, but smart for teacher union members.

  40. - Oswego Willy - Monday, Apr 12, 21 @ 12:49 pm:

    === If these elections===

    Losers use if, winners make policy. It’s that simple.

    === Mostly Illinois would support the status quo, but occasionally as in the case of when we recently voted for an R Governor===

    Narrator: Illinois had Republican governors for 26 consecutive years, 30 of the last 44 years.

  41. - thisjustinagain - Monday, Apr 12, 21 @ 12:50 pm:

    Turnout for many of these elections (school board, community colleges, etc., townships, etc.) may be low because the voters don’t care. I only voted for my Village President and Township Supervisor; knew nothing of what the other candidates were standing for or running for, no major mailers (one arrived two days after the election). I find the school board candidates useless; they go on and on about the school improving, while State and private ratings such as GreatSchools remain laughably low. My library has been closed except for drive-up services for over a year, and they were broke and clueless before that. I refuse to vote for people who can’t even be bothered to tell me why they’re qualified for the job, or what they’ve actually done if they are incumbents.

  42. - JS Mill - Monday, Apr 12, 21 @ 1:08 pm:

    =Not good for kids, but smart for teacher union members.=

    As a school district superintendent I have my issues with teachers unions from time to time. What I find is that the more local it gets (less IEA/IFT state level involvement) the smoother things get and agreements are made. We are usually able to find common ground quickly.

    Our local staff cares deeply about students and I think that goes for the overwhelming majority of school districts. Anyone that does not think so really doesn’t have a clue about what makes teachers tick.

    Those who attack teachers and their unions for advocating for themselves have likely never turned down a raise or failed to ask for one. It is part of the process that I have always accepted.

    When people do not turn out to vote in an election that is 100% on them and their apathy as a citizen. Laying it off on unions is pathetic and lazy.

  43. - EssentialStateEmployeeFromChatham - Monday, Apr 12, 21 @ 1:17 pm:

    Not meaning to veer over into the Municipal elections last Tuesday, but the Village of Grandview seems to be Sangamon County’s epicenter for disinterest in local elections. Only three offices on the ballot, and no opponents for any of them–and no one filing to run for Village Trustee.

    Grandview just happens to be one of the Springfield donut hole villages, and it didn’t take long after the election (the next morning) for Langfelder to again raise the possibility of the city annexing Grandview:

  44. - Thomas Paine - Monday, Apr 12, 21 @ 1:21 pm:

    Newspapers, teacher groups and parent groups have every right to make endorsements, and anyone who believes differently should not be leading the League of Women Voters, I would argue.

    Republicans have argued for years that Mike Madigan is to blame for their high property taxes. Not their local school boards which are largely made up of Republicans. It’s hardly a surprise their 180 attack on their own party failed. All they did was ensure Democratic votes for the incumbents.

    As for Bauer, what a failure as a leader. Zero self-accountability. She convinced herself she was the smartest person in the room (thanks to a cozy relationship with Tribune editorial board leader Kristin McQueary) and then complains that she had to devote so much time to learning how school districts work.

  45. - Commisar Gritty - Monday, Apr 12, 21 @ 1:37 pm:

    John Kass endorsing you as a candidate should kill any campaign in a sane world. Unfortunately we pretend he still has anything other than bigotry and vitriol to contribute to the discourse.

    I’m convinced the only reason he has a job is because the rich Republican donor/propaganda class that now owns the Trib just likes making liberals angry, and have enough money to blow on pettiness.

  46. - Anyone Remember - Monday, Apr 12, 21 @ 1:52 pm:

    “What about move the local races back to the November Election Day date in odd-numbered years?”

    There’s a reason for April elections. Petition (and related work) starts a month-ish after the November election for Governor / President. Suspect it is much easier to “rally the troops” after one month off instead 8-9 months (for the November election work would start State Fair / Labor Day-ish).

  47. - Fav Human - Monday, Apr 12, 21 @ 1:59 pm:

    At some point if candidates want the vote in local elections, they need to do the real work.

    I moved to Elgin in late Oct. I was able quickly and easily to determine the candidates I wanted to vote for in these elections:

    Elgin city council
    Gail Borden Library
    Elgin Township supervisor, trustees, road comm
    U-46 board
    D509 ECC board.

    Just a bit a research and I did my bit to flip all Elgin Township spots to “R”.

  48. - cover - Monday, Apr 12, 21 @ 2:19 pm:

    = “Election fatigue” and “voter fatigue” was the common excuse made at least in the Springfield media (SJ-R and Channel 20 among them) for the pathetically low voter turnout last Tuesday: =

    More like the lack of actual contests. I saw very few races in the Springfield area where there were more candidates than seats available, probably as many with *not enough* candidates (like Grandview or Clearlake). Hard to justify spending time to vote when it *really* doesn’t matter.

  49. - Can - Monday, Apr 12, 21 @ 2:33 pm:

    == Imagine thinking social justice is anything more than a cash grab, with BLM leading the charge.==

    LOL, wow. That’s not “asleep.” That’s being in a coma.

  50. - Ole' Nelson - Monday, Apr 12, 21 @ 3:28 pm:

    Having read Bauer’s columns for quite some time, I would like to add another possible question to her why she lost list.

    if my weekly Forbes articles didn’t make me come across as a callous, uncaring right winger who could care less about the pension promises made to peple who have worked hard for the State of Illinois throughout their career to earn those benefits?

  51. - Shytown - Monday, Apr 12, 21 @ 3:31 pm:

    Oh boo-hoo John Kass and shame on the Tribune for posting an opinion piece from that candidate. One can only hope that new Tribune leadership will finally clear the decks over there on the editorial side.

  52. - Chicago Blue Eyes - Monday, Apr 12, 21 @ 5:54 pm:

    When did Paul Vallas go full mask off? He’s always been on the conservative side for a Dem, but Darren Bailey? Jeez.

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