Literature from Crystal Lake High School District 155 Tax Cutting Team Led by Donna Kurtz

Donna Kurtz has served on the McHenry County College Board and now is on the McHenry County Board.

At MCC, she and Scott Summers changed their mind on building a minor league baseball stadium on the watershed of Crystal Lake (the lake).

For that, they were censured by their fellow Board members.

On the McHenry County Board, Kurtz asks penetrating questions, as you can see from the three articles published this past weekend on the Human Resources Committee meeting about the irregular (to put it mildly) hiring of two Jack Franks’ patronage workers.  (See Part 1, Part 2, Part 3.)

But, Kurtz has figured out that the real possibility for cutting taxes lies in Crystal Lake High School District 155.

She is running with three other candidates for the four seats open this year.

The four people promising tax cuts in the Crystal Lake High School District are John Pletz, Raphael Kamner, Donna Kurtz and Scott Vetter.

The back of the literature, which seems to have been mailed to at least some people in Crystal Lake, those promising tax cuts, take on the conflict of interest issue caused by those who are members of the teacher union running for the school board where relatives have jobs or teach in other schools.

On this side of the tax cutters palm card, the tax cutters point out how taxes have risen 28% in the last decade, while students have decreased by 500.

The final four on the ballot are those pledging to cut District 155 taxes.

In the Crystal Lake High School District 155 election, those pledging to cut taxes are the final four on the ballot.

The District 155 Education Association (aka, High School Teacher Union) is holding a candidates’ night Monday night at Crystal Lake Brewing Tap Room at 150 N. Main Street at 7 on Monday night.

The candidates pledging to cut taxes have not been invited and the room is small.

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If there is other campaign literature being circulated, I would be happy to publish it if someone would email it images or drop it off at my home at 275 Meridian Street (the northeast corner of Lake Avenue and Meridian Street–where the Gate 11 sign is.)


Literature from Crystal Lake High School District 155 Tax Cutting Team Led by Donna Kurtz — 22 Comments

  1. Will they put an end to programs like the sign language club?

    We can’t teach cursive or spelling in schools but we can have a sign language club???

  2. This is an unpaid position with zero pension.

    Educated voters but they’re fed up!

  3. Two transparency measures that are lacking in CHSD 155.



    CHSD 155 does not post board agenda packets for board meetings.

    A board agenda packet has all documents to be discussed at the meeting in one pdf.

    Board agenda packets benefit board members and the public.

    Since no board agenda packets exist, they cannot be searchable (allow use of find, and copy and paste from the agenda packet to another document).



    CHSD does not videotape board meetings and post the taped meetings on its website.


    School board members should campaign to bring these transparency measures to the school board.

    Taxpayer access to the documents being discussed during board meetings, and what was said during board meetings, and the body language, are key transparency measures.


    Lakewood has a much smaller budget than CHSD 155, but at least has searchable board agenda packets that allow the ability to find information, and copy and paste that information to another document for consolidation purposes.

    Even if the unit of government does not tape open board meetings, members of the public can tape open board meetings and post the tape on a website.


    These two transparency measures should be present in every single school district in the county.

    In which property taxing district are they present?

    How high are property taxes?

    Where is the Jack Franks bully pulpit to promote these transparency measures?

    Well, McHenry County (the county unit of government) doesn’t even bother videotaping board meetings.

    They just audiotape the board meetings.

  4. LTResident, Kurtz isn’t getting a pension from the county board, and there will certainly not be one for a volunteer job on a school board!!

  5. I wish her well, but I’d hate to see her leave the McHenry County Board.

    She is one of the few members who stands up to Jacko.

    If she wins, and Mr Rein wins his election, the HR Committee loses two good members.

    I’d sure hate to see Jacko get away with sticking a couple more spineless yes men on that committee.

    Hopefully, the Board can eliminate those patronage positions in the next month.

  6. Sign language helps people with disabilities to communicate. Wait a minute! I almost forgot. My compassionate conservative friends are not that crazy about helping people with special needs. Did you notice the line “improve our schools?” It is really a punchline as the only line that matters for these candidates to get elected is “cutting taxes.” Getting rid of teachers is their idea of improving schools. Tic tock, tic tock…

  7. Angel, the Teacher’s Union has created and protected too many teachers that have no business in the school system . . . tic tock, tic tock . . .

  8. Crystal Lake High School District 155

    Efficiency Study

    March 1, 2017

    “The independent report by MGT of America includes recommendations regarding:

    – Eliminating district and school administrator positions based on 7 – 10% enrollment decline.

    – Closing district office and Haber Oaks Campus based on 10 – 20% enrollment decline.

    – Closing Crystal Lake Central High School based on 15 – 30% enrollment decline.

  9. MGT of American Consulting, LLC

    Efficiency and Effectiveness Review for Crystal Lake High School District 155

    February 21, 2017


    20 pages


    Advisable to submit a FOIA request for an electronic copy of that document.

  10. From pdf page 40 of 94 (numbered page 40 in the document) in the above report:

    “In CHSD #155, full time teachers teach five periods out of nine periods each day.

    They are paid for an 8 hour day (480 minutes) that includes the following:

    – 5 periods of 45 minutes for instruction = 225 minutes

    – 2 periods of 45 minutes for preparation = 90 minutes

    – 1 period of 45 minutes for supervision = 45 minutes

    – 8 passing periods of 5 minutes = 40 minutes

    – 1 lunch period = 45 minutes

    – Before and after-school time = 35 minutes

    – Total = 480 minutes”

  11. typo

    From pdf page 41 of 94 (numbered page 40 in the document) in the above report:

  12. Re: Mark’s post at 03/20/2017 at 11:41 pm

    Mr first school was a ‘one roomer’.

    We had eight rows of desks – one for each grade – no kindergarten.

    One teacher who was also the principal.

    No STAFF.

    Seventh and eighth graders cleaned the floors and windows – sixth and fifth graders washed the blackboard and helped clean.

    Students maintained the grounds around the school.

    There was no ESL.

    Immigrant children became quickly fluent in English via total ‘immersion’.

    Discipline was maintained via a device called ‘the strap’ which was applied to the open hand – after administration, you got to write the reason for administration on the blackboard one hundred times.

    We RESPECTED our teacher!

  13. “There gonna close Central! They can’t do that, it is historical! Ludwig and company are for the children”

  14. Historic Country Schools of McHenry County, Illinois

    by Robert Frenz

    Purchase online for $41 or $35 at the McHenry County Historical Museum, 6422 Main Street, Union, Monday thru Friday.

    “The indexed 232 page hard cover book documents each of the 140 plus one and two room rural schools in the county.”


    There were still some one room school houses in rural areas of McHenry County in the 1950’s.

    Might be surprised to learn your parent, grandparent, or great grand parent attended one.

  15. In conclusion: Let’s go back to 1-room rural schools. Tic tock, tic tock…

  16. Says the English as a Second Language High School Teacher earning $130,356 in his 21st year teaching who if he never received another salary raise and retired with 35 years of service, would have a starting pension of $93,858, which due to the 3% COLA would double after after 24 years in retirement, in a pension which is currently less than 45% funded.

    And to top it off insults the President of the United States on a school day during school hours.

    And thanks to one sentence added to the state constitution on December 15, 1970, the pension benefits are contractual and cannot be diminished or impaired.

    That’s progress in Illinois.

  17. Cautious voter, thanks for the Flashback to simpler Times

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