Maybe homeschooling has really gone mainstream.
Homeschool Dad and McHenry County Republican precinct committeeman John Ryan of Algonquin knocked off the Carpentersville District 300 School Board President Mary Fioretti.
And up Route 31 in McHenry, Republican precinct committeeman John O’Neill, also from a homeschooling family, won enough votes to capture the third seat on that town’s grade school district.
Both candidates were attacked for not having their children in the public school system in whispering campaigns. O’Neill found this piece of poorly printed literature the weekend before the election. Ryan was under regular internet email attack by the District 300 tax hike committee, Advance 300.
Advance 300 had $42,200 left over from its one-year approximately $150,000 successful referendum effort, but announced it would not support candidates during the election.
There was no doubt from the group’s email blasts, however, that Ryan and his running mate, Monica Clark were not Advance 300 favorites. Ryan, especially, was savaged by Advance 300 spokesman Nancy Zettler in the comment sections below Northwest Herald articles.
Both homeschoolers are fiscal conservatives. Both won a year after their school districts passed large tax rate referendums.
District 300 Board President Fioretti, appointed GOP committeeman by McHenry County Party Chairman Bill LeFew (from the opposite end of the county), is closely aligned with Advance 300, which used about $150,000 in school vendor and developer money to pass both a 55-cent tax rate hike and a huge bond issue a year ago.
One can only guess what caused the backlash for Ryan and his running mate Monica Clark to place first and second.
Maybe it was
- District 300’s use of hugely inflated student population projections.
- conducting school business—like deciding to move a high school graduation site to another location—behind closed doors.
- banishing from school premises Stan Gladbach, a citizens finance committee member and frequent filer of Freedom of Information requests.
- the continuing and penetrating coverage by Daily Herald reporter Jeff Gaunt and, more recently, by the Northwest Herald’s David Fitzgerald.
- good campaigning on the part of the two elected Republican precinct committeemen.
- their Irish names.
And, the assistance provided by Jack Roeser’s Family Taxpayers Network to Ryan and Clark certainly helped, too.
Ryan says his goal is to immediately begin the process of opening the district’s activities to the public. He said he believes the board needs to immediately make the process of delivering information to community members far easier and friendly.
“We should never have a standoff with our community members over the information available to them.”
A third homeschool Dad, David Etling, lost his bid for the Prairie Grove School District 47 Board.