School Board: Anthony Scala Answers Our Questions

Plainfield village and School District 202 candidates in the April 5 election answer questions posed by Plainfield Patch.

Editor's note: Candidates for Plainfield Village Board and Plainfield School District 202 have been asked to complete questionnaires about who they are, why they're running and their positions on some of the key issues. Plainfield Patch will run them as they are received and they will be available up through the April 5 election. These are the candidates' own words, written specifically for the benefit of those who are deciding how they will vote.


Name: Anthony G. Scala

Address: 7609 Heatherstone Lane, Plainfield

E-mail address: ascala@mrcharityfoundation

Age: 45

Marital status: 15 years

Name of spouse: Rosemarie

Names, ages of children: Gianna, 14

Education (please name degree attained and school):

Streamwood High School

Profession and employer:

T&T Steel and Construction; president and founder of Mr. Charity Foundation

Community (non-elected) groups of which you are a member:

Plainfield South High School Boosters; CAPE (Coordination of Administrators and Parents Educational Efficiency; vice president, Illinois Fatherhood Initiative board member; Chicago Italian American Charitable Organization (C.I.A.C.O.)

Previous and current elected political office history (please include the years of terms): None

Why are you seeking this office?

Our children deserve the best education possible, even in tough economic times.  We need to take a fresh look at other ways to get funding. Replace what was cut with some programs we can afford, and maintain our standards. We need to bring in the business community so we can help each other. Make sure our curriculum is on the cutting edge.   

Why should someone choose you instead of those you are running against?

I believe we need to bring this district back to being one, not a school or color house.

I have negotiated with unions in construction and I have owned my own business.

I have had to make very tough decisions and saw them through. I have been active in District 202 since we moved here in 2002.

I am currently on the CAPE Board as vice president, and in the past served as president for the last two years.

I have sat on PTA Boards, PTO boards of Lincoln, Charles Reed, Aux Sable and Plainfield South High School Boosters.

This is my second time running for the school board and the two things from the last campaign that sticks with me are:

1) If we had $1 million, would I spend it on the top 20 percent of the students or would I spend it on the other 80 percent of the students? My answer then and now is I would spend it on the other 80 percent; we need all of our students to achieve the high standards we set, not just the top.

2) The topic of diversity needs to be looked at. We had 64 languages and today we have I think 74 languages; again we need all our students to get an education, not just to fill seats.      

What do you see as the issues in this election?

Bringing the financial situation under control and making sure all the students achieve the high standards we have set forth. Making sure we are transparent when it comes to finances. By looking at our technology and our curriculum to stay on the cutting edge.

What would you like to accomplish if elected to this position? Please be specific.

I want to participate in the educational direction of the district to keep our students challenged.

Continuing to provide growth and development in the curriculum. I want to bring in our local business so we can help support each other. Look at new avenues of funding. Be part of the hiring of our new superintendent. 

What is your opinion of the current budget deficit? What would be your proposal for how to eliminate it? What budget cuts do you support? Be as specific as possible.

I think the board has had to make very hard decisions in the last two years; they cut out $30 million. But I still think we need be transparent in our finances. A complete reorganization from top to bottom and sticking to what needs to be done.

What is your opinion of the school board’s recent decision to use federal grant money to retain jobs for a year instead of using it to pay down debt owned on land purchases? Please explain.

I completely understand what the money is supposed to be used for, but I would have voted no. It makes it harder for next year when more cuts, more jobs and programs need to be cut. I don’t always agree with what the administration recommends but I think they should have looked at the whole plan.   

Do you think the school boundaries need to be redrawn because of shifts in enrollment? If yes, how would you propose doing so? If no, how can you ensure that every school provides the same opportunities if one has more students than another?

Yes , I would like to see it balanced so each school holds 1,000 students; that is what should be maintained.

There should never be a situation like we have in our middle schools now. Again, we need a fresh look and a rezoning should be looked at if we incur a huge growth spurt.     

Would you support a switch in school funding that would increase income tax in exchange for a drop in property tax?

I never want taxes to go up and it seems an easy fallback to use, but how much more can we take Again we need new avenues of funding. Taxes go up and the education budget gets cut. I would like to sit down in Springfield and see what really goes on and maybe bring they need to put aside parties and become one state again. 

Maureen March 21, 2011 at 02:09 PM
So your for redistricting the boandries lines and what about health class and social issues where do we see the schools responsibility?
Anthony Scala March 21, 2011 at 09:19 PM
I am for health care in schools but i believe there are some questions that should first be answered at home. As far as social issues I'm not sure what you mean but this is my answer ? if not please clarify. I helped bring in Rachael's Challenge and Watchdog program to help with bullying and watchdogs to help with a father figure in our schools not that moms aren't important but they are apply to be there more often. I believe that during school the schools are responsible but the rest of the time it is the responsibility of the parents.
Anthony Scala March 21, 2011 at 11:36 PM
I wish the best for all the candidates running for the school board. "Sorry" I think the top right hand corner ad "teachers support" should be on there own pages not the rest of ours May not be my place but its my opinion.
Michelle Smith March 22, 2011 at 03:29 PM
It should say "APT Board Supports" not the teachers. The teachers had no say on whose names were on the ad. I’m not saying that some teachers aren’t supporting them, but the ad is misleading. I am a bit confused on why it doesn’t say APT!
Betsey March 22, 2011 at 06:49 PM
I find it AMAZING that the Teachers Union puts an ad on the Plainfield Patch that the teachers support the following candidates: Dargan, Kirkberg, and Van. As a parent of District 202 students do yourself a favor, ask the teachers at your schools if they voted on these three candidates. Because the ad is EXTREMELY MISLEADING by saying the teachers support them, this was not a vote that they all took. This is the Union Administration telling them who to vote for. Wow I wonder if this is appropriate. Other unions choose not to go this route for a reason, extremely questionable. Why are the three candidates so afraid to say how much money they have received from the Teachers Union (APT)? It makes you go Hmmmm!
Anthony Scala March 23, 2011 at 02:35 PM
Sorry Bob you have the wrong candidate, I have not received any contributions from APT. Also I agree with Betsey Vinson and Michelle Smith About the ad being misleading.
Eyes on Plainfield March 23, 2011 at 02:57 PM
Interesting how some groups simply refuse to play by the rules. Many Union Leadership Officers have tried to sway the membership on "how to" & "who to vote for". The results on polling of the membership would tell the tale (but most Union members would not publicly admit they are in opposition of their leadership). Also, many political leaders play this “game” and offer endorsements that are objectionable to their own political rank & file membership (again, most within the “rank & file” membership tend to be closed mouth on this action…as they do not want to bring attention to the action) Yes, I feel the Patch and any other publication (either printed or electronic) should be held to a standard of noting on an advertisement indicating who actually paid for the advertisement related to an election or a person in an elected position. State Election law details the rules, whereas BOTH the publisher and the paid advertiser should educate themselves.
Anthony Scala March 23, 2011 at 03:25 PM
Thank you .
Bob Stone March 23, 2011 at 03:32 PM
Mr. Scala, I commend you for your comment on the APT banner ad. I agree, this should not be here. In fact, isn't it an illegal ad since it does not state who paid for that ad? Sorry, made an incorrect comment about you as one of the APT supported candidates and deleted it. I'm not sure what you meant, but you claim we have 74 languages spoken. Is this in our District? If so, then is it your stance that we need cirriculum for all 74 languages? If not, is your intent to have cirriculum for the "most common"? And if so, how does this adequately address diversity? Why address some and ignore others? Why not teach our children the language of THIS country?
HMDWS March 23, 2011 at 05:02 PM
English was voted to be the official language of Illinois in 1969. We should not be wasting tax dollars printing or teaching in ANY other language! I would like to know how Mr. Scala feels about his as well.
Anthony Scala March 23, 2011 at 05:12 PM
Mr Stone no problem thank you for deleting that comment. Yes there are 74 languages spoken in our district. No it never even crossed my mind to have 74 different curriculums Because I am pretty sure they are fluent in there native languages and as far as "most common" and "address some and ignore others" . NOT, they are here to learn one language. English and to go thru our educational system so they can live the "AMERICAN DREAM " . This country is formed on the melting pot theory . I have said ALL OUR STUDENTS MUST ACHIEVE our high standards . One language one curriculum.
Betsey March 29, 2011 at 02:24 AM
All of you can read another area newspaper, the Joliet Herald. Look what they are saying about the dollar amounts!
Betsey March 29, 2011 at 03:12 AM
Check out this link http://www.elections.il.gov/CampaignDisclosure/CommitteeDetail.aspx?id=23457
Anthony Scala March 29, 2011 at 01:28 PM
This is what I sent to Catherine Velasco on Thursday 11:28 am March 24th 2011. I do not have a endorsement from anyone nor do I have any fundraisers planned. I don't have a concern unless they get elected . Then they should not vote on anthing that concerns the group or groups they took money from. If I get elected, the only group or groups I will answer to are our students and there parents.
Betsey April 05, 2011 at 03:50 AM
"So far the APT's political action committee has spent $14,361 supporting their three candidates. The group spent: $1,260 on advertising in Enterprise Newspapers $4,000 to FedEx for mailing $1,228 to R&M Specialties LTD for yard signs ...$1,873 to R&M for printing The Association of Plainfield Teachers union received $18,240 from the Illinois Political Action Committee for Education, a vehicle that allows teachers in the Illinois Education Association to help get candidates elected to the the General Assembly, statewide offices and local school boards who will make a difference for quality education, according to their website." Almost $17000.00 now, and growing. Can't wait to see how much they spent from their membership when this thing is all done. Especially since the majority of the teacher membership was unaware of this!
Zach April 05, 2011 at 01:31 PM
Dear Anthony: please learn how to use "there," "they're," and "their" correctly. Thanks!
Zach April 05, 2011 at 01:32 PM
You know, one language, one curriculum! and all...
Zach April 05, 2011 at 01:40 PM
I also have to wonder how "amazing" everyone would find the above-mentioned ads if they were placed by corporate-sponsored "educational reform" groups. You can't be for freedom of speech in some cases and not others--unions have the same right to place advertisements in local publications as any other organization or business. Also, saying "a majority" of union members are not aware that their dues are being used to support candidates and/or platforms is a baseless opinion. Some union members might not be aware of who their union supports in the election, but that has more to do with teachers living outside of the district than with uneasiness in supporting candidates. Full disclosure: I am a union member and a public school teacher.
Anthony Scala April 05, 2011 at 02:28 PM
Thanks Zach for bring that to my attention . I did not get or take any endorsements. I have no problem with unions. But shouldn't you be teaching now ? instead of commenting.
Zach April 05, 2011 at 04:34 PM
Anthony: Today is voting day, so I'm putting my money where my mouth is and doing some research on the candidates. In public schools, teachers have this pretty amazing thing: it's called a planning period. So before I made copies and after I finished reading the story I am teaching today, I went online and started reading about the candidates. What a waste of time! Oh, and we get to eat lunch! So I'm typing this right now as I eat lunch and before I spend the rest of my lunch period grading student papers! Have fun watching the returns tonight!
Anthony Scala April 05, 2011 at 09:52 PM
Zach , again thank you for your input. I'm sorry you feel that way about the candidates. I hope that the new board can gain your support and respect, whether I win or not.


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