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.
PLAINFIELD DISTRICT 202 SCHOOL BOARD QUESTIONNAIRE
Name: Anthony G. Scala
Address: 7609 Heatherstone Lane, Plainfield
E-mail address: ascala@mrcharityfoundation
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.