The same games are being played with children, families and taxpayers across Illinois. This time it is District 41 in Glen Ellyn and their building referenda. The below story appeared in The Sun Glen Ellyn. To view the site and LTE click on the title of this post.
It's same old story: 'Emperor has no clothes'
Remember the fairy tale story of the two deceitful tailors who see an opportunity and convince the emperor that they can create some fine new clothes for him? They "work" behind closed doors, spinning with invisible thread and reveal the fine new clothes. The only problem — no one can actually see the clothes, but they don't want to admit it because only fools can't see them, explain the tailors. Of course, we all know that no one can see them because they don't exist. This story is a good anecdote for the activities in recent years in District 41.
We've gotten a new "tailor," who seems very adept at spinning nothing into something very costly. He came to Glen Ellyn seeing the opportunity presented in the form of millions of tax dollars available because of the 2001 referendum. This new administrator hardly waited one second to unpack his bags before setting on the task of creating the need for and attempting to convince the citizens of that need for a new school building.
As far as I know, the definition of "overcrowded" has never been explained.
Is "overcrowding" planting mobile classrooms in our school fields like tulips and filling them with classes well below the amount of 24 to 26 students the community asked for? Does overcrowding occur when children are moved around schools like shells in a shell game, while specialists or teachers' lounges now command what used to be classrooms in the bricks-and-mortar buildings?
Does "overcrowding" occur when the pre-K program was moved out of rented space at the Main Street Rec Center and into a K-5 school building? There are many questions about the new but not-yet-approved fifth- and sixth-grade center: How much will it really cost us? When will this big, new school break the education fund bank and require yet another infusion of cash into the coffers of District 41? How much has already been spent in the quest for the fine new school?
... If the new building is approved and built, it is slated to open around the year 2009. Coincidentally, that is just about the time that Dr. Barshinger's contract runs out. Apparently, he has said that he will move out of his home near Hadley and move back to DeKalb. Similarly, the tailors left the emperor and the townspeople scratching their heads in the realization that it was because they didn't speak up when they could have that they were duped.
I know that there are others, like me, who don't mind saying publicly — or privately in the voting booth — that "the emperor has no clothes."
Monica Miller Glen Ellyn