In District 227 Race -- FACT CHECKER releases "Facts versus Fiction" in response to opponents of veteran educator Betty Owens


In the upcoming April 9th election for The School Board of Rich Township High School District 227 a Candidate named Dr. David Morgan and others have spent a lot of time sharing negative information about veteran educator and current 227 President Betty Owens.  Reviewing the information one can easily determine that the information released by candidate Morgan and others do not include all the facts which is why I and others have developed the "Facts Versus Fiction" in the 227 Race so that each time the opponents release one sided information without all the facts, we will provide them.  And so now I have assembled the most popular items that I seen that did not include all the facts, and so I took these issues directly to President Owens and others to give what I needed to help educate the voters to the whole truth. Now unlike Owens' opponents, I will share what the opponents have released negatively about Betty Owens and I'll share with you THE FACTS.   So HERE ARE THE FACTS !!


The opponents are saying Owens voted to censor another board member


The Board of Education in a 6-0 vote, (one member was absent), on April 6, 2011, voted to censor Dr. David Morgan.
By the way, he voted for his own censor! Dr. Morgan violated his oath of office and the IASB Code of Conduct in many ways. In 2010, the Board of Education contracted the Illinois Association of School Boards to conduct a nationwide Superintendent Search for Rich Township High School District 227. The process included Board Members being given the applications of the final six candidates, for review. We were to maintain absolute confidentiality. However, Dr. Morgan shared information with the media as well as some community members who were critical of the process.

Dr. Morgan was not present when the Board met in closed session, (even though he had received the schedule of meetings), and deliberated and made a final choice. However, later, he was allowed to listen to the tape of the meeting, whereby he recorded the tape and shared it with the media and community members.
He publicly joined others in criticizing the process, the Board, and the Superintendent who was chosen.

The opponents are saying Owens voted to reduce teachers and staff and give million to the Superintendent


The reduction in staff was necessary due to the severe budget shortfalls that District 227 is faced with. These shortfalls are due to the State of Illinois' underfunding which affected all school districts plus the $6,000,000. that is re-allocated to the charter school. A Budget Task Force which included a Board Member, administrators, teachers, parents and community members, met in 2010-2011 to discuss how the District might reduce expenditures. They crafted a list of recommendations, which was prioritized. The Superintendent presented the report to the Board accompanied by her recommendations to re-structure the administrative staff and staff reductions.

In the fall, the Board of Education in a 4-2 vote extended the Superintendent's contract 4 years, making her have a 5 year contract. Stable administrative staff and board members are prevalent in high performing school districts, according to the research. (Dr. Leak's original contract included a salary of $200,000.
The extended 5 year contract is still paying her a salary of $200,000 per year. No increase was requested and the salary is in the competitive range with other district Superintendents.
According to the Illinois State Board of Education reports 2012 salaries of Superintendents, including benefits and bonuses as follows:

Adlai Stevenson HSD 125   $259,864
Bloom Township HSD 206   $ 364,627 (Plus retirement enhancements)
Bremen CHSD 228   $252,808
Homewood-Flossmoor SD 233   $315,561
Rich Township SD227   $221,248
Elementary School Districts
Country Club Hills SD 160  $204,086
Flossmoor SD 161    $203,017
Homewood SD 153   $211,963
Matteson ESD 162   $337,316
Park Forest SD163   $338,110
Obviously, the Superintendent in Rich Township High School District 227 is not the highest paid Superintendent in the State!!!!!!!

The opponents are saying Owens voted to trick the community with the superintendents selection


The search for the Superintendent was conducted by the Illinois Association of School Boards. The consultants met with various focus groups, including students, staff members, parents and community members. They interviewed Board members. They held a forum at each campus, and they conducted written surveys. The purpose was to determine what kind of person the stakeholders wanted to have as a superintendent, including skill sets, character, and residency. From this data, a brochure was drafted, and given to the Board Members for review, comment and adjustments.

After input from the Board, the brochure was printed and published. The Board interviewed six candidates, and selected a final four, who would ultimately be presented to the community. Community members were divided into groups of students, teachers, educators from higher education, board members from foundation schools, community members at large and parents. These groups discussed the candidates and submitted a list ranking them. Dr. Donna Simpson Leak was ranked 1st or 2nd in 4 of the six groups. Two groups indicated no candidate was acceptable.


The opponents are saying Owens voted for a tax break for the wealthy


Since 1997, in concert with the villages of Matteson, Park Forest, Richton Park and Tinley Park, the Board of Education has extended tax abatements to businesses in our communities. These abatements are usually for ten years, (sometimes less). This makes us competitive with Will County, where the tax rates are considerably less. The object is to attract and retain businesses, while creating jobs, and even building a tax base. Some of these businesses, like the auto mall, were built on farm land where minimal taxes were being paid. These businesses also provide opportunities for our students with jobs, mentoring, scholarships, etc.

Each year the Board must routinely authorize the tax abatements.


See the agenda and minutes of the Board Meeting held on December 20, 2011 on the district web-site.

THE FACTS ARE CLEAR !! The more people hear the FACTS the more they know that veteran educator Betty Owens is uniquely qualified and worthy of re-election, along with her slate April 9th

Rich Township District 227 School Board President
Betty Owens and her Slate for The April 9th Election!!



Residents, stakeholders and students in Rich Township High School District 227 have the opportunity to support a new team of leaders seeking election to the District’s Board of Education on April 9, 2013. The team is comprised of parents, community leaders and led by veteran educator Betty Owens, current President of Rich Township District 227 and now take a look at WHO is Betty Owens and the members of the slate,
"Educator's For Excellence in District 227"


Meet The Slate: Betty Owens, current board president

“I am seeking re-election because I am totally committed to the education of the students in our community, their families, and the community at large. I believe education is the key to a Democratic society and if we don’t educate our young people, then our society is doomed. I want Rich Township High School District 227 students to have the same quality of education as those in more affluent school districts like New Trier, Stevenson and Hinsdale. It is imperative that our students are prepared to compete internationally in this 21st Century. Yes, there is still work to be done.”

Meet The Slate: Geneka N. Whitaker

Law enforcement official and Richton Park resident Geneka N. Whitaker will be running for a position on the District 227 school board at the upcoming election next month. Whitaker describes herself as “intrinsically invested” in being effective for the next generation. Her work in the field of law enforcement has given her insight into the crucial connection between education and crime prevention, citing that school and educators are often the only guidance some youth have in their lives. This will be Geneka’s first District 227 school board campaign.

“It is my passion to be able to help lead the next generation of men and women into success and leadership, by implementing the dynamics of my educational experience, professional experience, training and leadership qualities, with integrity and ethical agency,” she says. Geneka wants to “invigorate” the board with “innovative and challenging ideas” - in a word, “fresh voice, fresh vision.”

Vote Geneka N. Whitaker for Rich Township High School District 227 on April 9, 2013!

Meet The Slate: Dr. Quintella Bounds

Matteson resident and Special Education professional Dr. Quintella Bounds has announced her candidacy for the District 227 School Board election next month. “What I have witnessed with the current school board is division among a few board members, which is what has influenced my decision to run for Rich Township School Board. The division has been displayed publicly and is an embarrassment to our entire community. It needs to end,” she says. “As adults, we should work collaboratively; students’ academic achievement should be our primary focus.” This will be her first District 227 school board election campaign.

Wishing to be a megaphone for those who are not always heard, Quintella is focused on the “students and community voices” that she feels are currently overlooked. “As a community member and parent, I have spoken with numerous parents, students, community members and everyone is in agreement [that] their voices are not being heard because of the division amongst the current school board,” she says. “I intend to...implement a vision and mission that is conducive to student learning,” says Quintella of her plan to assist in enhancing the academic performance and growth of students in the district.

Vote Quintella Bounds for Rich Township High School District 227 on April 9, 2013!



Meet The Slate: Linda Jenkins

Veteran educator and Matteson resident Linda Jenkins is making a bid for the District 227 school board at the upcoming election next month. “I have been an educator for over 30 years. I would like to work in my community to help provide good support, bring my ideas and experiences to move our community forward, having and supporting solid goals and a strong vision for the future,” says Jenkins. This will be her first District 227 school board campaign.

“We have ownership to our children. Our vision will drive our efforts in providing progressive and innovative strategies and practices as we move toward preparing all of students for a global society.” She is eager to work with Betty Owens, stating “her slate is one of positive movement, noting that children are the most important issue before us. In a world with negativity...she continues to push past the political agenda and make the students and their achievement a priority.”

Vote Linda Jenkins for Rich Township High School District 227 on April 9, 2013!

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