Unit 4 providing more opportunities to learn why they want you to vote yes

I have a couple bigger posts that I am working on, but I did want to relay recent news, including upcoming events where the school district is holding informational sessions about why they think the referendum is a good idea:

October 19th


Community Lunch & Info session

Champaign Unit 4 School District will host a Sunday Lunch and Info Session on the upcoming high school referendum.

Where: Booker T. Washington STEM Academy (606 East Grove Street, Champaign)

When: Sunday, October 19, 2014 from 1:30-3:00 p.m.

Join us for lunch provided by Seaboat and an information session about the November 4 high school referendum as well as other important developments in our community schools!


October 21st and 30th


Champaign Unit 4 School District will host two Public Information Nights to provide opportunities for evening school tours and to educate voters about the November 4 high school referendum.

Public Information Nights will be held:

•    Central High School – Tuesday, October 21 from 6-8 p.m. in Seely Hall
•    Centennial High School – Thursday, October 30 in the Main Hallway (just inside the Visitor’s Entrance)

Information tables will be set up during this time. District representatives, students, and architects will be on hand to answer questions and provide information. School tours will also be offered.

“Our goal with the Public Information Nights is to ensure that voters have access to the information they need to make an informed decision on November 4,” said Superintendent Dr. Judy Wiegand. “We hope community members will take advantage of these opportunities to step inside our schools and speak with our teachers, students, and administrators who utilize our current school facilities daily.”

UPDATED (thanks Pattsi)

October 15th

7:00 – 9:00 pm at Jericho Baptist Church (discussing the referendum)


October 26th

Community Education Forum

6:00 – 8:00 pm at the Rose & Taylor Barber and Beauty Shop


In other news, Tim Mitchell reported from the October 13th BOE meeting that while Dr. Howard would not be addressed until 2025, Edison would be even further down the timeline, possibly around 2034. One of my own problems with the referendum and the “planning” surrounding it is that we have never seen the list of deferred maintenance items that spell out why these buildings (and others, to a lesser degree) are “falling apart” as some have said. I am going to put John Bambenek and Kerris Lee on the spot by mentioning that I have repeatedly asked for these lists, and lately I have tried to make it simpler by focusing on a list of maintenance items that John Ayers keeps, specifically those items that are over two-years old and over $100k. I don’t care about broken fixtures and the “riffraff” that changes from day to day, I am more concerned about those big ticket items that have been “kicked down the street” for a long time now. For instance, the A/C at Central, which is no longer a hot topic (tongue in cheek) as we move into winter.


Speaking of the A/C at Central, a reader submitted an interesting question to Tom Kacich in his mailbag:


“Tom, regarding Unit 4 and their need to air condition Central High School, either now or following the pending re-purposing of that space, has Unit 4’s consultants investigated the feasibility and cost of installing a ductless A/C system. The cassette type units are designed to fit in existing spaces where ductwork would be difficult to install. Newer models are very quiet, and my understanding is the system is considered efficient. The coolant lines, electrical lines, and drain lines can all be ran with flexible materials meaning the existing ceilings can mostly be preserved. The units would require the dreaded electrical upgrades, but any decent use of that space – school or otherwise, would surely require electrical improvements anyway. Perhaps the power efficiency achieved by newer, more efficient lighting could provide enough power for some or all of this type of a system, at least within the classrooms.”




6 Responses to “Unit 4 providing more opportunities to learn why they want you to vote yes”

  1. pattsi Says:

    Missed the one tonight at Jericho Baptist Church, sponsored by a healthy number of other Black churches. And then on 26 Oct. @ Rose and Taylor Barber and Beauty Shop @ 6-8 P will be a Community Education Forum.

  2. charlesdschultz Says:

    Thanks! Ironically, I was listening to the Vimeo of the October 13th BOE meeting, and Jamar Brown specifically mentioned those two events (about 14 minutes into the video).

  3. kshannon617 Says:

    Slightly off topic–I just got “robo-polled” on the referendum. Two questions–are you voting yes, no, or undecided, and what is the most important reason–cost, site, or Dr. Howard not being included. (Obviously, I answered ‘no’ to the first question.) I don’t know who sponsored the poll, but I thought it was interesting that it was being done.

  4. Kathy R. Says:

    Is there a line item in the Unit 4 budget for all the surveys, meetings, canvassing, yard signs, and flyers in support of the referendum? I am curious where this money comes from, and who decides how to spend it. I’m getting a little fed up with the full-color flyers that come home from school with my kids (3 so far from each kid). Any transparency here?

    • charlesdschultz Says:

      Kathy, the canvassing and yard signs are being paid by (or provided by volunteers of) the “Friends of Champaign Schools” campaign, a totally legitimate political campaign committee otherwise known as the “YES Committee”. I am not sure about the meetings – what money, other than staff time, is evident at such meetings? Food? I have not been to one so I do not know. There is a “Lunch and Learn” session coming up on the 19th with food provided by Seabot; I’ll have to ask who is paying for that one if you are curoius. I believe the flyers are paid out of the Unit 4 Community Liaison budget, but I have asked Stephanie Stuart for more details.

      Kshannon mentioned a “robo-poll”, and I have asked about that one as well – I suspect Gorski Reifsteck/DLR initiated the polling, but I could be way off base.

  5. pattsi Says:

    What about the question as to the means of distribution of PR? As I am campaigning, people comment about how many flyers are being brought home by the children and handed out by the teachers at school.

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