Sometimes we really feel like a product or service has been worth the cost. Sometimes not. My first marriage was like that, I didn’t count up the cost before I took the plunge. I was reminded of this during a sermon on love by pastor Smokie Norful last Sunday at Victory Cathedral. When it comes to our Health Department, Will County has definitely gotten its money’s worth. The building was built in 1923 to help those effected by Tuberculosis, a disease that is mostly eradicated now days, note I said mostly as we still get cases, but the treatment is no longer a stay in a sanitarium. This old building has been serving as our main facility for residents health needs. It is a very old building that is sinking and has more than a few problems. I love beautiful historic buildings. When I am downtown and I look upon the old courthouse, I do lament that it is planned to be demolished, but this old place doesn’t even come close to causing nostalgic feelings.
I can’t imagine what it must be like to work in a building that has poor airflow and leaning floors not to mention that it wasn’t designed as a work space but as a 1923 hospital. I can only imagine what our residents think when they go there for care. The new health department space is designed to provide for behavioral health, family health services, including the women’s infants and children programs and environmental health along with our tuberculosis clinic. This has been a project 10 years in the making, but it will be here in mid 2020.
Speaking of things worth the cost, how about our school systems. I know we all like to complain about the taxes (70% of property tax goes here), but they are the very foundation and bedrock of our society. That is why I am so proud that Dr. Sandra Carlson, Charlotte Droogan and Deb Savage are running for school board this year. All three are amazing people that have deep roots in our community and care deeply about our children. They are all running to do better for our kids, making sure that when we count the cost we are not disappointed.
The platform of the candidates is basic:
- Increasing Faculty Diversity – Bolingbrook is one of the most diverse communities in Illinois and we believe that diversity should be reflected in the people that educate our children. Numerous studies show that insuring that students have a diverse range of teachers, especially teachers that come from the same backgrounds as them, improve student performance in a wide range of areas. Metrics such as student engagement, graduation rates, and retention of material all improve when students are led by teachers, administrators, and other faculty that embody the diversity of the student body.
- Increased focus on improving the mental health of teachers, faculty, and students – Modern education is difficult. Students are expected to know more about a wider range of subjects than ever before. Teachers are under more pressure to improve student outcomes. School faculty and administrators are forced to make difficult funding decisions year after year. These hard realities have to be met with support from the district. By increasing focus on mental health within the district we can reduce teacher burnout, improve student outcomes, and create an environment where faculty, teachers, and students achieve remarkable things.
- A stronger support of technical education opportunities – Not every job requires an advanced degree and technical secondary education programs can result in some of the highest paying and most rewarding careers in the world today. Our schools should reflect that fact as they council their students on what to do after they leave our district. Partnering with technical/vocational programs will give our students a full range of options for their futures.
Be sure you count the cost before voting in the April 2nd consolidated elections. You will be glad you did.