So, here I am.....

The girl that said she'd never blog. The far from computer savvy girl that is always up for a challenge despite a serious lack of time.My blog goals. Do I have blogging goals? Hmmm, I guess I should. So I pledge to be funny, lighthearted, not vent or complain to much and maybe just maybe share a crumb of wit and wisdom on occassion.I will most likely chat about etsy, my addiction and muse. the incredible artsists and friends I have found in a community that oozes with creativity, friendship, support and a home for all things handmade.You will hear me ramble about the insanity of my life including my 3 boys, ages 12, 16 and 53. Yes, that last one I am married to, but trust me, he is just as much boy as man. After 17 years of marriage I find myself raising him along with them. Then again, he would probably say the same of me at times. I will often speak of friends I would go to the ends of the earth for and a family that more often than not defines dysfunction. Then again, I strongly believe a functional family is the stuff legends are made of.I am a lover of music of all kinds and not so much the TV ( except maybe Glee). I have an addiction to handmade glass, especially venetian and lampwork beads as well as unique pottery. I have made a concerted effort to tame my jewelry fetish with my own creations which can be seen at you haven't figured out by now, I can jabber my jaws and my fingers as if someone could care what I have to say.

Wednesday, March 2, 2011

A Letter to my State Representatives

I sent this letter to the pertinent people yesterday in hopes I will be heard. It's not often I speak out so boldly, but this really got under my skin.

Dear Representative/Senator

It is with immense concern that I write you. As a parent, a community member, a homeowner and a school board member, I urge you to seriously consider the ramifications of HB1886. I have equal concern over Governor Quinn’s consolidation proposal. Not only are these proposals ill conceived, they are unprecedented. Elementary and secondary education should be our highest priority. To leave such decisions to politicians and committeemen with no formal education training is absurd and dare I say, reckless.
To allow for no input from local districts, educators and citizens perpetuates the “behind closed doors” dirty politics for which our state is famous, as well as send a message to every person in the State of Illinois that those proposing this bill know in their hearts just how wrong it is.
I am a firm believer in standing up for your beliefs and that the right decision is very often not the easy one. If you truly believe your vision is best, you can withstand the ridicule of your opposition because in your heart you know you are doing the right thing. However, acting behind closed doors, stacking the deck with small, inept committees quickly pushing through serious issues shows the complete opposite. By sending this bill to a “committee of counties and townships” versus the education committee, you are doing just this. By avoiding careful consideration of studies such as “Consolidation of Schools and Districts: What the Research Says and What It Means” you are not making good, educated, informed decisions in the best interest of the whole. Instead, you are solving a long term problem with short term thinking and the cost of such short sightedness leaves the state’s budget woes to pale by comparison.

Please, I urge you to consider just a few of the ramifications of these actions.

o Consolidation should be intended to facilitate educational improvement rather than enrollment or geographical location
o Reorganization and consolidation should be initiated by local citizens and determined by a vote of the citizens
o Local citizens, school boards and the school district must have the authority to make decisions affecting the educational well-being of their community members.
o School district organization should reflect the community’s interest and values and not be dictated arbitrarily by the State
o Adjusting school districts by using the census could change school district boundaries every 10 years and vast increases in transportation costs related to these changes.

Equally, HB1886 serves no purpose but to give an arbitrary state run committee the power to force these and other ill conceived plans. I urge you to consider students, children, future leaders, our largest assets and the immense responsibility we have to them in every step of your decision making. “Students” should be the prevailing thought in every consideration, not money, debt or your political ambitions.

Please, do not let these ideas move forward in this way.


Karen Johnson

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