Michael Foellmer

Michael Foellmer

Questions & Answers

For the April 2019 Election

What is the importance of the Unit #4 School Board to residents of Champaign?

In addition to the direct influence of school policies and procedures on the students in our schools, all members of the Unit 4 community are affected by the decisions of the School Board. This governing body makes important decisions that have tax implications, impact neighborhoods, and guide the success of our future community leaders. As a board member I am committed to making decisions that will contribute to the success of our students and work with our community to learn how we can better serve all of our families.

Why are you qualified to be on the School Board?

As the child of two retired school teachers and a past and current labor activist, I understand the challenges and opportunities of our schools' teachers. I am also a Master of Education student at the University of Illinois in the Education Policy, Organization and Leadership department and thus I am familiar with the research around innovative K-12 programs throughout the country. I am deeply committed to listening to teachers, students, families, and school administrators to better serve EVERY student in our district. I understand that our community is a reflection of our schools and our schools are a reflection of our community.

If elected, what is something you want to accomplish on the School Board, and how long will it take?

There are two key issues I would like to address. The first is the relationship between the Board/Administration and the teachers. A suffering relationship between these two groups affects our whole community. I believe that an open line of communication between the Board and the community will allow all members of the community, particularly our teachers, the opportunity to offer ideas and opinions that will generate new and innovative paths to success. Our students will always gain if we provide outlets for everyone in our community to give input and be a part of the knowledge-building process. Opening lines of communication is a goal that I have already begun to address by meeting with individual teachers, the CFT president, and community leaders. I look forward to continuing this work and will ensure positive relationships are built for future success.

The second issue I will focus on is addressing the inequitable access to education for many students in our schools. There is a widening disparity between students of varying marginalized groups and I believe we can do better to address these inequities as a board and as a community. It will be critical to work with individual community groups and schools to better understand and address these concerns. This is a long term goal but I believe we can begin to close the knowledge gap during my first term.

Is there anything else you would like to say to an undecided voter?

I hope any undecided voters will ask me anything they think might be relevant. I am always willing to lend an ear and I think this is a key component of being a member of the school board. Listening to constituents and the willingness to bring concerns and solutions to the table are the only way we can move forward as a community and a district. As a board member, I will be standing up for what I believe is right for EVERY student, not just a select few. Please reach out if you ever want to talk, I can be reached through my website at foellmer4unit4.com

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