State of Schools Address Reaction

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During Thursday's address, District 205 Superintendent Ellen Bueschel touched on many of the challenges facing Rockford schools, but she provided few recommendations for turning the district around.

Superintendent Bueschel's only been on the job for a matter of months, but she's on loan to the district for just a year and community leaders say they're were hoping to hear solutions in Thursday's address.

During a nearly hour long address, District 205's interim superintendent painted a thorough and honest picture of the state of Rockford schools, and the desire to change turn the schools around.

"She made a very clear case for the fact that we are here to change direction," said school board member Alice Saudargas.

But what some say Bueschel didn't do was outline a plan for bringing about that change.

"I didn't really hear what they're going to implement to fix the financial problems nor the educational problems," said former school board president Ted Biondo.

Critics also say the district's financial situation is far worse than Bueschel illustrated.

"They spent over a $100m more than what the deficit even shows," said Ted.

Board members say they're pleased with Bueschel's leadership and she has a plan in the works.

"I think it's a work in progress. I don't think it's been completed to the point where she feels she can really share it," Alice said.

In the midst of budget troubles and a federal investigation, Saudargas says Bueschel is doing a lot to restore trust and respect within the district. After her speech, Superintendent Ellen Bueschel told 23 News she's working on a structural reorganization, which will focus more on student performance. Getting public input on district policy is also a program she plans to implement.