Rockford Chamber PAC Endorses RPS 205 School Board Candidates for April 9th Election

ROCKFORD (WIFR) -- The Rockford Chamber of Commerce Political Action Committee (ROCPAC) announced its endorsement of four Rockford Public School board candidates who are running in contested races. Members of the business community are encouraged to consider ROCPAC’s endorsements as they vote for school board members in the April 9 election.

ROCPAC has endorsed the following candidates:

  • Dion Simpson – Sub-District A
  • Michael Harner –Sub-District E
  • Michael Connor – Sub-District F
  • Jaime Escobedo – Sub-District G

    Each of these candidates received ROCPAC’s endorsement after completing a questionnaire and interview with the ROCPAC Committee. Prospective candidates were asked to outline their priorities if they were to become a member of the board of education. In addition they were asked to share their perspectives and positions on the following topics:

  • The District’s Facility Improvement Plan
  • “Readiness Rocks” Strategic Plan
  • Role as a board member in overseeing RPS 205 administrators
  • Role of the community in advancing the performance of the school district
  • Career readiness/preparedness of students
  • Fiscal responsibility, pensions and taxation

    “We were very pleased with the qualifications of all the candidates that were interviewed,” said Steve Nailor, chair of ROCPAC. “I am comfortable with our endorsements and feel the committee underwent a thorough vetting process before reaching a recommendation.”

    ROCPAC was formed by the Rockford Chamber of Commerce in 2011 and has worked to identify races of importance to the business community. The Rockford Chamber has spent considerable time in advocating for improving performance in the Rockford Public Schools, as well as supporting the District in providing businesses and other resources to help address various issues. After first completing a member survey in 2009, the Chamber had identified key issues to focus on with regard to public education. The Chamber advocated for a return to geographic-based student assignment for all grade levels. The Chamber also supported the recent facilities plan referendum and has advocated for an internal succession model to develop future administrators to lead the District.

    The Chamber and its members have also engaged in considerable activity with truancy eradication, offering manufacturing tours for students and educators, volunteer expertise on budget and finance committees and support for career academies and Alignment Rockford.

    “I believe the Rockford Chamber of Commerce has a demonstrated a track record in addressing public education issues in the past few years,” said Einar Forsman, Rockford Chamber CEO. “That track record gives us credibility for ROCPAC to weigh in on candidate endorsement for the schools that match-up with their priorities.”

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