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Archive → February 7th, 2017

Homer 33C Junior High School Fine Arts Program Participate in book fair fundraiser this Saturday, Feb. 11

News Release

Homer CCSD 33C

Goodings Grove   Luther J. Schilling   William E. Young   William J. Butler

Hadley Middle   Homer Jr. High

 

Contact: Charla Brautigam, Communications/Public Relations Manager

cbrautigam@homerschools.org | 708-226-7628

 

For Immediate Release:

Feb. 7, 2017

 

Support your Homer Junior High School Fine Arts Program

Participate in book fair fundraiser this Saturday, Feb. 11

 

Come out and support our Homer Junior High School Fine Arts Program.

 

The Fine Arts Fundraising Team is hosting a book fair at the Barnes & Noble store in Orland Park this Saturday (Feb. 11) from 1 to 4 p.m.

 

A percentage of every sale (excluding gift cards and E-books) will benefit our students, including those who qualify to perform each year at Carnegie Hall.

 

“This is a fundraiser, so don’t forget to ask your family and friends to participate,” urge members of the school’s Fine Arts Fundraising Team.

 

The offer is good on all books, CDs, DVDs and NOOK tablets as well as any cafe items you purchase at the store.

 

So spread the word. Even if your friends and family can’t make it out to the Orland Park store on Feb. 11, they can still participate by going to any Barnes & Noble store across the country and giving Homer Junior High’s book fair ID number: No.12087359.

 

Or, if they prefer to shop online, they can go to www.bn.com/bookfairs and enter our book fair ID number (No. 12087359) at checkout. The online offer is good on qualifying purchases made Feb. 11 through Feb. 16.

 

Those who stop by the Orland Park Store at 160 Orland Park Place between 1 and 4 p.m. Feb. 11 will have an opportunity to hear our talented Carnegie Hall nominees perform.

 

 

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Source: Will County News

It’s Just A Game, State Workers

Pat-Hughes-headshot-2014-WEB

It’s Just A Game, State Workers

By Pat Hughes

 

It’s bad enough that, after decades of Mike Madigan’s leadership, the state can’t pay its bills. But now, his daughter, Attorney General Lisa Madigan, wants to take away the ability of state workers to pay their own bills.

 

Throughout the bitter dispute over the state budget, Madigan-Nemesis Governor Bruce Rauner has worked to keep the state government running so that core services are not completely shut down. The Governor has made clear that paying state workers for work that they do, while working to pass a balanced budget, is a top priority.

 

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Speaker Madigan and his Democrat Majority have blocked the Governor’s call for reforms like term-limits and property tax freezes, and refused to pass a balanced budget. Instead, they’ve tried to gain political leverage by maximizing the pain felt by families.

 

To this end, A.G. Madigan filed court papers on January 26 demanding the state stop cutting paychecks to thousands of state workers.

 

A reliable Chicago Machine cog, Lisa Madigan clearly understand which way the political winds are blowing in her party. Like most Democrats, she objects to the governor’s condition that he will only sign a budget that includes several key reforms. If her opposition to the governor’s policy was as deeply held as we are led to believe, then why did she remain silent on the budget impasse for 18 months, only to act is such a drastic manner now?

 

The truth is Mike Madigan is running this game and his daughter knows it. She also knows to wait quietly until she is called up to play. Well, last week it was her turn. And what was the play? Using the livelihood of state workers as political leverage.

 

If you are even remotely acquainted with the work of Mike Madigan and his brood, then you know that Lisa’s latest ploy is solely intended to inflict further damage on the governor’s reform agenda by putting the families of state workers and the people who rely on the services they provide in an even more desperate position. All this, of course, is to gain a political advantage.

 

Is it clear to you yet, state workers? You are nothing to Democrats. You are just means to their ends. If Mike Madigan will use his daughter and her career to fight his battles, why on earth would you think he wouldn’t use you?

 

For all of their campaign rhetoric about looking out for your families, your retirement security, your job, your pocketbook, they will turn their backs on you in a heartbeat if there is political ground to be gained.

 

They’ve turned their back on homeowners who pay the highest property taxes in the nation, children in Chicago Public Schools where only 26% are college ready, and workers face the highest unemployment rate in the nation. State workers just happen to provide political leverage today.

 

Illinois Democrats are ready, willing and (clearly) able to pulverize state workers and their families in order to maintain their own political power.

 

Call Lisa Madigan’s office today, (312) 814-3000. Demand that she respect workers and their families and push for the reforms that will solve our state’s budget crisis.

Source: Will County News

Illinois is not working/ Is Illinois in a recession

For many Illinoisans, the next recession is already here    Illinois Policy   January 31st 2017

Illinois lost 11,000 manufacturing jobs in 2016.

Illinois is not working.

Since the end of the Great Recession, most members of the Illinois General Assembly have taken one of two approaches to this throbbing reality. The first is to close their eyes, plug their ears and babble. The second is to make things worse.

Now, this political aversion to growth is coming home to roost.

Some areas of the state are so economically weak that they’ve descended into recession, according to research from Moody’s Investors Service released earlier this month.

Moody’s named Bloomington, Carbondale, Peoria and the Quad Cities as the four Illinois metro areas in a recession, according to the group’s business cycle tracker. The tracker takes into account employment, factory output, home building and house prices.

Two of these areas are home to Illinois universities, which are now struggling to pay bills after years of reckless spending. It would be easy to blame problems with the local economy on the state of the state. But neither Bloomington’s Illinois State University nor Carbondale’s Southern Illinois University campuses have seen the sorts of colossal layoffs or steep enrollment decline that could bring about a full-blown recession.

Four more Illinois metros — Elgin, Danville, Decatur and Kankakee — are at risk of undoing their recoveries from the Great Recession, according to Moody’s.

These findings underscore a tale of two states. While the greater Chicago area has added more than 110,000 jobs compared with before the Great Recession, the rest of the state has lost nearly 43,000 jobs over the same time.

This is not to say Chicago is some gleaming city on a hill. It has deep financial problems that evoke comparison with Detroit. Vast swaths of the city are stuck in cycles of violence, joblessness and poverty. And property taxes in surrounding communities, especially the south suburbs, have risen to near-confiscatory levels.

It’s not a sustainable state of affairs. There will be more pain in the Windy City.

But it’s already arrived downstate.

The January release of December 2016 jobs data offered another window into that pain. Illinois’ unemployment rate increased, and remains the highest in the Midwest. It would be even higher if thousands of people weren’t giving up on looking for work altogether.

These numbers also reveal what too many families already know: Manufacturing is collapsing in Illinois. The state lost 11,000 manufacturing jobs in 2016. No other sector suffered more.

For some perspective, that’s comparable to losing every manufacturing job in Decatur. Or every manufacturing job in Springfield and Champaign combined.

If this trend continues, by the end of 2017 Illinois will have no more manufacturing jobs than it did during the worst months of the Great Recession.

In other states, this would provoke uproar from the Statehouse. Lawmakers might look to surrounding governments for success stories, and try to replicate them with strong policy changes.

So what have Illinois lawmakers done to address the jobs and manufacturing crises?

Let’s review.

In 2011, months after passing a massive income tax hike, they passed a workers’ compensation reform bill. It took Illinois’ system from the most expensive in the Midwest and made it still the most expensive in the Midwest, but by a slightly smaller margin, according to annual studies from the state of Oregon.

Five years passed and lawmakers did practically nothing. In fact, the most beneficial economic stimulus actually came from doing nothing: allowing the 2011 tax hikes to partially expire.

Illinoisans now find themselves amid talk of yet another massive income tax hike with meek attempts at reform.

These include small changes to the workers’ comp system. The Technology and Manufacturers Association of Illinois dismissed these changes as “minor,” and certainly not worth a multibillion-dollar tax hike.

Also included, in exchange for a permanent income tax hike, is a temporary two-year property tax freeze. The freeze includes no provisions to protect local residents from other tax and fee hikes, barely any relief from expensive state mandates for local governments, and no protections from massive property tax hikes in 2019 and beyond.

Illinois has tried this approach before. And here we are. Large communities have fallen into recession, and the state’s industrial backbone is splintering.

Isn’t it time we listened to the employers who can’t afford to do business here? The families who can’t afford to stay in their homes? The Illinoisans who can’t afford not to leave the state?

Maybe another statewide recession would knock some sense into the lawmakers who kill real change at every turn. But don’t count on it.

 

TAGS: jobs, manufacturing, recession

 

Source: Will County News

Homer 33C Junior High School staff members to take dip in icy waters for Special Olympics

News Release

Homer CCSD 33C

Goodings Grove   Luther J. Schilling   William E. Young   William J. Butler

Hadley Middle   Homer Jr. High

 

Contact: Charla Brautigam, Communications/Public Relations Manager

cbrautigam@homerschools.org | 708-226-7628

For Immediate Release:

Feb. 6, 2017

 

Taking the Plunge

Homer Junior High School staff members to take dip in icy waters for Special Olympics

 

Eighteen Homer Junior High School staff members are taking the plunge — Polar Plunge, that is — to raise money for Special Olympics Illinois.

 

On March 11, the team of educators will brave the cold and take an icy dip in Leisure Lake at Joliet’s Leisure Lake Resort.

 

Their goal is to raise $5,000 for Special Olympics Illinois so that athletes with intellectual disabilities will have an opportunity to participate in Special Olympics programs.

 

“What started as a small idea on a Monday morning, turned into something so much bigger than we expected,” said the group of staff members who have dubbed themselves The Homer Subzero Heroes.

 

“We are teaming together to raise money and awareness for Special Olympics,” they added. “We have joined together to build a community to recognize those amazing individuals with incredible personalities, intelligence and bravery.”

 

Among those participating are: Brittany Konsoer, Shannon Gentile, Allison Connolly, Janina Giantomasso, Alexis Hirsch, Nichole Boyce, Tiffani Stark, Erin Sagon, Diane Blaskey, Kendra Michalik, Maxine Pavlovich, Caroline Risum, Kelly Kardas, Stephanie Moore, Mary Kay Olendorf, Amy Marzano, Sam Hoinacki and Marisa Lopez.

 

The team is accepting donations and warm wishes at: http://soill.donordrive.com/index.cfm?fuseaction=donorDrive.team&teamID=7945

 

 

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Source: Will County News

Homer Junior High School introduces new elective

News Release

Homer CCSD 33C

Goodings Grove   Luther J. Schilling   William E. Young   William J. Butler

Hadley Middle   Homer Jr. High

 

Contact: Charla Brautigam, Communications/Public Relations Manager

cbrautigam@homerschools.org | 708-226-7628

 

For Immediate Release:

Feb. 6, 2017

 

Strike up the band

Homer Junior High School introduces new elective

 

A new band elective at Homer Junior High School means students who missed out on the opportunity to learn an instrument in fifth grade or a current band student who wants to learn a second instrument may do so now.

 

The school is introducing an elective, giving seventh- and eighth-grade students an opportunity to learn an instrument — even if they have no musical experience.

 

“Our goal is to prepare junior high beginning students so that they’ll be able to join the Concert or Symphonic Band the subsequent year or, if they’re in eighth grade, the high school band when they become freshmen,” said band director Jason Skube.

 

As it stands now, students can only sign up for a Homer Junior High School band if they have been playing an instrument since fifth grade or have taken private music lessons that would have prepared them for the junior high band curriculum.

 

Students who delayed their music education or dropped out their first year because they disliked the instrument they chose in 5th grade band, are typically not allotted the opportunity to play in junior high and high school.

 

But starting next school year, Homer Junior High School students will have an opportunity to start from scratch.

 

“Our job will be to teach the 5th and 6th grade curriculum in one year,” said band director Jason Thompson.  “It’s going to be a challenge.”

 

Students will meet every other day with Skube and Thompson, learning how to play the brass, woodwind or percussion instrument of their choice.

 

If they don’t have an instrument, students can rent one from a music company. In some cases, the Homer Band may be able to provide one.

 

Fees usually range from $39 to $63 a month — depending on the instrument and the music dealer.

 

Students will be expected to practice regularly at home. Concerts are not a required part of the curriculum, but may be an option for consideration based on student readiness.

 

Those interested in signing up for the new elective will need to decide soon. Course selection for the 2017-2018 school year begins shortly.

 

For more information, please contact our Homer Band Directors via email at jskube@homerschools.org or jthompson@homerschools.org or by calling 708-226-7849.

 

 

 

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Source: Will County News