The education of our young people is one of the most important responsibilities we have as a society. It is through education that we prepare the next generation to take on the challenges of the world and build a better future. This is why it is so concerning to see the state of District 209, and especially the school board.

The lack of transparency from D209 is an alarming sign of its leaders’ incompetence. It took four months and the intervention of the Illinois Attorney General’s Office for the district to fulfill a simple FOIA request, where I requested the itemized list for the district’s $70K+ credit card bill. This delay is an egregious violation of the public’s trust and only further highlights the board’s inadequacies.

Over the past few years, there have been numerous issues that have arisen with the school board that demonstrate a need for change. The most concerning of these issues is the premature five-year extension of Supt. Henderson’s contract. This decision was made without proper public input or discussion, and it suggests that the school board is more concerned with protecting its own interests than with serving the needs of the community.

Furthermore, the poor quality of education in D209 has had a negative impact on the community. Many young families have been leaving Forest Park due to the subpar education provided by the school district. This is not only a loss for the community but also a threat to the future of the town.

It is clear that Supt. Henderson’s leadership has not been effective in improving the quality of education in the district. Hiring him and his baggage has only perpetuated the problems and hindered progress. It is time for the school board to take responsibility and make the necessary changes to ensure that the district is providing a quality education to its students.

We cannot afford to lose more families or let the education of our young people suffer any longer. It is time for action, accountability, and transparency from the school board. The community must come together to demand the changes needed to improve our schools and keep our families here in Forest Park.

Jonathan Pirc

Forest Park