It would appear that the accelerating national trend of school board revolts and school choice advocacy have had little impact on voters in St. Charles, Geneva and Batavia.
According to unofficial returns, candidates backed by the Illinois Education Association, the state’s largest teacher’s union, won every race in the tri-cities in Tuesday’s election except one, going 10-1 with the sole loss being in the race for an unexpired two-year term in St. Charles District 303, won by Thomas Lentz over union candidate Mike Backer.
In the St. Charles race, incumbents Becky McCabe, Joseph “Joe” Patrick Lackner and Matthew T. Kuschert were re-elected to 4-year terms, while newcomer Lentz will serve for two years.
In Geneva District 304, incumbents reigned again, with Paul Radlinski, Robert Larry Cabeen and Molly Ansari being re-elected to 4-year terms, and Stephanie Bellino re-elected to a two-year term.
Finally, in Batavia, the loan incumbent running, President Cathy Dremel, failed in her re-election bid, with union-backed newecomers Raquel Gonzalez-Thomas, Danielle Sligar and Jeffery Robert Arulandu receiving 4-year terms.
Statewise, IEA President Kathi Griffin gleefully announced that the union had won 90% of races in which it endorsed candidates. This despite the dreadful performance of Illinois students on standard aptitude tests overall.
Many who thought that teachers unions were on the defensive after the bitter and ongoing fights over COVID response and parental rights will have to reassess in the wake of Tuesday’s elections (including the upset victory in the Chicago mayoral race, where union darling and ex-teacher Brandon Johnson beat Paul Vallas, the former Chief Executive of Chicago Public Schools).