Why I oppose the Unit 5 referendum

By: Diane Benjamin

Listen to Chandler and Swan Sunday at 7:00am or the replay at 5:00pm. Cities 92.9 – we discuss some of the below. It should be on spotify too.

Unit 5’s superintendent uses PRONOUNS in her signature. Their job is to educate not cater to ridiculous ideology. Pronouns virtual signal to the far left. Education is why Unit 5 exists, not leftists indoctrination. https://blnnews.com/2021/08/27/the-winning-email/

Unit 5 has stated the cuts MIGHT be restored if the referendum passes. All future increases in revenue haven’t been included in projections.

Unit 5 has known for YEARS they have a “structural deficit”. They have done little to fix it except want more money from taxpayers. (Now twice) Is that how you handle your finances?

Unit 5 is educating around 1000 fewer students just since 2018. Expenses went in the opposite direction. Unit 5 has a spending problem, not a revenue problem. https://blnnews.com/2023/02/13/teachers-union-clarifies-the-election/

Unit 5 adopted the National Sexuality Standards for 8th and 9th grades when over 700 other school districts in Illinois rejected them because parts would get you arrested for teaching kids porn is it wasn’t in a school.

35% of Unit 5 students going to college need remedial education. We don’t know how many of the others can’t read, write, or do math.

Unit 5 reported 25% chronic absenteeism but 89% graduate. Obviously kids are graduated without a complete education. https://www.illinoisreportcard.com/District.aspx?districtId=17064005026

There is no proof property taxes will decrease when the construction bonds are paid off. Another building project or need could easily pop up.

Senior citizens are being priced out of their homes by ridiculous property taxes.

School Board elections are April 4th. The district has enough money for two years. Elect a new board, let’s hear their ideas to balance the budget instead of the fear porn from this one.

Then there is Dr. Shelvin. 47 “trainers” were hired but magically the Shelvin video teaching them wasn’t recorded. (😏) https://blnnews.com/2022/03/11/unit-5-dr-shelvin-and-the-cost-of-equity/

DEI has infiltrated every part of Unit 5. WOKE doesn’t belong in schools especially when they are failing to educate. The video below should make that clear:

11 thoughts on “Why I oppose the Unit 5 referendum

  1. Hopefully this isn’t too long but I didn’t want to be a broken record with my opinions on DEI in Unit 5. So these are just excerpts from Unit 5’s Equity Audit, August 2021 that raise questions for me. Maybe they will for you too. https://www.unit5.org/cms/lib/IL01905100/Centricity/Domain/3645/EA%20FINAL%20McLean%20SD%205.pdf

    Unit 5’s Equity Pledges – found throughout their Action Plan and Audit
    “To ensure a systemic and continuous development toward advancing equity within all policies, processes, procedures, initiatives, decision-making and fiscal responsibilities.”
    “To intentionally embed equity-driven pedagogy in curriculum, resources, instructional approaches, use and consideration of assessments, and academic programming for the purpose of advancing equity among all students.”

    Quotations at various locations:
    “The district may need to consider its interviewing and hiring practices for implicit biases. This will provide an important insight to one’s identity, positionality, and critical understanding of equity.” Pg 102

    “To understand equity, one must understand inequities and how every major U.S. system – criminal justice, education, employment, health care, housing, – has been designed to be inequitable. In other words, these systems were not created to benefit all members of society. They are inherently unequal.” pg. 6

    “It also must be understood that individuality does not contribute to a holistic society. Collective voices foster harmony, but too often in schools’ individual interests outweigh the betterment of a community, which tend to further oppress marginalized people.” Page 9

    Under Glossary:
    Dominant (dominant culture): All *dominant* or historically *unjustly rewarded* identities such as White, male, heterosexual, cisgender, upper class, abled-bodied, U.S. born, native English speaker, college-educated, Christian, young, desirable in stature, size, and appearance. *corrected terms Pg 119

    Oppression: The exercise of power to unjustly manipulate resources and treatment against others, often experienced by minoritized identities. Pg 120

    Power: The capacity and ability to exercise influence among individuals, or at a structural or systemic level. Pg 120

    Racism: The individual, cultural, and institutional beliefs, and actions of oppression that manifest privileges to White people, or those that identify or are perceived White, based on devaluing the experience and humanity of Black, Indigenous and/or People of Color (BIPOC), or those that identify as BIPOC. Racism is fueled by White supremacy ideology. Pg 120

    Social Constructs: All dominant and non-dominant identities that exist in visible and invisible social stratification systems of one’s value, positionality, and full humanity. pg 120

    Social Justice: The relationship of historically marginalized identities measured by full and equal participation in distribution, resources, and opportunities to leverage human privileges. Pg 120

    White privilege: Unearned privileges associated with light skin color, or race, which manifest visible and invisible benefits to White people, acknowledged or not, within every socio economic and political aspect of society. Pg 120

    Under the Goals Section:
    4: TEACHING AND LEARNING – In each grade and within each content, we have curriculum and resources aligned with equitable pedagogical beliefs and culturally responsive instructional practices that promote elimination of implicit biases and affirmation of student self-identities. Pg 19
    5: ACADEMIC PROGRAMMING – Across the district, we have and continue to take a critical lens to our academic programming (e.g., ESL, SPED, Gifted/Honors/AP, etc.) to analyze student representation by socially constructed identities. Pg 19 Unit 5 Equity Audit.
    6: DISCIPLINE/BEHAVIOR/STUDENT SUPPORTS – Our district regularly analyzes student discipline data and disaggregates said data by race and special population categories, as well as intersectionality of known social constructs. We have proactive practices in place (e.g., restorative justice, trauma informed resources, SEL approaches, etc.) to support all students, especially historically marginalized populations. Pg 20
    8: EMPLOYMENT & RETAINMENT – We have implemented practices to attract and retain highly qualified, diverse teachers and administrators at our district. Pg 21 Unit 5 Equity Audit

    “As the district explores their next steps, they can expect resistance from a variety of stakeholders.” – page 117

    Liked by 2 people

    1. This is abhorrent and racist. They discriminate against white people in order to advance their agenda. I hope more parents pull their children out of failed public schools, and Homeschool or choose private school. Furthermore, the extremely harmful Comprehensive Sex Education that the board unanimously passed, is shameful, degrading, and sexualizes children. Parents please pull your children out of public school.

      Liked by 2 people

  2. I hear you Diane, but I also recognize that Jeremy DeHaai has been the best ally to us conservatives’ on the school board. He helped get our kids back in school and remove those masks. He is currently in a better position to understand the finances of the District, and he is a strong supporter of the referendum. I can’t imagine that someone with so much common-sense would be in support of it without some darn good reasons.

    I’m also struggling with the fact that the board candidates opposing the referendum want to expand e-learning. Online classes will always be inferior to in-person education from a good teacher. Do we really want to sacrifice more of our kids’ education (especially after COVID) just to save money by firing teachers and having our kids stare at screens even more? Who would I contact for a parent-teacher conference? Who would I contact about my child’s grade? What if I objected to an assignment. I would much rather have an actual teacher rather than a distant, private company handling my child’s education. We should be integrating parents more into the process, but e-learning gives us even less control.

    Lots to consider!


    1. Tom, I have to agree that e-learning would be a much easier method to embed equity ideology into all grades and all subjects, which is unit 5s stated intention.

      On the other hand I wonder, have too many reached a point where we just can’t afford to or don’t want to pay for an Illinois funded and styled education system?


    2. Jeremy is not the ally we thought he was. He chose to vote with the herd for Comprehensive Sex Education. Here was a golden opportunity for him to stand for something and vote No. Instead, he took the cowards way out and vote for CSE. I knew right then and there who he really was. Such a shame. The degenerates on this school board condone sexualizing children. How much lower can they go?

      Liked by 1 person

  3. Unit 5 has failed to balance student needs with their fiduciary responsibility to the tax payers. Board members believe the former trumps the latter. If you talk to a board member running for reelection as I have, it’s clear they did not adequately plan for what they claim is denied revenue from the state. Instead of lobbying to get what they feel they were robbed of from Springfield, they have chosen to give a double blow to the taxpayers of Unit 5. All of them are void of any form of common sense and hide behind the worn out lines of “this is for our children.”

    Like so many people in public office today, Unit 5 board members are pathetic. They are rubber stamps to what the bureaucrats tell them to do, completely incapable of independent thought. There is no consideration given at all to how we got to this financial disaster nor is there any guarantee that we won’t fall right back into it again. This will not be enough for them. It never is for any taxing body. Give them an inch they’ll take it a mile. They will be back taxing you for more.

    As families all over America are struggling paying more for everything in an inflationary economy, this is one more blow to a family budget caused by government irresponsibility. Anybody contemplating a yes vote needs to think long and hard on this. Where did your tax money go that Unit 5 claims they didn’t get???? Instead of asking JB for it back, they want to tax you more. Where’s Dan Brady when you need him? He’s probably got a yes sign in front of his house. Worse, why aren’t they asking the Normal Town Council for their TIF money?

    Liked by 3 people

    1. As fedup says, excellent points, except for one. They are not prioritizing student needs first, they are prioritizing themselves.
      Student needs would be in-school learning as soon as possible, ending masking as soon as possible, actually following the relevant laws in those matters vs bullying parents and students (fitting their own definition of Oppression!), ending racism indoctrination, and ending other woke policies that create cognitive dissonance and isolation that children are especially not equipped to handle. But those were never prioritized.
      They put their own virtue signaling, conflict avoidance, and not-having-to-put-in-the-work first. Students were second place at best.

      Liked by 2 people

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