April 23, 2014
Local Columnists
Consider other options before consolidation

Residents of the A-C Central School District.
On March 18, you will have the opportunity to vote regarding the issue of consolidation of A-C Central and PORTA School Districts. Based on the sound financial condition and the growth of the student population, a consolidation of A-C Central is not required. If a reorganization becomes necessary in the future, please consider the following:

Former student shares opinion about consolidation

To Whom It May Concern:
My name is Kelli Ruppel. I graduated from A-C Central in 2007. I have recently gained interest in the controversy over the A-C and PORTA merger. As a former student, and one who came out of the district fairly recently, I feel it is my duty to voice my opinion about this issue.
In case some of you do not know me, I will start with a little background about myself. I was born and raised in Chandlerville and attended Chandlerville/A-C schools my entire life. I graduated valedictorian of my class in 2011 with a very high GPA and an ACT score of 34. I was blessed with a full scholarship to MacMurray College. After receiving a Bachelor of Science in Biology and a minor in Chemistry, with a 4.0 GPA, I am currently enrolled in the Physician Assistant program at St. Louis University.

Conservative judges needed, states Kent Gray

Recently, I was shocked when my opponent in our race for circuit judge told a newspaper in Springfield that he doesn't believe in strictly interpreting the Constitution. He went on to describe his Constitutional philosophy as: "I like to use as much discretion as I think I can possibly get away with, to put my own spin on what I think the answers should be." Earlier in the campaign, he told a reporter that he is a social moderate.

75 years later focus is the same

As we consider the proposed school consolidation, it may be fruitful to consider some historical context. In the 1940's an area consolidation took place to bring together dozens of one-room schools into a single district. This enabled three things: a more economical way to provide education, a larger curriculum, and an opportunity for children to receive a better education. Consolidation succeeded in providing all three benefits for voters and students,
In the mid-1950's, another consolidation was considered between Ashland, Pleasant Plains and Tallula. It was proposed to accomplish the same goals as earlier consolidation efforts. However, a few people in Plains and Tallula convinced the voters that all Ashland wanted was for someone else to build them a new school.

There’s magic in the number ‘ten’

Greetings from the Ridge.
I got snookered in. Seems like I always do. The article in the magazine was entitled, “The Top Ten Reasons for Visiting a Health Spa.” I have absolutely no desire to go a spa myself nor do I see any chance of me getting the urge in the near future, but I read the list. My curiosity had nothing to do with shape of my thighs or my hip tone, but it was a list and God knows we’re all suckers for lists.

The Future of A-C Central’s curriculum

I was recently asked to write an article featuring the curriculum and the future at A-C Central High School. A school’s curriculum is driven by several different forces. The first and most obvious of these forces is the state of Illinois and the requirements it has set for graduation. These requirements are the same at every high school in Illinois. If you look at the historical trend, these requirements have also steadily increased over the years. This makes sense as the demands in society for higher education and skills have steadily increased as well.

A consolidated district would benefit the children’s education

The duty and responsibility to educate our children has been around a long time. Thirty-five hundred years ago Moses commanded the Hebrews to teach what they had learned at Mount Sinai to their children and their children’s children. Plato was giving instructions to the Greeks about 2,500 years ago on how to best educate their children. Currently in the State of Illinois a parent who allows a child to be truant can be found to have committed a Class C misdemeanor.

Financing Beardstown schools

To Beardstown CUSD#15 Board of Education, employees, taxpayers and concerned citizens:
School finance. It is in the news and unless you live under a rock you know that in the state of Illinois it is a rough subject. The state continues to whittle away at reimbursement and continues to drag its feet on funding that is due to the districts. The state is continually talking about shifting funding from the state level to the local level.
Our district is better off than some other area districts in the fact that our taxpayers have already passed a one percent sales tax to help fund the district (this money can only be used for certain items and is not intended for the day to day operation of the school district). Our taxpayers have been very generous to the school district over the years, passing the referendum to build the new school, passing the one percent sales tax, among other things. Many times throughout the years items have come up to be placed on the chopping block only to have volunteers from the community step forward and save that item.

A winter to be remembered

This winter will no doubt be one we remember a long time. It’s been colder here in central Illinois than in Alaska, and I’ve been told, even at the North Pole. It seems like there have been more “snow days” for the kids in the last two months than there was in my entire high school career. Come to think about it, we never had “snow days” when I was a kid. No one had a car except the farmer students and they made it to school if the drifts weren’t too high. Now, 90 percent of the students have a car to drive to school and there are a lot of snow days.

Herb: the thorn in Freida’s side

Greetings from the Ridge.
Some women marry partners. I married Herb. I said, “Herbie, I think this calls for a celebration!”
“Of what?”
“Thirty years! This makes thirty years for the Coonridge Digest!”
“I agree. The Black Plague only lasted four and didn’t do near as much damage.”
“The Great Chicago Fire only went for three days.”