Editors note: The following is the direct text from Mayor Larry Morrisseys (I) April 9 press conference.
I am here today to state my wholehearted support for David Kelley, Christina Ostergard and Alice Saudargas for re-election to the Rockford School Board.
As a candidate for this office and in my capacity as mayor, I have continually demonstrated my support for education and the need for mayoral leadership in education for this city. Today, I am supporting candidates for the school board who I feel are the best qualified to continue the great progress that has been made by our school district.
Specifically, these candidates have a record of support for our anti-truancy initiatives as well as the zoned schools approach to student assignment. I have been clear in my support of these efforts. Truancy has been at epidemic levels in Rockford, but this year, due to our partnership with the District and the United Way, we have brought down truancy over 25 percent so far. We look forward to expanding that partnership during our next academic year.
In addition, families in our community should not be relegated to a lottery based on the belief that one school is better than another. All schools in Rockford should be excellent, and I think that these candidates not only share that belief, but they have a proven record to back this up.
I am also pleased with the work of Schools Superintendent Dennis Thompson. I believe that Dennis Thompson is an asset to the school district, and I believe that his plans need to be supported.
This is not a knock against the other candidates, and I do not want my endorsement to be construed as a rejection of other candidates or a blanket endorsement of everything the District does.
Rather, the candidates that are here with me today have a proven record of support for moving forward with the progress that the District has made.
My statement today and my pledge of support to these candidates is a positive endorsement on what we have been able to accomplish by working together. As I said in the State of the City address, I believe in Leading Boldly and Working Together.
I am affirmatively supporting the record these individuals have demonstrated in their service on the school board.
They have embraced the concept of Leading Boldly and Working Together, and I would urge Rockford School District voters to let them continue this good work.
from the April 11-17, 2007, issue