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ON THE ISSUES
2014 Holiday Greeting Card
“Happy holidays from my family to yours. As we celebrate this season, Amber and I are thankful we can raise our daughter, Anastasia, in this community we call home. I'm also thankful for the opportunity I've had to give back by serving the North End on the Springfield school board since 2011”
Ward 4 candidate McFarland: “Renters deserve a safe place to live, and there’s more the City can do” - December 17, 2014
"We have problem properties all over town, whether it's an abandoned eyesore that could hurt a passerby and depress property values, or whether it's a place where people are living in unsafe conditions," he said. "As alderman, I'll push for across-the-board enforcement so it doesn't take a tragedy or a media report to get the job done. And when tenants need to be relocated, I'll make sure the City keeps them informed and part of the process every step of the way."
Letter: Early childhood education vital - December 16, 2014
"The ELC is one of the Springfield Public Schools’ strongest assets. There’s only one thing wrong with it — there aren’t enough slots for all the families who want to send their children there. Increased state and federal funding for early childhood education would help us meet the community’s demand for quality preschool services and prepare more children to start school on a sound footing."
Evans launches campaign for Subdistrict 3 school board seat
McFarland, outgoing rep now running for alderman, endorses her - October 3, 2014
“Nicole is a passionate, informed parent and civic leader who cares deeply about our students, teachers and schools,” McFarland said. “She has my full support, and I’m confident she will offer excellent constituent service and a strong voice for North End families, schools and taxpayers, just as I believe I’ve done during my four years on the board.”
McFarland enters race for Ward 4 alderman - September 29, 2014
"McFarland said he thinks he has “accomplished quite a bit on the school board” but felt city council was the best way to continue to serve Springfield."
"He pointed to championing changes in the school board’s public-participation policy and chairing the search committee for a new superintendent, adding that, if elected, he’d “be a strong voice” on the city council."
Ray Lytle Show - WTAX 1240 AM - September 29, 2014
Scott joined Ray Lytle on WTAX 1240 AM to discuss his Ward 4 Alderman campaign.
Ward 4 Announcement Video - September 29, 2014
On September 29, 2014, Scott announced his candidacy for Ward 4 Alderman. This is the full video including the speech and the press conference that followed.
Ward 4 Announcement Speech - September 29, 2014
Over the past few months, I’ve given a great deal of thought to the question of how I can best continue serving my neighbors on the North End. Today marks the start of my campaign to represent Ward 4 as its alderman.
Just as I’ve been a tireless advocate on the school board for Lanphier and the other schools in this area, I’ll be a strong voice on the City Council for economic development and good jobs on the North End. I’ll take an active role on the high speed rail project and construction along the 10th and 19th Street corridors, looking out for our interests when it comes to jobs and the relocation of homes and businesses. I’ll make sure street flood prevention and sewer improvement is a top priority when the City spends our tax dollars on infrastructure. And I’ll fight for a police force that reflects the community it serves and more police patrols so our streets and parks are safe for families.
McFarland announces for Ward 4 alderman - September 29, 2014
Scott McFarland, who currently represents Subdistrict 3 on the District 186 Board of Education, announced today he will run for alderman of Ward 4. Accompanied by his wife, Amber, their four-year-old daughter, Anastasia, and other family and supporters, McFarland kicked off his campaign at The Fair Plaza shopping center on Sangamon Avenue.
Letter: District 186 school board member supports education reform in Illinois - May 12, 2014
"The state education funding system is outdated and penalizes districts, such as Springfield, with high concentrations of students from low-income households. It costs more to educate students who must overcome socioeconomic barriers to success, and District 186 is committed to providing a great education to every child, regardless of family income or circumstances.
Senate Bill 16, a plan introduced by Sen. Andy Manar, D-Bunker Hill, would completely overhaul education funding so state tax dollars go where they’re needed most.
The State Board of Education projects that if this legislation passes, Springfield Public Schools could see a $2.6 million increase in state funding next year. That’s an additional $191 per student."
Betting with other players’ chips: TIF projects are a bad bet for 186 schools - February 20, 2014
"In the estimation of School District 186 board member Scott McFarland, the eight active TIF districts in Springfield divert about $4 million a year from 186 coffers to pay for development projects desired by the City of Springfield. The current annual budget deficit faced by District 186 – $4.7 million."
McFarland was trying to wake up his fellow board members to this ongoing hijacking of school revenue, asking them to make it board policy to at least “engage” with the city when new projects funded using tax increment financing are proposed."
McFarland: School board should be part of city hall TIF discussions - February 10, 2014
"McFarland brought the issue up again last week after learning of Mayor Mike Houston’s plan to make the old Springfield YWCA building the focal point for a replacement TIF district downtown after the current one expires in 2016.
McFarland asked the board to vote at its next meeting, Feb. 17, to make engaging with the city on new TIF proposals a formal policy.
"There needs to be some give and take so our district is not tied down for 23 years until the TIF expires," McFarland said.
This isn’t the first time McFarland has urged the board to be more active in city TIF discussions. The last time, in 2012, didn’t go well. "
Ray Lytle Interview, 1240 WTAX -
October 8, 2013
Scott spoke with Ray Lytle about the achievement gap, Lanphier High School, and community involvement.
Company offers free epi-pens to Springfield School District: The Springfield School District may not have to pay for epinephrine pens to treat students experiencing dangerous allergic reactions. - September 18, 2013
"School board member Scott McFarland said he’s been in contact with Weddigen and is interested in a free donation, although he added that school administrators are still looking into the offer.
"We have a really good community, and when we are looking for some help, usually help finds its way to us," McFarland said."
School board revises policy to make ‘epi-pens’ more accessible - September 17, 2013
"All Springfield public schools should have epinephrine pens on hand to treat students experiencing dangerous allergic reactions by the end of the year, school board member Scott McFarland said Tuesday.
"This could be the difference of life and death,” he said. “For a minimum amount of money, they should be at all the schools.""
Ray Lytle Interview, 1240 WTAX -
August 6, 2013
Scott spoke with Ray Lytle about finding a new superintendent, technical classes for underclassmen, and school funding.
Rachel Otwell Interview, WUIS -
June 12, 2013
"WUIS has brought you interviews with all the new Springfield school board members seated last month. Today we speak with Scott McFarland – he’s serving his second term on the board. McFarland recently saw the closures of multiple schools in his district on the north-east side of town. He tells WUIS’s Rachel Otwell about that as well as problems within the previous school board."
Jim Leach Interview, 970 WMAY -
June 11, 2013
"The one piece of longevity we're going to have is going to be the school board, so it is going to be up to us..."
On June 11, 2013 Jim Leach of 970 WMAY interviewed Scott about
finding a new superintendent, high speed rail, and school consolidations.
Ray Lytle Interview, 1240 WTAX -
June 4, 2013
"I want somebody with urban experience... I want to make sure that they have experience dealing with tough budgets... I want somebody who has a vision for this city."
On June 4, 2013 Ray Lytle of 1240 WTAX interviewed Scott about
finding a new superintendent, residency requirements, high speed rail, school consolidation, and the future of the District 186.
School board to interview superintendent search firms -
May 9, 2013
McFarland said he would like to see a candidate with a strong background in overseeing an urban school district.
“I’d like to make sure we have someone who has some strong experience in terms of an urban district and the knowledge of working with many schools with a diverse population,” he said.
Second Term Priorities - May 5, 2013
As I begin my second term, I have sought input from my constituents regarding the issues that they would like me to prioritize. The following is a list of those priority areas...
School board seeking input for superintendent search -
May 2, 2013
Board member Scott McFarland said the district shares responsibility for the violations.
“They may have violated the policy, but the district has violated policy to allow them to stay in their positions,” McFarland said.
Our Opinion: District 186 voters should choose wholesale change -
April 1, 2013
Two current board members, Scott McFarland and Judith Johnson, are running unopposed. We urge them to continue being independent and straightforward. Where McFarland has shown he understands the importance of transparency and responsiveness, we would like to see such thinking from Johnson. We encourage them to set a strong example for the rest of the board when it comes to being open, communicative and understanding about the board’s role.
Ray Lytle Interview, 970 WMAY -
March 19, 2013
"I think it's time for the board to take a new direction... The best asset that city has is District 186, and District 186 needs to be operating at its peak performance."
On April 19, 2013 Ray Lytle of 970 WMAY Interviewed Scott about
protecting student privacy, certifying teachers, and the future of the District 186 School Board.
Jim Leach Interview, 970 WMAY -
February 5, 2013
"I will be making sure that the District doesn't forget about
On February 5, 2013 Jim Leach of 970 WMAY Interviewed Scott
about budget cuts and consolidation of Wanless and Pleasant
principal: 'Our scholars will overcome this challenge'" SJ-R -
February 5, 2013
Board member Scott McFarland also spoke against closing two
elementary schools in the Grandview area — Wanless and Pleasant
Hill — and chose not to vote for any of the recommendations
proposed by the district.
Wanless and Pleasant Hill students
will attend school next year in the Feitshans School building,
where the CCPA is currently housed.
The district has not yet announced its plans for the Pleasant
Hill and Wanless school buildings after the schools are closed.
"Annual event gives students lesson on giving" SJ-R - December
School board member Scott McFarland, whose subdistrict includes Pleasant
Hill, also showed up to lend a hand.
“I’m going to do what the ladies tell me to do,” McFarland said.
“I’m not the best wrapper, so maybe crowd control.”
He first learned about the event this week, he said, adding,
“This is awesome.”
"Grandview urges District 186 to keep Wanless Elementary open"
SJ-R - November 20, 2012
School board member Scott McFarland, whose subdistrict includes both
Wanless and Pleasant Hill, said he supports the closure of
Pleasant Hill but not Wanless.
“Pleasant Hill is definitely in need of resources. In terms of
environment, students over there, it’s better for them to be in
a different school,” McFarland said. “I don’t see that (the
Wanless) building has the same problems Pleasant Hill has.”
McFarland said he is also concerned about stripping the
Grandview area of its schools.
“You’re basically taking all schools out of the entire Grandview
neighborhood -- and now have students leaving that area to go to
school,” McFarland said. “That area in general is an area that
needs more put into it, not more taken out of it.”
McFarland, who has announced that he’s running for re-election
this spring, said he also wants to know what the district’s
plans are for the buildings post-consolidation before he makes a
final decision on where he stands.
"School board rejects resolution to oppose Dirksen TIF" SJ-R -
November 5, 2012
Board vice president Bill Looby wrote the resolution after city
leaders refused to negotiate the terms of the TIF district.
Looby and board member Scott McFarland were the lone aye votes,
both saying the district should see some of the revenue that TIF
districts generate during its lifetime. TIF districts typically
do not send additional revenue to school districts unless a
surplus has accumulated at the TIF district's expiration."
"City of Springfield rejects school board request on TIF funds"
SJ-R - November 1, 2012
Springfield School Board member Scott McFarland said he was
disappointed at the results of the meeting.
“I really hope
that we can work on a compromise to where we still have TIF
districts do what they are meant to do, but also ensuring we are
not cutting off valuable resources to our students for 23
years,” he said.
McFarland said the city’s assertion that the district is not
entitled to additional tax money during the lifetime of the TIF
district is only partly true.
“You would see an increase anyway in property value — over
the course of 23 years, (values) are going to go up. We would
have seen a revenue increase."
Opinion: City of Springfield should work with District 186 on
- October 31, 2012
Some members of the Springfield School Board have proposed that
the district become more involved in the city’s decision to
create TIFs because of the potential effect on district
Board members Scott McFarland and Bill Looby want the
financially strapped district to be involved earlier in the
process and for the city to look at allowing the district to
have some of the increased revenues before the TIF expires in 23
'Yes, we believe this (the Dirksen Parkway TIF) should happen,
but we would like to see it not completely hinder this district
for the next 23 years,' McFarland said recently."
"Black businesses want more public school contracts" SJ-R -
October 20, 2012
"We’re setting some kind of goal to ensure marketing to these
businesses,” McFarland said. “We don’t have that in our laws, so
it would be above and beyond what the school code says. I think
we do need to make a concerted effort to reaching out and also
keep in mind we want the best contractors.”
"School board to city: Change rules on TIF zones" SJ-R - October
School board member Scott McFarland, who regularly contends that
school representatives need to be more involved in TIF
discussions, on Monday suggested the board ask the city to give
the school district a small percentage of the additional
property tax revenue generated from rising property values in
the TIF district.
When a TIF is created, new tax revenues are
re-invested in the TIF district rather than being distributed to
taxing bodies. That loss hits school districts hardest because
they receive most property tax revenues — about 65 percent of a
Springfield resident’s tax bill goes to city public schools.
McFarland said the request would set a precedent for school
board involvement in future TIF discussions.
Behind the 8 ball
“It’s not just for this TIF — if the city goes forward and
brings more of these down the road, we need to have a set idea
of what the district is going to ask for,” McFarland said
Monday. “We really need to start meeting with city leaders prior
to this one meeting. We’re obviously behind the eight ball …
Yes, we believe this (the Dirksen Parkway TIF) should happen,
but we would like to see it not completely hinder this district
for next 23 years.”
"An extra honor for veteran on Honor Flight" SJ-R
- April 23, 2012
Hashman’s daughter, Karen Winterrowd of Flower Mound, Texas,
initiated the diploma presentation by Springfield School Board
members William Looby, president; Susan White, vice president;
and Scott McFarland, plus Jane Chard of the administration.
Hashman Receives Diploma After Honor Flight - Video
board considers adding public comment period to meetings" SJ-R
- March 7, 2012
Board member Scott McFarland said the school board
is the only local governmental body that does not
include a public comment period during its meetings.
The proposed policy “will cause a more open exchange
of ideas,” he said.
"Schools release proposed guidelines for social networking" SJ-R
- November 8, 2011
The school board’s three-member policy committee,
created Monday, is expected to take up the issue
Nov. 28, according to Scott McFarland, committee
chair. The meeting will be open to the public.
“In total, I think the policy is moving in the right
direction,” McFarland said. “It’s just a draft at
the moment. Both principals and teachers are going
to give us feedback.”
The proposed policy would apply to educators’
personal sites, as well as district-affiliated
“As a district, we would obviously like the teachers
to present themselves professionally as much as
possible, but I also know that we’re not going to be
able to, nor shall we want to, control what they’re
doing outside of work hours,” McFarland said. “If
you’re using the social media, we’d like to see you
use it in a good light and put forth a professional
manner. I don’t think we’re going to be looking to
control what they’re doing on their personal time.”
- Press Release: Scott McFarland Wins
Sub-District 3 Election - April 6, 2011
On Election Night, the voters of Sub-District 3
elected Scott McFarland as their representative to
the District 186 School Board. "I am honored and
humbled to have the support of my neighbors,"
McFarland said. "The well being of our children is
priority one, and I intend to get to work
- Press Release: Scott McFarland
Calls for Increased Support of Lanphier High School - March 8,
Last month, McFarland toured Lanphier with Principal
Artie Doss and attended a meeting of Lanphier's
Parent Teacher Organization. During his tour,
McFarland was not surprised to find that every
member of the staff truly cared about the well-being
of their students. "The teachers and staff of
Lanphier are doing a great job with the resources
and facilities they have. We need to work to get
more support for them. These are the individuals who
will help make the next generation of Lanphier
graduates successful," said McFarland. Improvements
can be seen in every hallway and around every corner
of Lanphier. According to Principal Doss, the
suspension rate at Lanphier has dropped dramatically
over the past year. More importantly, the students
are finding more opportunities to grow.
In order to keep this improvement on track,
McFarland is calling for District 186 to make the
revitalization of Lanphier High School as its top
priority. "The people of the North End deserve a
school that will not only educate their children but
serves as a beacon of light for the community." When
elected to the School Board, McFarland has pledged
to be a tireless advocate for Lanphier. He will call
on the Board to form a realistic long-term plan to
upgrade the facilities at Lanphier. This will also
include community input from the town hall forums
that McFarland has already pledged to host
throughout Sub District 3.
Copyright 2014 - Friends of Scott McFarland.
All Rights Reserved.
A copy of our report filed with the State Board of
Elections is (or will be) available on the Board's official website
or for purchase from the State Board of Elections, Springfield,