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- On the Issues -

From Left: Amber (wife), Scott, Craig (brother), and Anna (sister-in-law)
in Illinois Senate Chambers - 2008

  • Rachel Otweel 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 6, 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 6, 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.

  • Board discusses residency policy for administrators, supervisors - June 3, 2013
    Discussions included whether to hire an interim for the 2013-14 school year in order to take their time searching, or to keep current interim superintendent Bob Leming in place past his June 30 contract until a new candidate is hired within the first semester next fall.

    “Now we have a game plan in terms of what the next step is,” board member Scott McFarland, who is a chair of the search committee, said after the meeting. “That is looking at potential search firms, finding out what they are going to tell us, what a good timeline is for that search, and then in a few weeks hopefully the board will be deciding next steps.”
  • 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 these kids."

    On February 5, 2013 Jim Leach of 970 WMAY Interviewed Scott about budget cuts and consolidation of Wanless and Pleasant Hill.
  • "CCPA 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.

  • "Milton floats idea for city/schools sales tax" SJ-R - January 15, 2013
    Board member Scott McFarland said Monday a balanced budget will require a combination of spending cuts, more revenue and long-term planning.

    “We can’t get to a balanced budget by just cutting and cutting and cutting, because we’re getting to a point where we’re eliminating programs that are helping kids,” McFarland said. “So the community is going to have make a decision here — do they want us to continue to cut programs that are helping, or do we want a balanced approach where we have the revenue and the fiscal responsibility to keep the district moving to the right direction?”

  • "Milton revises proposed school budget cuts" SJ-R - January 11, 2013
    No provision for teacher raises

    The proposal also does not project a pay raise for teachers. The district and teachers union are in early stages of negotiating a new contract.

    School board president Susan White said that concerns her, and it suggests a need to eliminate more positions.

    “Since salaries make up 87 percent of our budget, I think we need to hold firm to a cut number that is on the high side rather than the low side,” White said.

    School board member Scott McFarland said it isn’t possible to make a raise projection.

    “It’s a detriment to proper contract negotiations if you come in with a set number,” he said. “The whole idea is that the administration and the teachers sit down with what they would like to see and we find common ground — and that’s why this budget won’t be officially passed until September.”
  • "Annual event gives students lesson on giving" SJ-R - December 14, 2012
     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.”

    But 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."

  • "Four Springfield schools await closure recommendations" SJ-R - November 4, 2012
    The proposed closures of Wanless and Pleasant Hill, both attended by children living north of Clear Lake and south of North Grand avenues, reflects the transformation of the neighborhood, which has many fewer young children than when the schools were built.

    Both buildings are in school board member Scott McFarland’s subdistrict.

    “It’s obviously not the best situation,” he said. “We want to have as many opportunities for students to stay in their neighborhood as possible and we have really good teachers in both those schools, and obviously consolidation would affect that. But neighborhoods on the North End are resilient. If the district intends to do that, we’ll make sure we do it correctly.”

  • "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."

  • "School budget group wants to ask: Cut pay or lay off teachers?" SJ-R - November 1, 2012
    Board member Scott McFarland said he believes seeking parent input on pay cuts vs. layoffs would be tantamount to  collective bargaining.

    “If they go to a parent group and ask them, ‘Can we have ideas on ways to cut back on costs?’ fine, that’s asking for ideas,” McFarland said. “If they go into the meeting and say, ‘We would like to have (this) cut’ ... that’s collective bargaining and going against good faith in negotiating, and that doesn’t help anybody.”
  • "Our Opinion: City of Springfield should work with District 186 on TIF" SJ-R - 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 revenues.

    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 years.

    '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 16, 2012
    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.”

  • "Committee seeks to keep politics out of schools" SJ-R - October 11, 2012
    Along with banning paid advertisements, the proposed policy would prohibit candidates’ campaigns from sponsoring fundraisers for schools.

    Campaigning on district property, with district resources and in district-produced literature is currently prohibited, but board members have been working for about a year on making those rules clearer, more specific and in a single policy, Looby said.

    “There are so many different policies floating around, we don’t have a specific policy that says this can and cannot happen,” McFarland said.

    If approved, the effective date would likely be after the Nov. 6 general election but sometime before the April balloting when all seven school board seats are up for election.

  • "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.
  • George Hashman Receives Diploma After Honor Flight - Video
  • "School 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.
  • "Shifting pension burden could cost District 186 $7 million" SJ-R - February 21, 2012
     Board member Scott McFarland asked that the district make public information about the plan as it becomes available.

    “This is going to be very costly for our district,” McFarland added.
  • "Officials: Athletic facilities to take back seat in city schools" SJ-R - January 29, 2012
    PE waivers

    “I’ve said before that I think we need to start looking at our facilities in general, one of the big things being those gyms, since we’re not going to be able to keep asking for waivers,” McFarland 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 sites.

    “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.”
  • "School district takes new approach to master plan" SJ-R - October 9, 2011
    Board member Scott McFarland also believes the district is moving in the right direction.

    ‘I think we’re going to need something that lays out the course the district needs to go,” McFarland said. “We also need to be adaptive.”
  • Ray Lytle Interview, 970 WMAY - August 17, 2011
  • 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 immediately."
  • 970 WMAY Election Night Coverage - April 5, 2011
  • "Close races mark Springfield School Board elections - McFarland, Looby, and Mueller win by narrow margins," SJ-R - April 5, 2011
    McFarland, 27, is resources and information manager for the Department of Human Services’ Serve Illinois Commission.

    “I’m honored and grateful,” McFarland said. “We worked very hard, and I’m happy to see I have the support of a great deal of my neighbors.”
  • Jim Leach Interview, 970 WMAY - March 28, 2011
  • Frank McNeil Interview, 970 WMAY - March 18, 2011
  • Press Release: Scott McFarland Calls for Increased Support of Lanphier High School - March 8, 2011
    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.
  • Press Release: School Board Candidate Scott McFarland Calls for Increased Community Involvement in Regards to Feitshans Academy - February 21, 2011
    Scott McFarland has made the promise that when he is elected he will immediately call for community forums to allow for all opinions to be heard on issues. He pledges to work for more community involvement and is looking forward to being the voice for the people. He will also call on the School Board President to allow for Audience Participation during each School Board meeting to allow for outside opinions to be heard. Scott McFarland said "I am running on the platform that the School Board needs to be more transparent and open to opinions from all students, parents, and teachers. When I am elected I will make these promises a reality the first day on the job."
  • "15 candidates speak to NAACP forum," SJ-R - February 15, 2011
    Scott McFarland, Subdistrict 3: “We need to decrease the drop-out rate. We need to work to make sure we’re hiring teachers from diverse backgrounds, and we need to make sure those teachers are staying in the district.”
  • "Northender declares candidacy for school board seat," SJ-R - December 9, 2010
    “We have some hard decisions to make in the coming years, but they should not be made on the backs of our students or our teachers,” McFarland said in a news release launching his campaign.
  • Campaign Announcement Press Release -
    December 5, 2010

    McFarland added, "My wife and I are products of public schools. We feel that public schools can offer our children a world class education, and I hope to ensure my daughter and all of our Springfield children are given every opportunity to be successful."

View Scott McFarland's LinkedIn profileView Scott McFarland's profile

- The Latest -

Copyright 2012 - 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, Illinois.

Copyright 2012 - 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, Illinois.