Full Name: Eric Larsen
What office are you seeking? D428 School Board Member
What is your political party? N/A
What is your current age? N/A
Occupation and Employer: Owner and Business Coach, Salem Leadership
What offices, if any, have you previously held?
Education: B.S. Environmental Management(School of Business), Minor in Economics
Community involvement: Volunteer Coach AYSO
Volunteer Boy Scouts and Cub Scouts
Volunteer Coach Future Barbs Basketball
Volunteer Christ Community Church
Marital status/Immediate family: Carrie-wife
Why are you running for office?
To work together with the other school board members to ensure we make the best decisions for our children, teachers, and our community.
What makes you qualified for the office you’re seeking?
Father of five in D428
I ran 3 organizations as either President or CEO so I bring a unique perspective to the board.
Have you sought and/or received any training to run for your local school board? If so, from whom?
Spoken with previous board members.
Would you propose any changes to the curriculum? If so, what?
I would seek input from our curriculum director as well as the teachers and our community.
Are LGBTQ students treated fairly in your district?
What is your assessment of how Diversity, Equity and Inclusion is handled in your school district?
I am grateful that my children have been able to attend a school with students of diverse backgrounds. It has helped prepare them for life outside of Dekalb.
Do you believe the district needs to make any changes to improve DEI in your district?
I would need to see the data from the district to better understand what is working and what is not working.
Are teachers in your district paid adequately now and in retirement?
We will be up for contract negotiations shortly. They are due a raise.
Would you support changes to teacher pay scales? If so, how?
We need to reward teachers who do an outstanding job, just like we do in the private sector.
What is your assessment of the district superintendent’s compensation?
It is in line with comparative school districts. It is a big job.
Would you make any changes to how the district superintendent is compensated?
Again, achieving or exceeding the goals should result in higher pay, just like in the private sector.
Do you support the current superintendent? Please explain.
I support what is best for the community, teachers, and students. As in any leadership role, the superintendent’s performance should be measured against specific goals (student performance improvement, employee satisfaction, etc).
Should schools in your district adopt and teach sex education according to the National Sex Education Standards? Please explain.
No. As of the latest published data, only 24 school districts (including D428) out of 852 in Illinois have adopted national sex education standards. We need to use instructional time to improve our student’s academic performance in ELA, math, and science.
What is your assessment of how the COVID-19 pandemic was handled locally?
We were the last local school to reopen. The decision to keep the schools closed for so long will have a lasting impact on our children.
What did you learn from the pandemic?
Being remote for work and school is not healthy.
Are voters that support your district taxed at an appropriate level?
Illinois has some of the highest taxes in the country.
Would you support any plans to raise taxes in the district? If so, what should the additional revenue be spent on?
We need to take a long look at our expenses before we spend more money. We need to spend money like it is our own.
Would you support lowering taxes in the district? If so, what programs or services in the district would you cut?
Again, we need to look at all of our expenses. I have yet to lead a company that does not have some expenses that can be reduced without compromising the service or product.
Will you accept the voters’ decision in your race on Election Day?
What is your position on open, transparent government?
We need to be more open and transparent as a district. It is very hard to find meaningful information related to board meetings and financials. There are other local districts, with fewer resources, that are much more transparent and open.
Do you support the Freedom of Information Act and citizens’ ability to freely access government records?