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District 205 School Board Gives a Reluctant Nod to $1.2 Million in Cuts

After April 10, teachers getting laid off will know who they are.

A 90 minute discussion by Elmhurst District 205 School Board members Tuesday night did not lead to any magic bullet or previously unrevealed secret that would fix the district's budget without painful cuts. On the contrary, it set those cuts in motion.

It's the third consecutive year the district has had to trim the budget. Last year, the district used the Elmhurst Educational Program Review Technique, or EEPRT, to . EEPRT data collected in 2011 was one of the criteria board members used this year when evaluating areas to cut.

While the amount to be cut for 2012-13 is less than last year, about $1.2 million, the cuts are hitting some vital areas.

"If there was anything frivolous, it was cut a long time ago," Superintendent David Pruneau said. "All these positions and programs are critical to our success. (But) we don't have an alternative. Expenditures and revenues are not matching up."

The roadmap for Tuesday's discussion was the recommended "yellow" list of cuts Pruneau and his administrative staff . Items on a white list of alternate cuts also have been bandied about, but the white list proposes eliminating middle school sports, elementary Spanish and elementary instrumental music. Cuts such as these would fundamentally change the district by cutting into "the very things that affect the richness of our community," board member Chris Blum said.

More on the white list later.

The board generally agreed with staff recommendations on the yellow list:

  • utilizing targets as opposed to hard caps for class sizes in grades kindergarten through eight. Savings: $240,000 to $480,000
  • increasing staffing ratio at York. Savings: $300,000 to $360,000
  • eliminating a certified librarian at York (currently, there are two). Savings: $60,000
  • reducing library assistants, assistant coaches, secretarial and other support staff at York. Savings: $140,600
  • eliminating one maintenance position. Savings: $55,000
  • rearranging unified arts and gym at Churchville (reduction of up to two full-time employees). Savings: $60,000 to $120,000
  • reducing by .6 FTE a guidance counselor at Sandburg. Savings: $36,000
  • eliminating middle school library assistants (reduction of 3 FTE). Savings: $90,000
  • reducing elementary music from twice a week (60 minutes total) to once a week (45 minutes), a reduction of 1.4 FTE. Savings: $84,000
  • eliminating middle school transitional Spanish (reduction of .5 to 1 FTE). Savings: $30,000 to $60,000
  • reducing stipends for middle school student council. Savings: $8,140 to $16,280
  • reducing technology budget (hardware and software). Savings: $120,000
  • reduce technology budget (telecom and Internet). Savings $78,000

Total reductions: $1.3 million to $1.7 million

Pruneau said it's important to cut all the way to the $1.7 million mark because cuts on paper don't always translate into the same dollar amount in actuality.

"If you cut this too close and the numbers don't go your way, we may be back here in August," he said. If the cuts end up being more than $1.2 million, items will be added back into the budget.

"We're not going to cut $1.7 million if we don't need it," he said.

Class Size Increases 'Not Tolerated Well'

Board members debated some concepts, like whether physical education was more important than academics, and how increasing class sizes will affect students.

"I just don't want to lose the quality of our elementary education because we've overloaded classes," board member Jim Collins said.

Assistant Superintendent for Human Resources Brad Hillman said having targets rather than hard caps for class sizes will allow for adjustments based on needs at individual schools.

"It is not our intent to have class sizes at the elementary level into the 30s," he said. "We will factor in as many people who know about our students as possible to make informed decisions."

Board member Maria Hirsch reminded the board that the district has made a significant investment over the years in block scheduling and placing more ELL and REACH teachers in the elementary schools. So while class sizes have creeped up, these methods already have augmented classrooms and teachers, Hirsch said.

"I get a lot of positive feedback about that model from teachers," Pruneau added.

Shannon Ebner said EEPRT showed that the community ranks smaller class size as very important, and she's heard complaints from parents about how class sizes have creeped up over the years.

"It doesn't seem the community tolerates that very well," she said, adding that previous increases have all happened at the elementary level, not at the high school.

"I just want it to be equitable across the board, not targeted at a certain age," she said.

At York, class sizes are more difficult to determine. Everything is based on student-to-teacher ratios, Assistant Superintendent for Curriculum Charles Johns said.

"High school scheduling is very complicated," he said.

Whether electives will be offered or eliminated is driven by student interest. If only a few students sign up for an elective, that class will be canceled, or perhaps several grade levels of students will be taught the class all together.

Board member Karen Stuefen asked why the district is offering new electives during a time of budget cuts.

"Do we really need to do that?" she asked.

Adding new courses keeps the curriculum fresh and increases student engagement, Johns said.

"What holds it all in check are those ratios," he said.

It's Not Over

Hirsch also thanked Technology Director David Smith for cutting another $200,000 this year, on top of the $500,000 cuts in technology in each of the last two years.

Smith said the level of funding after the cuts will be enough to maintain the current equipment and systems, but not add anything new.

But even after this round of cuts, the district's own projections say the board will have to go through the same process again next year, board member Chris Blum said.

"This conversation is going to continue," he said. "Next year, the stuff on the white list will be on the table. I think we should be having that discussion now. I want to engage the community in that discussion now."

Hirsch pointed out that labor costs—salaries and benefits—are the biggest chunk of the district's budget, and they have accelerated at a much faster rate than the consumer price index, which is used to determine tax increases. Other concerns are related to state funding. There's talk that Illinois soon will no longer provide funds for transportation, for example, and local districts may soon have to foot the bill for pension payments.

Blum said he's not interested in the reasons.

"I don't care why it happened. We are going to be in the hole next year according to our own projections," he said. "We have a runway. We see this coming. Let's start a discussion."

Pruneau said any discussion with the community about budget cuts must start with educating constituents on how a budget is developed.

"It's a complicated process," he said.

Board President Susan DeRonne asked staff to look into the best way to begin these conversations with the public. Meanwhile, Pruneau and his staff will start implementing the cuts this week. A list of all certified staff to be laid off must be presented by April 10.

He reiterated that the number of staff cuts represent a "worst-case scenario," and that he was hopeful some of the staff that is let go can be recalled once more detailed budget numbers are known this summer.

"We're hoping we can do some things to bring these positions back," he said.

He also thanked the board and his cabinet.

"I know we're looked at sometimes like the bad guys, but I want the public to know that my cabinet spent hours and hours agonizing over these cuts. I can tell you there were a lot of sleepless nights."

Independence666 April 07, 2012 at 12:46 AM
OMG........ Has anybody looked at this. http://www.familytaxpayers.org/salary.php There are quite a few six figure "educators" in district 205. That's a whole lot of pay for 9 months of work. A few periodic cuts should be expected when you're talking about this level of pay.
Emily.D April 07, 2012 at 01:33 AM
OMG... 666, Why do you keep putting "educator" in quotes?? Do you doubt their ability to teach as well as you are jealous (stike that) hate their salaries? Why are we villainizing this man? He's a father and has been working in the district forever. Obviously, no one is suggesting that everyone who has a post-grad degree is automatically awesome. But, come on, let's support each other. Teachers didn't get us into this mess. This season, of all seasons, should be about loving each other and not hurting one another. But that's right, your name is 666.
Emily.D April 07, 2012 at 01:35 AM
Again, you show disrespect for people making an honest living by putting "teach" in quotes. Who are you? Judge not....
Elmhurst Mom April 07, 2012 at 03:19 AM
As a taxpayer and parent, I am invested Elmhurst and its schools. I was relieved that the board and teachers finally came to an agreement. But after the April 3rd board meeting, I'm getting that sinking feeling again. I understand that we are in tough economic times that call for difficult measures. But I am stunned by the short-sighted cuts proposed by the administration. One thing is glaringly obvious to me: ALL of the cuts, except ONE district receptionist position, would directly impact students. Larger classes in elementary school, especially in lower grades, will lead to less learning for our kids. Eliminating music or athletics is unimaginable to me. The mental health, engagement, esteem, and discipline that these programs build cannot be removed without serious consequences. I know I am not alone in saying how much these programs have helped my kids. Outraged, I did a little research and found a glaring discrepancy. According to the district website, total student enrollment rose 11% from 2003-2010. But curiously during that same time frame, the number of Central Office administrators more than DOUBLED. I also found out that we pay 100% of their health care costs. As a matter of equity, I would think that the administrators would get the same package that the teachers get, especially in these dire times.
Elmhurst Mom April 07, 2012 at 03:19 AM
Another thing that really gets me is the approximately $150,000 that goes to the office of Communications and Public Relations each year. Why does a transparent, effective district and board need a specialist to spin messages? And what's up with these PMA accounting consultants? Don't we have a Superintendent for Finances we already pay to do that job? Before we cut critical student services, let's make sure the district isn't top heavy. We ask our teachers to sacrifice, so let's require the same frugality and accountability from administrators. While I appreciate the hard work of board members and the difficult decisions they face, I feel like our town is gripped in some kind of dysfunctional dance between the board, the administration, and the teachers. SURELY there are alternatives to these cuts. I remember on March 20 the teachers suggested a number of possible efficiencies. Why haven't these been brought to the table by the administration and the board before any decisions are made? Find a way to collaborate and solve the problem. Our kids' futures our riding on it!
Independence666 April 07, 2012 at 03:12 PM
Emily, I have nothing against these folks personally. I'm sure most of them are very nice people. However, as a tax payer I have a right, no, a duty to understand and comment on how my money is being spent. I agree that teachers didn't get us into this mess but unfortunately we are here now, and the true is, we can no longer afford these kinds of extravagant expenses. Just like all other areas of our economy, schools need to reevaluate everything and tighten their belts during challenging times like this. BTW....The reason I put the word educators in quotes is that statistics indicate that our kids are falling far behind the kids in other countries, in terms of the education they receive. We keep throwing more and more tax dollars at this problem, but it doesn't help. The administrators and unions gobble up every cent they receive and keep asking for more and more. Kids in countries like Singapore, India, Japan and China are accelerating in the areas of math and science, while the majority of our kids are being encouraged, by the public eduacation system to take on huge loans to "pursue their interests" in the area of liberal arts. Our entire education system needs to be completely overhauled. Privatizing the whole thing might be a good start. Government never does anything well.
nana April 09, 2012 at 03:27 AM
The problem with comparing us to other countries is that it's comparing apples to oranges. In this country we have agreed to educate everybody; other countries either don't educate everyone (do you really believe that every child in China is given a top education?), or they take exams in their equivalent of middle school and shunted to various vocations. We are being compared to their top kids. Not only that, they are very good at taking tests. Is that what you want for your kids? Just to be a good test taker? How many Steve Jobs and Bill Gates have those countries produced? Not every kid is going to be at the top. But I think our schools do the best they can to make sure that our kids succeed the best they can. I'm with Emily D-it seems that the people that are on this board are the angriest and are taking out their anger in anonymity. It's true that I am not using my true name either, but I don't want to become a target. I wish people would be more civil. I think the reason that schools and teachers are the focus of people's anger is because it's the one place where they feel they have a smidge of control over where their money is spent. No, having a master's degree doesn't necessarily make a better teacher, but experience DOES count for something. In ANY job, there should be compensation for experience, and there should be something to work towards when you are a young teacher. Young people add spark to an organization, but they need experienced mentors.
Independence666 April 09, 2012 at 12:36 PM
Nana, whether we like it or not, we must compare our education system to those in other countries like China. They are our competition now, and they're killing us in the marketplace. Every American kid is not suited to go to college. In fact, both Gates and Jobs were both college drop-outs. I believe the Chinese get it. It would be much more effective if our kids were also tested, at an early age, and directed toward an area where they are most likely to succeed. Yes, that could be college, but it could also be a trade school or a cooperative work program. Too many of our kids are taking on huge loans to pay their excessively priced college tuitions, and much of this money is being wasted, since the expected return on investment is relatively small for many of the majors they choose to pursue. Many kids would be much better off learning a trade, such as electrician, carpenter, plumber, auto mechanics, etc.
nana April 09, 2012 at 02:09 PM
666-I think you are agreeing with me? :) The problem is that with No Child Left Behind, all kids are treated the same and the schools are "graded" this way. Under NCLB, every subgroup has to meet standards by 2014. At York most kids meet standards, but special ed, for example, is a subgroup, as is ELL (English Language Learners). These kids also have to meet standards and I know some special ed teachers who have told me what they go through every year to help these kids do their best on the test. They can take as long as they want, they get a single person to sit and read through the test with them, etc. It's an incredible amount of manpower that goes into administering the state testing every year. York hasn't made AYP (Annual Yearly Progress) because of the subgroup scores. And also, 666, some of those budget cuts are in areas that could help these kids find an alternate career path as you are suggesting. I feel that there is too much emphasis placed on testing and that we are going to be raising a generation of kids who either do well on tests but lose their creative drive in the process, or overlook the kids who aren't good test takers but could still be very successful in life in a vocational area. You are absolutely right when you say that pushing all of these kids toward college and judging our schools on how many kids do go to college, is a waste of money for some, and will put the rest into debt for the rest of their lives.
nana April 09, 2012 at 02:17 PM
Also, we are being compared to other countries around the world and China (well, Singapore, anyway) keeps coming up as a benchmark. I agree that they are our global competition right now. But little Finland has been neck and neck with them in achievement. In America, the way the laws are written is punitive toward teachers-ie. we want to base your pay on how well your students do on tests and if they don't do well you should be out on your ear. At the same time, with the economy the way it is, we are taking resources AWAY and cramming more kids into each classroom. There is data that says that classroom size does not correlate with test scores, but don't you think kids would do better if they had the teacher's attention more often? Is it only test scores that matter? Finland doesn't do testing, the teachers are fully unionized, teacher education programs are as hard to get into as med school and law school, and they pay their teachers on par with doctors and lawyers. They are treated as professionals. This is what it takes to improve education, but America isn't really following the model that will get us there. Here, it is politically correct to demand more testing, and scapegoat the teachers for all of society's ills. I think we are going to be sacrificing a generation of kids to all this infighting and political polarization.
David April 09, 2012 at 03:38 PM
Nana - just to correct your post - teachers in Finland are "respected" as much as doctors - but their pay is comparable to teachers pay in the US (Finland spends less per pupil than the US). Also, the teaching program is difficult to get into in Finland - 1 in 8 people are accepted to teaching, and all teachers have masters degrees. In the US, the bottom third of students become teachers. Source - http://www.scholastic.com/browse/article.jsp?id=3749880
David April 09, 2012 at 03:47 PM
This is a tough situation for everyone involved. Workers (Teachers and Administrators) want the most pay for the least amount of work - no shame in that - who would turn down a raise or accept working more hours without a fight? Elmhurst residents want the best education system for the least amount of money (less taxes paid). One thing is for certain, you cannot sustain a system where the labor costs represent the bulk of your budget, and they rise at a faster pace than the CPI. We'll be facing these same decisions every year.
nana April 09, 2012 at 06:41 PM
David-thanks for finding that info. Articles I have read said differently, but I also have read that it is very hard to get into the ed programs. Respect is worth a lot in a profession, though. I don't think we respect our teachers enough, certainly not in this political climate or in this economy. I'd be interested to know where you are getting the stats for your last comment-the bottom third of students become teachers? I'd like to know if that is really true. I don't know about you, but I'd rather have the smartest people teaching my children. To get that, we probably have to continue to pay teachers well to recruit the smartest and keep them from going into more lucrative professions. I'd say our teachers are paid pretty well-not as much as some other unit districts in the area, but more than most. I'd like to keep the best ones here, and not have them jump ship for better pay. WIth the threat of job layoffs and diminishing budgets every year in 205, and the threat of an uncertain retirement down the road, why would they stay here?
David April 09, 2012 at 07:19 PM
It came from that same article: “In our higher education system, the bottom third of the students are becoming teachers.”. I think this is a little unfair though. I searched more on it, and found this statistic "47 percent of America’s kindergarten through 12th-grade teachers come from the bottom one-third of their college classes (as measured by SAT scores)". I see this quoted all over the place, but cannot find the original source for it. Most districts across Illinois are facing the same issues as ours. With the sluggish economic recovery they just don't have the funds they did when housing prices were increasing. Due to tax caps and reduced funding from the state of Illinois all school districts have to make due with less.
David April 09, 2012 at 07:27 PM
Found the original source for the statement that the US teachers come from the bottom 1/3 of class. Some interesting information in this paper: http://www.mckinseyonsociety.com/downloads/reports/Education/Closing_the_talent_gap.pdf
nana April 10, 2012 at 03:33 AM
Really interesting report. Suggests that teachers should be paid 65K to start and 150K at the top to recruit/retain the top 1/3 of students into teaching. Discusses what Finland, Singapore and South Korea, supposedly the 3 model ed systems in the world, do to get the performance they get. Totally opposite of what we do in this country. Check it out. Thanks, David for finding this.
Independence666 April 10, 2012 at 09:53 AM
I agree that NCLB does not appear to have worked out, however, there must be some way to fairly evaluate teachers. Most teachers are very good at what they do, but there are some really bad ones out there also, and they are all protected by the unions. We need a way to fire bad teachers quickly and reward the good ones. Also, colleges should be held accountable for the marketability of the students they graduate. These poor kids are taking on tens of thousands of dollars in loans in majors like "women's studies" and "urban planning" and many of them are lucky they can get a job flipping hamburgers after graduation. There should be a national website which reports the minimum, maximum, and average salaries of graduates from each major. This would allow kids and their parents to choose more wisely.
Independence666 April 10, 2012 at 09:58 AM
Nana, Based on your description of Finland's teacher selection process, I would have to say that less than 50% of the teachers here in the US could make it out there.
MIKE April 10, 2012 at 10:11 AM
Let's face it, 205 has to make some deep cuts, the taxpayers of Elm. can not keep giving raises and paying some jock P.E. teacher over $100k. There is a lot of fat at these schools and the district has too make some cuts. Fact of life.
Joe Smith April 10, 2012 at 04:41 PM
If you feel that 6 years or more of college and working for 25+ years to earn $116,000 a year is not enough than you are a moron. Shame on all of you for someone trying to earn a living. If it is so great, then you can "sign up" for it. Start by paying 60-120,000 is student loans for a four year degree and then find a PE job in this crappy economy. What is funny is that people in the Private Sector think they have all the answers? Most likely they sit at a desk and type in numbers and BS all day and get paid 100,000 dollars at the entry level. That is what sucks. Teacher salaries are shown but is that really what they earn. NO. That includes coaching, summer school, and there TRS contributions. Please stop ragging on PE teachers and look at your own job. Or quit your job and go back to school to make $50,000 at the high end to be in education. If you are happy making 100,000 at the END of your career than be a teacher, for anyone else in the private sector that is nothing.
Adam April 10, 2012 at 05:38 PM
trying to earning a living?!? its a pretty good lavished living if you make 116000 in one year. Why is that a nuclear engineer never comes close to that yet a lousy gym teacher does. most of these PE teachers got 4 year physical ed degrees (WHICH IS A JOKE) back in the day when a year of college costs as much as a summer job, and now they are still get yearly raises and pensions. im sorry thats bs. i gave that salary list on familytaxpaers.org a good look and i honestly wouldnt mind slashing all of those salaries by 50%. I knew alot of those teachers going through district 205 and those salaries are grossly inflated.
David April 10, 2012 at 06:28 PM
Joe Smith - There have been a lot of comments calling out individual teachers, and I don't think that is fair. We have some great teachers in Elmhurst. However, if you look at it objectively - teachers in Illinois do have it pretty good. Read some of the articles at: http://www.championnews.net/bill-zettler/ I'll fully admit he is biased, but he presents a lot of information that is backed up by data. I'm not trying to pick on teachers, but I can't think of another industry with college educated people that are in Unions and have work contracts. It's spelled out exactly how much you have to work (days and hours), what duties you have to perform, when you will get raises, how much notice before you can be let go... Most people in the private sector don't have those luxuries. I'm in the private sector, and it is no picnic. Especially over the last couple of years. No raises, lots of layoffs, lots of uncertainty, lots of unpaid mandatory overtime, health care costs going way up every year... You say that if teaching is so great, why don't we all go into teaching - valid point. But if the private sector is so great - why don't more teachers leave and go into the private sector? Am I saying this out of jealously? Maybe a little, but at the same time I am directly affected by all of this. It's my taxes going up, and my kids going to these schools. When you give the teachers more money and benefits - it has to come from somewhere.
Joe Smith April 10, 2012 at 06:52 PM
"peggy" and I made sure not to capitalize that as did you. I am sorry about my punctuation. I was typing in a hurry but thanks for the language arts lesson. I know the difference between 'there', 'their', and 'they're.' I have many friends who are in education and it is not right that our teachers are getting the raw end of the deal. My point was the fact that until you do the job or know the time they put in, then you should say nothing. I know that coaching is not important to you. (only judging by your previous submission") but I have friends that coach and it is invaluable to the students. They earn a very small stipend to coach and put in many hours. It sounds like you had a rough highschool experience and want to take it out on all PE teachers. I have plenty of education and you are taking my quote out of context. My wife and I both work in the private sector and would both be disappointed if we were making 100,000 after 30 years of work. You just sound disgruntled against all teachers and seems like you don't like anything education has to offer. I am happy to support teachers and feel they should earn a fair wage. Just try teaching for a week. I apologize if I mispelled anything. I didn't use spell check.
Adam April 10, 2012 at 08:24 PM
raw end of the deal?! Please Joe you make it sound like those teachers do some sort of back breaking labor like digging ditches for 100 hours a week. Please! PLEASE! I can hold that clipboard for a mighty long time for 100k a year and i wouldnt whine about it like your friends do.
Joe Smith April 11, 2012 at 04:27 PM
peggy: again, I am not a teacher so my pension will not suffer as you think it will. I'm sorry that your husband has struggled along with the economy. You live in Elmhurst and apparently want the best of schools for your children, but don't want to pay for it. Move south of I-80 and they pay 'their' teachers 30,000-50,000 a year for being great teachers. Price of living and things come into consideration. I never assumed that all private sector workers made 100,000 dollars, but I have set goals and plan on making that no matter what. Sorry if you don't want to pay teachers then move out of the Chicago suburbs.
Joe Smith April 11, 2012 at 04:56 PM
I think that you kind find salaries that you don't agree with in any sector of the work force. I know a pharmaceutical Drug Rep that make 150,000 a year with his car paid and has great benefits. Do you not think that salaries like that don't influence the price of medications? Do I think that he deserves that to drive around to doctors offices? Not really, but I have never done that job so I do not TRUELY no how hard he works. It seems like a easy job to me. The same thing all of you think about being a PE teacher or a teacher in general. It is not just teaching, but these people do deserve what they earn and work hard for it. There are always teachers that slip through the cracks and probably just do it for a paycheck. It is like that everywhere you go in any work place. CEO's for example get 100's of millions in retirement benefits that results in higher prices for merchandise and gas. Does anyone complain about that. Not really. Your superintendent is the CEO 'if you will let me use that term" of your school district. His salary is much less than any private sector CEO but we still complain about it. The big picture here is that you kind find fault with anyone's salary if you don't do the job, but go to your school and watch a teacher 1 day even a PE, music, or coach and see what they actually do in that one day with your children. If you want to feel empowered as a tax payer, you have that right.
Joe Smith April 11, 2012 at 05:40 PM
Just don't complain about it unless you see what they do. Alsio, everyone is pointing out the 1% of teachers that make over 100,000. Look at the rest of the salaries, there are no teachers with under 20 years that make that kind of money. Soon those folks will retire with what pension they can still get and the district will get a new teacher and pay them 35,000-45,000 depending on there education. As far as job security, ask all the non-tenured and tenured teachers in Elgin, Rockford, Elmhurst, Plainfield and pretty much every other district in the state how good a teachers job security is these days. There are some perks that teachers have, but it is not all sunshine and rainbows in the public sector either.
David April 11, 2012 at 05:53 PM
I can never agree with the argument of "well, CEOs make $100 Billion dollars a year, so teachers should make more...". I have 2 problems with this argument. The first is that in the free market (private industry without unions) - market forces will determine the pay. If your Drug Rep friends company could find someone to do the job equally well for $50,0000 a year, they would do it. That is just economics. Most public sector jobs don't work that way. Pay and benefits are negotiated through political contributions, legislation, and union negotiations - not job performance. The second problem I have with your argument, I really don't care what CEOs make. I have the option to not support their companies, and buy competing products. Since public workers are paid through my tax dollars, and I don't have the option to not pay taxes, I have a vested interest in where those tax dollars are spent - and thus, public sector salaries and benefits are of direct concern to me. Again, I'm not trying to pick on Elmhurst teachers. If you want an apples to apples comparison, compare Illinois teachers pay and benefits to other teachers in the US. There is an article at: http://www.championnews.net/2012/03/12/why-is-illinoisstop-teacher-salary-108000-more-than-kentuckys/ Some interesting data in the article: Number of teachers with salaries in excess of $100,000/yr. ($11,000/mo.): Illinois = 7,576 Kentucky = ZERO Iowa = 2 Wisconsin = 4 Missouri = 11
Joe Smith April 11, 2012 at 06:33 PM
David: you make good points. But why not then move to KENTUCKY, Iowa, Wisconsin or any other state for that matter? The argument is redundant. You do have a choice of where you spend your money in the public sector. You chose to live in Illinois and educate your children in this state. Our schools have alot more to offer than the Public schools you listed in the mentioned states. Do the research on technology use in schools and Illinois is a leader. I was not sying that teachers should get paid like CEO's either and they defintely do not. I was just saying that you could argue against anyones salary. Do firefighters deserve what they earn because they risk their life? They can make 100, 000 for working 24 hours on and 48 hours off. they actually are on duty less than dreaded teachers. I am not ragging on firemen because I respect what they do, but that is a prime example. Post private sector peoples salaries and I bet you would find some interesting numbers and those numbers always come back to the consumer. Hell, our idiot governor gets paid close to 200,000 Tax payer dollars. Look at G assembly members and their pay. Those are tax dollars also. You choose to live in Illinois.
Joe Smith April 11, 2012 at 06:42 PM
That number 7,576 is small in comparison to 130000 IEA members in Illinois. Many of those top salaries are probably administrators that finished there careers in the classroom. That 7500 number is under 6% of the educators in Illinois make over 6 figures. How many teachers are in Kentucky? Wisconsin? Iowa? Missouri? What percentage make above 6 figures. Again 6% is not too many. Check south of I80 and I bet there is less than 1%. It comes with where you live and CHOOSE to educate your children. I would like gas prices in Illinois to be the same as Kentucky and Iowa or even central Illinois but they are not. I CHOOSE to live in northern Illinois a suffer from higher property taxes and gas prices.

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