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Fun with numbers

Wednesday, Apr 2, 2014

* From the Bruce Rauner campaign…

CHICAGO – Quinnocchio will highlight Pat Quinn’s education funding cuts.

WHEN: 10:30 a.m.
WHERE: Hotel Allegro
171 W. Randolph St
Chicago, 60601

The Old Promise: “We have to invest in education. We have to be custodians of the future.” (Quinn video statement to ABC 7 on December 30, 2009: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=kisEvjk7Nt4)

The Reality: Pat Quinn has cut elementary and secondary education funding by more than $600 million. (CGFA 2014 Budget Summary p. 165)

* That COGFA budget summary is here. From a graph on page 165 of appropriations to the State Board of Education from FY06 to the current fiscal year…

Keep in mind, however, that this graph excludes teacher pension funding, which has ramped up every year. The state, not local school boards, covers those payments.

* And here’s another graph from the same COGFA document which represents the annual change in state revenues over the same time period…

Anybody wanna guess what would’ve happened to education funding if the tax hike that Rauner despises and pledges to eliminate hadn’t passed in 2011?

- Posted by Rich Miller        


69 Comments
  1. - Chad - Wednesday, Apr 2, 14 @ 9:54 am:

    Everyone keeps talking about the tax hike, but no one mentions that it was always presented as temporary. Why didn’t the legislation plan for its reduced income?


  2. - A guy... - Wednesday, Apr 2, 14 @ 10:00 am:

    No matter how you read these, the budget gimmicks are meant to deceive. Education policy needs to start with students and work it’s way up. It’s never been done that way here.


  3. - Oswego Willy - Wednesday, Apr 2, 14 @ 10:00 am:

    Ok, if “Quinnoccio” is going to be there as someone “presenting” at this Presser, will “Bruce Rauner” where his Carhartt and watch too, so all the “mythical characters” are present?

    Rauner Crew,

    You are running for Governor of the 5th largest state. Your 1st presser is to embrace Democrats and Indies hours after “Unity”, and instead of Squeezy, you are going to have some Dope standing with the Principle explaining funding for schools?

    How rank amateur can you guys be?

    Am I reading this right? “Quinnoccio” is going to be there, as a guest of the campaign to highlight a campaign point got a Billionaire? That is pretty pathetic if true.

    How about have “Slip and Sue” Sanguinetti explain Tort Reform while you are dragging out caricatures.

    Bruce Rauner is allegedly the “Adult Illinois Needs”…. with “Quinnochio” explaining policy differences?

    Just remember the Carhartt and watch. I like all my mythical props in full costume.

    Dopes.


  4. - Carl Nyberg - Wednesday, Apr 2, 14 @ 10:02 am:

    It’s not true to say Republicans don’t have a plan.

    They have a plan.

    But they know if they reveal it, they have slim chance of getting elected.

    As long as the media is willing to play along that the GOP agenda might be plausible, the scam has a chance of working.


  5. - AFSCME Steward - Wednesday, Apr 2, 14 @ 10:04 am:

    “The Reality: Pat Quinn has cut elementary and secondary education funding by more than $600 million.”

    I thought Rauner & the GOP were in favor of spending cuts. Now their criticizing Quinn for reductions in state expenditures. What side of the issue are they on ?


  6. - RNUG - Wednesday, Apr 2, 14 @ 10:04 am:

    A more appropriate measure of comparison might be average per student funding, which can be found on page 166. But that chart doesn’t tell the whole story; you have to read the footnotes.

    The footnotes support Rauner’s contention that Quinn is spending less the last couple of years. Quinn did not manage to achieve the “foundation level” of $6,119 in FY12 ($5953) and FY13 ($5734). But it’s not all Quinn’s fault, he can only spend what the GA is willing to appropriate.

    In fairness, it should be noted the FY09 - FY14 levels were higher than the FY05-FY08 levels, so Quinn is actually supporting primary and secondary education better than Blago did. The devil is in the details, and the details say Quinn isn’t quite the devil Rauner wants to pretend he is.


  7. - Bourbonrich - Wednesday, Apr 2, 14 @ 10:04 am:

    Amazing that the retirement payment has never been thought of as funding education. To answer Rich’s question, I think education will look back at FY 14 as a great year if Rauner gets elected.


  8. - Downstater - Wednesday, Apr 2, 14 @ 10:10 am:

    Look at the funding in the “boom” years in the first graph. Funding for education went up in 2009 by 6.9%, 2010 by 8.7%, and 2009 by 4.7%. Spending like there was never going to be a decline in revenues. If you average out the revenue in the bottom chart, the revenue is $1160 per year. It wasn’t a revenue problem. It was an excess spending problem in the years leading up to the recession in 2009. Anyone want to guess what would have happened, if the state legislators and Governor hadn’t spent above the rate of inflation from 2006 to 2009? Wouldn’t have needed the temporary income tax in the first place or it could have truly been temporary with an automatic phase out.


  9. - Walker - Wednesday, Apr 2, 14 @ 10:13 am:

    The retirement funding was politically described as part of “Education” funding by the state years ago, before it started ramping up and significantly eating into all the other state education expenditures.

    So is Rauner, thru Qinnochio, now committing to increase overall education spending by the state? Highly doubtful.

    It’s so easy to criticize, while you don’t actually plan to do it differently.


  10. - Grandson of Man - Wednesday, Apr 2, 14 @ 10:14 am:

    “Quinnocchio”

    Rauner’s still using this nickname, even though it’s linked to racist tweets. This seems to be a very risky move, given that he wants to get more African-American support.


  11. - ZC - Wednesday, Apr 2, 14 @ 10:14 am:

    Let’s play Rauner MadLibs:

    “Pat Quinn hasn’t led on _______. I will, by spurring a ‘growth economy.’”


  12. - Bogart - Wednesday, Apr 2, 14 @ 10:16 am:

    So, despite the increase in revenues in 11, 12, and 13, Quinn and the legislature cut Education Funding each of those years.


  13. - Old and in the Way - Wednesday, Apr 2, 14 @ 10:24 am:

    - A guy… - Wednesday, Apr 2, 14 @ 10:00 am:

    No matter how you read these, the budget gimmicks are meant to deceive. Education policy needs to start with students and work it’s way up. It’s never been done that way here.

    Clever, but what does that mean? You are quick with the quip but it doesn’t mean anything. Explain how you arrived at this damning conclusion. You got the first part right but the rest is meaningless. What is your evidence and how would things look if we “start with students first”. Would additional revenue magically appear? BTW have you ever examined ISBE or a school districts budget? How about the budgetary process? Enlighten us!


  14. - Oswego Willy - Wednesday, Apr 2, 14 @ 10:35 am:

    “Good morning. You regularly scheduled ‘Kartoon Krazies’ will not be seen this Saturday. Today, kids, we are going to discuss the ‘Illinois Pension Crisis’ and when either one if our special guests say the word ‘pension’ scream real loud, K?

    Now … our ’special guests’; please put your hands together, since he has no hands of his own (laugh track) please welcome Squeezy!

    Squeezy will represent Governor Patrick Quinn and his pension (kids scream) very good! Squeezy will represent the governor, ok?

    Now representing Bruce Rauner, he won’t make any of us board (laugh track), his nose might get here first (lesser laugh track) giving Mr. Rauner’s position on the pensions (kids scream) Can’t fool you kids! Please welcome Quinnoccio!”

    Would be fun to have some adults talking issues, but this would be ratings gold… Yeah, um, no.


  15. - wordslinger - Wednesday, Apr 2, 14 @ 10:36 am:

    –No matter how you read these, the budget gimmicks are meant to deceive. Education policy needs to start with students and work it’s way up. It’s never been done that way here.–

    I wonder what that means?

    There are words strung together in complete sentences but they don’t express a coherent thought.

    I’m the beneficiary of an excellent Illinois public education and for the life of me I have no clue as to what that statement is trying to communicate.

    Rauner will say anything, throw the spaghetti against the fridge and see if it sticks.

    If it doesn’t, he’ll say he misspoke, can’t remember, throw his wife under the bus, or, my favorite, say “sometimes I disagree with myself.”

    He’s a salesman, like he says. If what he’s peddling doesn’t sell, he’ll try something else.


  16. - Oswego Willy - Wednesday, Apr 2, 14 @ 10:41 am:

    ===Education policy needs to start with students and work it’s way up.===

    So, what is the value of that? Seriously, the value? What is the cost going to be to make that real?

    Budgets are designed to give value and priority to issues, beliefs, and give in monetary value, the worth of something in a budget.

    So, what is the value of your statement?


  17. - Omay - Wednesday, Apr 2, 14 @ 10:48 am:

    Everybody’s got a price for the billion dollar man.


  18. - MrJM - Wednesday, Apr 2, 14 @ 10:49 am:

    Rauner’s still pushing the Quinnocchio gimmick?

    And I thought he’d shown bad judgment before…

    – MrJM


  19. - Arizona Bob - Wednesday, Apr 2, 14 @ 10:49 am:

    =Anybody wanna guess what would’ve happened to education funding if the tax hike that Rauner despises and pledges to eliminate hadn’t passed in 2011?=

    Yep. We would’ve had to reform education and pension funding, as well as education labor relations law, to make funding fair and student achievement centered to make our education fudning go further.

    We would have had to end funding by the state for those obscenely high “end of career” salary bumps in the last four years of teachers’ tenure that boosted pensions by as much as 26% without having teachers pay what should have been required for contributions to fund that pension level throughout their careers.

    We would have had to shift costs for excessive pensions for ridiculously high salaries in city and suburban districts. The state should have capped state funding of pensions at 120% of state average salaries for teachers, with local districts picking up the rest of the obligation. The local districts escalated salaries for teachers and administrators beyond all reason and fairness, so THEY, and the locals who elected them, should pay the freight, not the taxpayers of Illinois.

    We’d have to cut new employee pension employer contributions to the bone in 401K like programs, with state and school contributions to pensions limited to available budget in the local school district. The state should get out of funding pensions for new employees, and the districts and employees should decide how they want their salary and pension contributions allocated.

    We’d have to prohibit the “right” of teachers to strike, as have 41 other states, to stop the “double the inflation rate” escalation of education salaries and spending per pupil in Illinois.

    We’d have to end “flat grant” state funding to extravagant school districts that created unfairly high salary and benefit levels. If a district can afford to pay over $120,000 per nine months for a 43 year old gym teacher,as well as paying 93% of their family health insurance premiums as does Sandburg High School in Orland Park, they can afford to do without the 10% of district budget flat grant funding, and perhaps any state categorical grants.

    We’d have to actually look at the “returns” on our educational “investments”, and stop investing where the “returns” for the students don’t justify the spending. If you track objective student performance and increases in spending per pupil and salaries, we would have been better off investing with Bernie Madoff than in Illinois public education!

    In short, the massive income tax didn’t move us toward solving our problems, it just enabled a corrupt governor and legislature to AVOID taking the necessary actions to put Illinois education into a sustainable, student centered policy mode.

    These steps will need to taken eventually, unless we want to go down the same road as Detroit.

    The tax increase, especially a permanent one, will just delay the hard actions to do what’s right for the citizens of Illinois.

    Those supporting this tax increase will only delay the inevitable until the crisis is so much worse……


  20. - A guy... - Wednesday, Apr 2, 14 @ 10:49 am:

    C’mon fellas, it can’t be that hard to understand. I admit that I benefited from a parochial education. That being said, technology completely gave a key advantage to public education in the area I’ve raised my children. They all went to public schools and excelled. They had great educations. Part of the reason was, as parents, we took a very parochial approach to their public education.
    That means; we never missed a student/teacher meeting or open house. Where we were able, we provided additional resources to the entire school, not only our children. We participated in career days and went to every public meeting the schools ever held.
    It’s not that hard to start with the kids in the classrooms. Assess the needs and requirements. It’s likely these may be variable each year. Great teachers will tell you every incoming class has a personality. That doesn’t mean they’re less capable of meeting standards. Many of the costs associated with operating a school are not accurately assessed. My contention is that the system is top heavy and the labor considerations outweigh the desired outcomes. Our state has been playing a silly game with finances for decades. If the foundation is flawed, building on it is fruitless.


  21. - lake county democrat - Wednesday, Apr 2, 14 @ 10:50 am:

    If you’re really concerned about education, read this: Illinois just gave would-be teachers an UNLIMITED number of chances to pass the ridiculously easy basic skills licensing test: http://blogs.edweek.org/edweek/teacherbeat/2014/04/illinois_lifts_cap_on_basic-sk.html


  22. - A guy... - Wednesday, Apr 2, 14 @ 10:55 am:

    And to answer one more question. I did serve as an appointed member to a school board in the SW suburbs years ago with a great Supt. He asked me to remain as an advisor (pro bono) afterward, which I did for 6 years. I’m not foreign to the challenges of special ed, gifted ed, common core, NCLB, or any of the policies that have made their way into the system. In pockets, we’re the greatest system on the planet. Overall, we’re below average. In certain places we fail miserably and dangerously. If it’s the state’s responsibility to educate our students, we should accept it and start with the very core of the accountability; the students. We don’t.


  23. - Oswego Willy - Wednesday, Apr 2, 14 @ 10:56 am:

    ===Many of the costs associated with operating a school are not accurately assessed===

    Based on what?

    ===Part of the reason was, as parents, we took a very parochial approach to their public education.===

    How does that pay bills?

    For someone concerned about the fiscal, the idea of what the cost are… are lost on you?

    But if parents show up… or classes have personality…

    Yikes.


  24. - Oswego Willy - Wednesday, Apr 2, 14 @ 10:57 am:

    ===These steps will need to taken eventually, unless we want to go down the same road as Detroit.===

    I could at least read your post… until the Detroit “talking point” ruined it.


  25. - Walker - Wednesday, Apr 2, 14 @ 11:00 am:

    A guy: What you say is all true and valuable, as far as parents’ responsibilities for educating children. Bravo.

    But what does that have to do with your comment above about the state budget? Anything?


  26. - Bill White - Wednesday, Apr 2, 14 @ 11:01 am:

    A concise synopsis of Arizona Bob’s point(s):

    http://danzigercartoons.com/wp-content/uploads/2010/10/danzcolor4547.jpg


  27. - OldSmoky2 - Wednesday, Apr 2, 14 @ 11:13 am:

    So I guess this means Rauner’s going to say how much more he’d spend on education than Quinn and detail exactly how he’ll raise the revenue to do that?


  28. - Oswego Willy - Wednesday, Apr 2, 14 @ 11:16 am:

    ===So I guess this means Rauner’s going to say how much more he’d spend on education than Quinn and detail exactly how he’ll raise the revenue to do that?===

    Rauner or Quinnoccio….


  29. - Roadiepig - Wednesday, Apr 2, 14 @ 11:19 am:

    - lake county democrat : ridiculously easy basic skills

    Aside from the fact your statement has nothing to do with education funding, I have a question for you:

    Exactly what do you base you statement about how “easy ” this test is? As a parent of a young adult who had to take this 5 hour test twice to pass all four section I can state with certainty that it is NOT easy (my child was a honor student at college earning her degree in early elementary education). Or are you just using this as another way to show everyone how little you think of the people education the children ?


  30. - Streator Curmudgeon - Wednesday, Apr 2, 14 @ 11:23 am:

    We can expect this playing fast and loose with facts for this entire campaign. BTW, I think “The Lone Raunerger” should be careful about assigning clever nicknames to his opponent. That tactic could easily backfire.


  31. - A guy... - Wednesday, Apr 2, 14 @ 11:26 am:

    Walker, thank you for asking the right question. We’ve lost our heads in this state when it comes to assessing the costs in education (and healthcare) for that matter. Private school systems have assessed costs per student very accurately.

    Granted, they are not tasked with special ed, school lunches, more security, and other challenges faced in the public system. Yet, that doesn’t mean a truly accurate number cannot be placed on costs. We appropriate money every year; based on what? Last year? 5 years? The expected birthrate? If you’ve ever seen the amount of real estate that has been mismanaged by school districts i.e. sell several buildings only to need them 5-10 years later and have to build new ones on more expensive land in less convenient places, etc. There are school systems that succeed at this. We are operating with literally no long term plan here. We negotiate labor agreements and look for the money later.
    Could anyone argue that we need better fiscal management and better management in general. People make real estate decisions primarily because of schools (please don’t ask for 10 links to stories on this, just ask any realtor you know). Some are doing much better than others and people flock toward them. They’re better managed. And when the costs get out of control, there is polite revolt (Hinsdale high school district in 2013). The City of Chicago is going to have to pass pension reform. It will be a contentious discussion. My intuition tells me most here will oppose it and make a case “we aren’t taxed enough”. Gotta tell you, the voters are saying something else. They’re just not happy with education or the cost of it. Every statement that comes out that doesn’t address improving the result and solidifying the cost is going to be met with anger.


  32. - Commonsense in Illinois - Wednesday, Apr 2, 14 @ 11:29 am:

    Mr. Rauner, your plan please?


  33. - Oswego Willy - Wednesday, Apr 2, 14 @ 11:35 am:

    ===Private school systems have assessed costs per student very accurately.===

    Very. Next. Sentence.

    ===Granted, they are not tasked with special ed, school lunches, more security, and other challenges faced in the public system. Yet, that doesn’t mean a truly accurate number cannot be placed on costs…===

    lol. Please. My side hurts.

    So they can be figured the same, but with far different variables?

    Please think before you contradict yourself, sentence to sentence. Please.


  34. - A guy... - Wednesday, Apr 2, 14 @ 11:38 am:

    OW, are you saying we “Cannot” accurately measure the costs of education in a public school system based on a different set of variables?

    If you are, you’re Exhibit A in someone who’s education system failed them.


  35. - Jimbo - Wednesday, Apr 2, 14 @ 11:41 am:

    If teacher salaries are considered education funding, then their retirement packages are as well. Benefit costs are no different than salaries folks. In fact, salaries would have to be much higher if benies were lower.


  36. - lake county democrat - Wednesday, Apr 2, 14 @ 11:42 am:

    Roadiepig: I’ve actually taken the test (twenty years ago). The current test has been characterized as being “high school” level (I’ve and to get an exemption a would-be teacher only needs a 22 on your ACT, which is barely considered “college ready.” As for my opinions on teachers, I supported a modest raise for CTU teachers and have said I’d support higher taxes for education in exchange for public school choice. I support universal preschool and believe that research doesn’t support Rahm’s longer day initiative (the research is mixed on longer school years and splitting summer vacation), and there’s a benefit to smaller class size in the younger grades.

    An example of the test is linked below so people can decide for themselves if they think somebody should be teaching middleschoolers who can’t pass it, but I’m not sure if your beef is with me calling the test easy or with me opposing UNLIMITED chances to take it.
    http://www.icts.nesinc.com/PDFs/IL_field400_SG.pdf


  37. - A guy... - Wednesday, Apr 2, 14 @ 11:43 am:

    Bingo Jimbo, benefit costs absolutely do need to be considered in this equation. Not so sure about your second point, but your first one is dead on.


  38. - Oswego Willy - Wednesday, Apr 2, 14 @ 11:43 am:

    === ===Many of the costs associated with operating a school are not accurately assessed===

    Based on what?===

    You said above, so what do you base that on.

    I called you on it, so it’s not wether it can or can’t be measured, you are saying they are not accurately assessed.

    Ok, how?


  39. - Oswego Willy - Wednesday, Apr 2, 14 @ 11:48 am:

    ===OW, are you saying we “Cannot” accurately measure the costs of education in a public school system based on a different set of variables?===

    ===Many of the costs associated with operating a school are not accurately assessed===

    I think you did. Dope.


  40. - lake county democrat - Wednesday, Apr 2, 14 @ 11:53 am:

    One last follow-up: the passing score for the exam is reported to be about 75%.


  41. - A guy... - Wednesday, Apr 2, 14 @ 11:54 am:

    Jeez dude, your spelling even indicates the system failed you…wether? I do think costs can be accurately assessed. I just don’t think it’s done so that this idiotic game of financial hide the bacon can continue. You love that Dope term don’t you?


  42. - Anon - Wednesday, Apr 2, 14 @ 12:00 pm:

    Walker makes the key point about hypocrisy. BR lambastes PQ for cutting spending, while complaining that Quinn spends too much. Without the inc tax hike or a replacement for the revenue, much more severe cuts in spending will be unavoidable. If PQ is bad for cutting education, what would it make BR for slashing it even more?


  43. - Hit or Miss - Wednesday, Apr 2, 14 @ 12:14 pm:

    In my mind, the pension cost for teaches needs to be combined into the total cost of education. Yes, it is paid to the teachers long, often years, after the school bell rings for the day but is earned by the teacher being in the classroom. I would argue that the upper of the two bar charts above should be modified to ’stack’ the amount spent on teachers pensions on top of the amount shown. The combination of the two amounts gives a fairer picture of education spending as I see it.


  44. - AFSCME Steward - Wednesday, Apr 2, 14 @ 12:15 pm:

    Arizona Bob

    “Yep. We would’ve had to reform education and pension funding, as well as education labor relations law, to make funding fair and student achievement centered to make our education fudning go further.

    We would have had to end funding by the state for those obscenely high “end of career” salary bumps in the last four years of teachers’ tenure that boosted pensions by as much as 26% without having teachers pay what should have been required for contributions to fund that pension level throughout their careers.

    We would have had to shift costs for excessive pensions for ridiculously high salaries in city and suburban districts. The state should have capped state funding of pensions at 120% of state average salaries for teachers, with local districts picking up the rest of the obligation. The local districts escalated salaries for teachers and administrators beyond all reason and fairness, so THEY, and the locals who elected them, should pay the freight, not the taxpayers of Illinois.

    We’d have to cut new employee pension employer contributions to the bone in 401K like programs, with state and school contributions to pensions limited to available budget in the local school district. The state should get out of funding pensions for new employees, and the districts and employees should decide how they want their salary and pension contributions allocated.

    We’d have to prohibit the “right” of teachers to strike, as have 41 other states, to stop the “double the inflation rate” escalation of education salaries and spending per pupil in Illinois.

    We’d have to end “flat grant” state funding to extravagant school districts that created unfairly high salary and benefit levels. If a district can afford to pay over $120,000 per nine months for a 43 year old gym teacher,as well as paying 93% of their family health insurance premiums as does Sandburg High School in Orland Park, they can afford to do without the 10% of district budget flat grant funding, and perhaps any state categorical grants.

    We’d have to actually look at the “returns” on our educational “investments”, and stop investing where the “returns” for the students don’t justify the spending. If you track objective student performance and increases in spending per pupil and salaries, we would have been better off investing with Bernie Madoff than in Illinois public education!

    In short, the massive income tax didn’t move us toward solving our problems, it just enabled a corrupt governor and legislature to AVOID taking the necessary actions to put Illinois education into a sustainable, student centered policy mode.

    These steps will need to taken eventually, unless we want to go down the same road as Detroit.

    The tax increase, especially a permanent one, will just delay the hard actions to do what’s right for the citizens of Illinois.

    Those supporting this tax increase will only delay the inevitable until the crisis is so much worse……”

    Your nobody but me attitude is why the ILGOP keeps losing elections. Against everything. Screw everybody I don’t agree with. Ignore the constitution. A great strategy to keep losing elections.


  45. - Oswego Willy - Wednesday, Apr 2, 14 @ 12:17 pm:

    ===spelling even indicates the system failed you…wether?===

    Welp. I guess relying on spell check too much is a fault; you contradicting yourself time after time I guess is yours.

    ===You love that Dope term don’t you?===

    With kindest personal regards, I remain.

    Sincerely yours,

    Oswego Willy.

    My mistake, again, is to think you bring a logical response when commenting. I apologize. I should realize you don’t bring logic, just talking points and going round and round contradicting yourself in your next sentences.

    Do not feed trolls.

    To the Post,

    If Quinnoccio is like a “Truth Squad” prop, how effective can Rauner be pointing out the hypocrisy before someone has enough and goes off on Rauner to bd specific.

    Fine line to walk…


  46. - A guy... - Wednesday, Apr 2, 14 @ 12:20 pm:

    Apology accepted.


  47. - Oswego Willy - Wednesday, Apr 2, 14 @ 12:23 pm:

    ===My mistake, again, is to think you bring a logical response when commenting. I apologize. I should realize you don’t bring logic, just talking points and going round and round contradicting yourself in your next sentences.===

    ===Apology accepted===

    Speaks volumes…


  48. - Formerly Known As... - Wednesday, Apr 2, 14 @ 12:29 pm:

    Good to see that 1% “education surcharge” is working so well to protect funding for our education system.

    Wait a second…


  49. - Arizona Bob - Wednesday, Apr 2, 14 @ 12:41 pm:

    =If teacher salaries are considered education funding, then their retirement packages are as well. Benefit costs are no different than salaries folks. In fact, salaries would have to be much higher if benies were lower.=

    Actually SALARIES should be much lower because the benefits are so high…..


  50. - Oswego Willy - Wednesday, Apr 2, 14 @ 12:46 pm:

    ===Actually SALARIES should be much lower because the benefits are so high…..===

    After you attack the teacher pensions and lower the salaries, what is the next step?


  51. - Arizona Bob - Wednesday, Apr 2, 14 @ 12:55 pm:

    =After you attack the teacher pensions and lower the salaries, what is the next step?=

    Not “attack” them, OW, amke them fair a sustainable.

    After we get the finacial problems repaired, we work on quality improvement that costs practically nothing extra. It’s about teaching smarter, not just more expensively. It’s about making technology a productivity tool, not just an expensinve toy that its become in most public schools. It’s about empowering students, parents and commuity rather than the corrupt and overpriced educational bureaucracy.

    We can do so much better for our kids and taxpayers. It’s a shame that people like you and the unions are keeping us from doing it.


  52. - Oswego Willy - Wednesday, Apr 2, 14 @ 1:11 pm:

    ===Not “attack” them, OW, amke them fair a sustainable.===

    Ut oh, spelling error? Typo? I am kidding, but be careful with others…

    To your Comment,

    === It’s a shame that people like you and the unions are keeping us from doing it.===

    I come at this 2 ways;

    Working with teachers and with Local School Districts who pay their teachers what they pay them allows the locals to dictate “value” within the parameters of Union contracts, local needs and wants, and what the market… market… will bear. If New Trier can steal an Oswego teacher, and allow teachers to set the market price for a 7 year science teacher, that is good for all, including the Union.

    Second, the ILGOP use to have a few legislators abc statewide who were/are friendly to education AND teachers. That, is the “rub”. Being seen as a partner, and not a destroyer of all aspects of Education makes the GOP here in Illinois more attractive.

    As a final “unrelated”, the pension crisis, and Constitution play more of a role than a “Guideline”. It is beyond critical that constitutionality is not just a “Factor” but the single most important mitigating factor. Can’t be unconstitutional and bd effective, given the rule of law kinda sorts trumps things.


  53. - Skeptic - Wednesday, Apr 2, 14 @ 1:36 pm:

    “It is beyond critical that constitutionality is not just a “Factor” but the single most important mitigating factor.”

    Oh come on OW, you’ve watched Star Trek, haven’t you? How many times did Kirk violate the Prime Directive and get away with it? Why should the Constitution be any different? (Yes that’s tongue-in-cheek)


  54. - Oswego Willy - Wednesday, Apr 2, 14 @ 1:55 pm:

    - Skeptic -,

    Well, we can call that the “James T. Kirk Constitution Corollary” for either bypassing or ignoring constitutionality after a court rules otherwise first.

    It’s wordy, but I am trying to check my spelling and can’t be creative on the spot… “Dang it - Skeptic - I’m NOT a doctor”…


  55. - Chavez-respecting Obamist - Wednesday, Apr 2, 14 @ 1:58 pm:

    I’m assuming Rauner thinks that wasn’t a big enough cut.


  56. - Skeptic - Wednesday, Apr 2, 14 @ 1:59 pm:

    LOL…”Dammit, I’m doctor, not a constitutional lawyer!”


  57. - AnonymousOne - Wednesday, Apr 2, 14 @ 2:01 pm:

    I have no idea what “fair” could possibly mean with regard to teacher salaries or anyone’s salaries no matter what field. If you address teacher salaries, they’d have to be indexed to cost of living in that area to be fair. Anyone who talks about 100k teacher salaries at the end of a teaching career as excessive in the suburbs can’t live anywhere near the suburban area. Unless you expect teachers to live in tents under bridges, even moderate real estate is damn expensive. Unless you expect teachers to live 60 miles away from their assigned teaching school( and spend their money on cars and gas) you have to expect them to live, eat, pay their bills. Those bills are, compared to downstate, significantly higher. I wonder when I read some of this “excessively high salary” stuff where these commenters live? 100k is very middle, middle income where I live. No one’s taking European vacations after paying the bills here on 100k. Average housing costs in surrounding areas is over 300k. Think a salary of 40k would work?


  58. - AnonymousOne - Wednesday, Apr 2, 14 @ 2:02 pm:

    And if you think a good amount would be 40k, then why do you expect the cream of the academic crop to go into teaching? Would you?


  59. - Keyser Soze - Wednesday, Apr 2, 14 @ 2:05 pm:

    What does money have to do with it? There simply is no evidence that more spending, or less spending, will result in any measurable difference in the product of our public schools, one way or the other. The conclusion here is that today’s public education model just doesn’t work. In many parts of the state we are still wharehousing the children of semi-literate parents who will themselves eventually become semi-literate parents. We similarly wharehouse bad teachers who return year after year. Rinse and repeat. Do dropout rates ever change in a significant way? Do test scores improve in a meaningful way? Sure the elite suburban schools and the growing number of private schools (created out of need) turn out mostly good citizens. But, many schools are producing little more than fodder for the fast food industry, or worse. Community colleges now teach remedial English and math to many high school graduates who are functionally illiterate. This comes from the mouth of the president of one such State supported CC. I can say these things, not that they aren’t already being reported by researchers and occasionally in the media, because I am not a legislator subject to attack by the unions. Moreover, it is doubtful, for that reason, that the legislature will ever be able to fix the problem without outside help, e.g., a blueribbon panel of smart, hard-nosed outsiders. In the absence of that, I encourage the G.A. to continue throwing money at the problem in hopes that it will eventually go away.


  60. - AFSCME Steward - Wednesday, Apr 2, 14 @ 2:08 pm:

    Arizona Bob

    “Actually SALARIES should be much lower because the benefits are so high…..”

    Why don’t we pay teachers minimum wage & no benefits. I’m sure we’ll get real quality people then.


  61. - Almost the Weekend - Wednesday, Apr 2, 14 @ 2:15 pm:

    How about we consolidate school districts, so we stop spending hundreds of thousands of dollars on superintendents and no longer have school districts competing against each other, by offering the better salary/benefits package.

    Consolidating school districts, especially in the suburbs will save millions of dollars, and give more funding to students.


  62. - cicero - Wednesday, Apr 2, 14 @ 2:25 pm:

    == Why don’t we consolidate school districts? ==

    Because most school officials staunchly oppose being forced to consolidate, often with a less well funded neighboring district with more kids.


  63. - AnonymousOne - Wednesday, Apr 2, 14 @ 2:49 pm:

    Consolidation sounds great but you have to think of long held values like neighborhood schools, local control of school boards….. Who’s interests prevail when you take in multiple communities, sometimes very diverse? Transportation and liability insurance for that increased transportation becomes an issue as well. Just a few complicating issues of many beyond the classroom.


  64. - Bill White - Wednesday, Apr 2, 14 @ 2:52 pm:

    . . . Second, the ILGOP use to have a few legislators abc statewide who were/are friendly to education AND teachers . . .

    Sandra Pihos, for example


  65. - A guy... - Wednesday, Apr 2, 14 @ 2:54 pm:

    Consolidation, the dreaded C word deserves it’s own thread. Quite a while from now.


  66. - Precinct Captain - Wednesday, Apr 2, 14 @ 3:02 pm:

    ==Everyone keeps talking about the tax hike, but no one mentions that it was always presented as temporary.==

    Might wanna try a Google search buddy. Or Bing if you prefer. Or DuckDuckGo if you’re concerned about privacy. It’s mentioned ad infinitum.


  67. - Skeptic - Wednesday, Apr 2, 14 @ 3:04 pm:

    “long held values like neighborhood schools . . .” and don’t forget the football mascot. But seriously, consolidation sounds good on paper. “Why not consolidate all the suburbs and Chicago into one big city? Think of all the money that would save!” See what I mean?


  68. - Buzzie - Wednesday, Apr 2, 14 @ 3:57 pm:

    Proposed school district consolidations are voted, via a referendum, by the registered voters of the respective school districts. A review of school district consolidation referenda over the past 10 years will show that very, very few such referenda are approved.


  69. - LTSW - Wednesday, Apr 2, 14 @ 6:30 pm:

    Weren’t the increases in 2009 and 2010 due to federal ARRA funds which went away? States had to maintain a level of state funding equal to prior year’s in order to qualify for the ARRA funds. When those funds were gone education funding returned to prior year’s levels. Since Illinois appropriates all spending the ARRA years show a higher budget.


Sorry, comments for this post are now closed.


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