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Get in the game or go home

Monday, May 29, 2017

* Unless these superintendents demand a tax increase to fund their programs and/or tell legislators what programs should be slashed to pay for all this, they should just stay home

Illinois school chiefs are pressing lawmakers to pass a budget that fully funds schools before the legislative session draws to a close this week.

School district superintendents from across the state will convene at the state Capitol on the General Assembly’s Wednesday deadline to urge lawmakers to produce the state’s first complete budget in two years.

The coalition is calling on Gov. Bruce Rauner and legislative leaders to pay schools the $1.1 billion they say the state owes them for programs like special education and transportation. Payments have lagged amid the state’s historic budget impasse.

The 440 superintendents represent two-thirds of Illinois school children.

Demanding “a budget” misses the point. This fight isn’t about the “budget,” it’s about the governor’s non-budget demands tied to a tax hike.

These superintendents have some sway back home. They need to finally step up and tell their own constituents what needs to be done.

* I wrote much the same thing in my subscriber edition today. One superintendent had the guts to respond…

* Related…

* Responsible Budget Coalition: Illinois needs revenue to thrive

- Posted by Rich Miller        

  1. - Oswego Willy - Monday, May 29, 17 @ 1:05 pm:

    ===Demanding “a budget” misses the point. This fight isn’t about the “budget,” it’s about the governor’s non-budget demands tied to a tax hike.

    These superintendents have some sway back home. They need to finally step up and tell their own constituents what needs to be done.===

    Yep. 100%

    What has been so tiring, and I have been saying it as well…

    This premise that “both sides” and the refusal to say what needs to be said, that Bruce Rauner has held the state hostage for reforms with “limited” (1.4% or $500+ million) returns, but social services, a great of the time, and even some of the state university presidents… they lack the resolve to just be honest, say what is happening, and what needs to happen to get back.

    There is ZERO pressure… to saying “we need a budget”


  2. - Michelle Flaherty - Monday, May 29, 17 @ 1:50 pm:

    the Illinois Policy Institute is right now releasing the Rauner-bots on O’Mara

  3. - Again - Monday, May 29, 17 @ 1:51 pm:

    “The Better Government Association review of payroll data also found 29 school districts that only have one school in them — like the Argo School District in Summit where Superintendent Kevin O’Mara makes $257,500 a year.

    O’Mara declined to talk about his salary but said, “I think Argo is a wonderful school district that fits the needs of the kids that reside in its boundaries.””

  4. - Because I Said So.... - Monday, May 29, 17 @ 2:06 pm:

    Let’s remember that the Governor appoints public university board of trustees. I agree being more vocal is important and necessary. But I would imagine that any public university president would need board approval before any such statement be made. Not sure most of those Republican leaning boards would agree to that.

  5. - Sue - Monday, May 29, 17 @ 3:22 pm:

    Maybe some grave soul needs to step up and tell all of those superintendents that the taxpayers are tired of being treated as suckers and the schools need to live with what they already have. In the suburbs these people make 200 to 340 K a year and think nothing about hiring assistant superintendents for everything under the sun. Residents are fed up with overspending and for my two cents Rauner is the one being maligned

  6. - Michelle Flaherty - Monday, May 29, 17 @ 3:30 pm:

    Sue, have you ever thought about running for school board? Or would you like Springfield to step in and solve local problems as well as it’s solved state problems?

  7. - winners and losers - Monday, May 29, 17 @ 3:32 pm:

    School superintendents are too busy trying to increase their control of education via SB 1 and HB 2808 (which they wrote).

    When you want it all, you are likely to lose somewhere.

  8. - Sue - Monday, May 29, 17 @ 3:43 pm:

    In my area I would never get elected. The suburbs are electing progressives who think the schools all need more money because Dems think money is the solution for everything

  9. - Rich Miller - Monday, May 29, 17 @ 3:47 pm:

    ===The suburbs are electing===

    So, your real problem is with voters? Might wanna give that a rethink.

  10. - Winnin' - Monday, May 29, 17 @ 3:50 pm:

    Amen. Everyone is afraid to speak their truth because they are afraid of ramifications from the second floor.
    Either that or their school boards are chock full of GOP aligned members who are convinced we don’t need new revenue.

  11. - cdog - Monday, May 29, 17 @ 4:04 pm:

    So the guy making $257,500/yr, in a town with medium income 1/6* of that, is courageously speaking up about a tax increase. /s


    (I would be more impressed if he added to that some talk about new state educ funding that swapped in state money for property taxes. The school levy is 60% of my property tax bills.)


  12. - Rich Miller - Monday, May 29, 17 @ 4:05 pm:

    ===The school levy is 60% of my property tax bills===

    That’s kinda low.

  13. - Sue - Monday, May 29, 17 @ 4:14 pm:

    Rich- my problem is that the suburban voter participation for the school district positions is usually abysmally low and most people just don’t show up

  14. - cdog - Monday, May 29, 17 @ 4:15 pm:

    Not a fan of Rauner or Madigan, but…

    Madigan did try, at the 11th hr last May or June, to make a case to get a progressive income tax constitutional amendment on the Nov ballot. His argument was based on the IL Const having language about the state funding 50% of the states education costs.

    This is a good idea, but Madigan blew it. He came out too late with it, and didn’t seem to put any effort in to selling it to the public or building any consensus. He seems to have a style of being secretive and over-strategic about the public’s business.

    These are new days and new strategies are needed.

    Hopefully all these “virtuous” politicians, that all know what’s best for the middle class, can take an incremental step and make something real happen.

  15. - Rich Miller - Monday, May 29, 17 @ 4:27 pm:

    ===and most people just don’t show up===

    That’s on the voters.

  16. - cdog - Monday, May 29, 17 @ 4:29 pm:

    ===The school levy is 60% of my property tax bills===
    That’s kinda low. ===

    It’s actually 62%.

    If that school levy was removed, and the bill was only for the 38% remaining*, that would be an event heard round the economic world.

    A good start would be to cut in half the 62%; dreaming on a lovely Memorial Day.

    Just because nobody will ask me, but CapFax lets me carry on….ha…
    1.Freeze school portion of prop tax.
    2.Redo formula.
    3.this session, and packaged with 1 and 2, pass the progressive income tax const amend ballot stuff for 2018 election.
    4.upon passage, finish the swap from prop tax to income tax for school funding in the State of IL.


    (*the other 11 government entities on the bill /s)

  17. - Oswego Willy - Monday, May 29, 17 @ 4:35 pm:

    ===…my problem is that the suburban voter participation for the school district positions is usually abysmally low and most people just don’t show up===

    Turnout is a campaign issue that those involved in changing or keeping things moving forward.

    Blaming the voters that did vote in a low turnout election is weak sauce.

    Ask Chapa La Via and Guzman in Aurora about your theory.

  18. - Anonymous - Monday, May 29, 17 @ 5:56 pm:

    ===and most people just don’t show up===

    “That’s on the voters.”

    All of our problems are on the voters.

  19. - Exit 59 - Monday, May 29, 17 @ 8:05 pm:

    If there is low voter turnout, then a good, targeted campaign and get out the vote push should win you election. Start now.

  20. - wordslinger - Monday, May 29, 17 @ 8:34 pm:

    “Grave soul” Sue ripping democracy on Memorial Day.

    Class shows.

  21. - JS Mill - Monday, May 29, 17 @ 9:12 pm:

    I have been talking with my Board about revenue for some time. Most of us in the Bloomington-Normal area have. Goes over like a turd in a punchbowl.

    Martire used to talk about a 20-25% reduction in property tax as a swap for an increase and expansion of sales tax. That increase would be dedicated to reducing the structural deficit and pensions. That would open up school funding as well as social services.

    BTW- @Sue- when superintendents spend their days dealing with folks like you and have a PhD. with 20-30 years of experience leading a business the size of a suburban school district, the market is mid $100’s and up. That is what the market will bare.

    I guess things would be a lot cheaper if all of the corporate execs were not making 8 and 9 figure salaries and bonuses for showing up with a corporate structure that involves hundreds of under performing vice-presidents. Maybe start there.

  22. - Honeybear - Tuesday, May 30, 17 @ 7:36 am:

    I’m super glad that my community voted to RAISE our property taxes to save our school system with Prop E. It will be super tight financially but we won’t lose anything now. We were going to lose so much if it hadn’t passed. It wasn’t a matter of schooling within our means. It was a matter of do we save our great school system from state neglect.

    Go EHS Tigers!

  23. - JS Mill - Tuesday, May 30, 17 @ 8:49 am:

    In thinking about this thread- I think Rich is a little off the mark in the sense that superintendents have not been asking for revenue.

    We have.

    Most of that has come locally but we have been asking the state to fix the revenue issue for years.

    The IASA, IASB, and IASBO? Not so much. You have a lot of pseudo politicians leading those organizations and are afraid to ask for revenue. They should. The IASB has the real pull, school board members have much more influence than superintendents since we are generally regarded as over paid fat cats.

    Our IASA should have been taking a much more aggressive posture but won’t. So we talk about revenue at home when we have the chance.

  24. - Illinois O'malley - Tuesday, May 30, 17 @ 9:03 am:

    Be nice if the school superintendents started with district consolidation, just amazing the salaries these one school supers get (with pensions funded by state).

  25. - JS Mill - Tuesday, May 30, 17 @ 10:49 am:

    =Be nice if the school superintendents started with district consolidation, just amazing the salaries these one school supers get (with pensions funded by state).=

    Maybe catch a Board meeting in one of those districts. You might learn something- like it isn’t superintendents holding up school consolidation. School Boards are their own worst enemy sometimes.

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