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Crete-Monee superintendent predicts Rauner AV will mean cuts for his district

Thursday, Aug 10, 2017 - Posted by Rich Miller

* ABC 7

“I’m glad they’re holding meetings, I hope that they vote to uphold my amendatory veto. It’s the right thing to do I think SB-1 as it originally passed is unfair to children around the state,” Rauner said.

However, some administrators disagree.

“It seems like each one of the amendatory vetoes is going against exactly what SB-1 was designed to do, which is to provide equity for all students in the state of Illinois,” said Chris Bobek, business director of the Grayslake District 46.

“It looks like at a very rough and light estimate instead of getting an additional half million dollars we would definitely be losing at least that half million dollars. Most likely more,” said Supt. Nathaniel Cunningham, of the Crete-Monee District 201.

* Meanwhile, Dusty Rhodes takes a closer look at another change the governor made in his AV

One of his changes could have a big impact on schools hiring new teachers: Thanks to a new state pension law, school districts will now have to pay their pensions. But Rauner’s amendatory veto cut the part of SB 1 that would’ve recognized those pension payments as part of a school’s cost of doing business.​

Under the new formula, that’s known as the “adequacy target.” It’s calculated for each school district based on student demographics and other needs. The amount of new state dollars each district receives would be based on how capable it is of meeting its adequacy target. So shifting pension costs to districts, and then not counting those costs in their adequacy targets, would impact the amount of state aid a district gets.

Mike Jacoby, executive director of the Illinois Association of School Business Officials, explained it this way: “So the AV language, eliminating any of the reference to normal cost in the adequacy target, means that those are costs the district is going to have on all new teachers that will never show in their adequacy target.”

The more new teachers a district hires, the more it will be affected by these two measures. At a hearing today in Chicago, several suburban superintendents told lawmakers they’re worried about those costs. Andy Henrikson, superintendent of Mundelein Elementary District 75, says he’s constantly losing staff to neighboring districts that offer higher salaries.

“The shift in pension costs of new teachers will affect districts like mine more than it will affect the wealthier districts,” he said.

* Related…

* Lawmakers hear how education-funding impasse will affect schools: Rauner, during an unrelated event in Chicago, said he did not think he sabotaged an opportunity to change the state’s education funding system. He called on lawmakers to back his veto and suggested he was open to other ideas.

* Rauner urges quick approval of amendatory veto — Dems favor override: Also on Wednesday, the Illinois House held a lengthy committee hearing in Chicago on an amendment that replicated Rauner’s amendatory veto. That was filed in order to have public hearings about the changes. And Democrats may choose to vote on that amendment next week. If it fails, it would show that lawmakers don’t support Rauner’s changes.

       

26 Comments
  1. - wordslinger - Thursday, Aug 10, 17 @ 9:47 am:

    Why doesn’t Rauner trot out all the sups., school board members and parent groups that support his AV?

    Can’t find a phone booth to hold the presser?


  2. - Ghost - Thursday, Aug 10, 17 @ 9:50 am:

    Word, because they are all tax eaters? Rauner platform: make Americas Wealthy wealthy(er) again.

    next he is brining back debtors prison and indentured servitude.


  3. - Norseman - Thursday, Aug 10, 17 @ 9:56 am:

    The sad thing is that the GOP legislators don’t care about the ramifications. They’re tied to Rauner financially and that trumps constituent interests.


  4. - Oswego Willy - Thursday, Aug 10, 17 @ 10:01 am:

    Understand that Raunerites can care less about school districts like Crete-Monee District 201.

    Right Ms. Wheeler?

    ===But Barb Wheeler, who’s also walking away, says those Republican defectors — like [Rep. Mike Fortner, who voted for the budget and tax hikes] — wiped out Rauner’s leverage.

    “That’s why I felt that strong betrayal. We were so close to getting real compromise in a budget that was so desperately needed. And our own members had cut that conversation short,” she said. […]===

    Those like Ms. Wheeler can care… less… about Crete-Monee District 201.

    Raunerites cheer… when they read about the pain… of Crete-Monee District 201.


  5. - wordslinger - Thursday, Aug 10, 17 @ 10:02 am:

    Norse, could be.

    But if Raunerr gets his way, there are going to be a lot of Downstate school boards blaming their increased property tax requests on him.

    Heck, they’re drawing down reserves and issuing TANs on what he shorted them last year.


  6. - Seats - Thursday, Aug 10, 17 @ 10:05 am:

    How do they define “new teacher”. Would a teacher with experience who takes a job at a different school be considered a new teacher or does this only refer to people new to TRS?


  7. - Seats - Thursday, Aug 10, 17 @ 10:07 am:

    If its only for those new to TRS you will find a lot of good fresh out of college education majors struggling to get hired


  8. - I wonder... - Thursday, Aug 10, 17 @ 10:10 am:

    Not necessarily a fan of Betsy DeVos but her quote this morning in the newspaper should be posted in the chambers as they vote to override SB 1:
    “So I’ve always said: What we should really be talking about is what are we doing to ensure that every single child no matter their family income, no matter their racial background, no matter their zip code has equal opportunities to access a quality education.”


  9. - Anonymous - Thursday, Aug 10, 17 @ 10:17 am:

    This is the plan: build a machine that forces local governments to fight with their workers, even when they don’t want to.


  10. - Sue - Thursday, Aug 10, 17 @ 10:21 am:

    Another way to look T this is if Districts have more financial responsibilities out they just might reign in their spending. School Boards are not always the best fiscal stewards. Now they might have to be


  11. - Old and In the Way - Thursday, Aug 10, 17 @ 10:21 am:

    Seats
    New to school. TRS status doesn’t matter. However, you are wrong about lots of newly minted teachers being available. In fact there is a chronic shortage in many areas and subject/disciplines. Try to find Special Ed, Math, Science and Language teachers pretty much anywhere in Illinois. Good luck! The state and governor have been demonizing teachers for three years now. Trying to cut pensions and pay has had a big impact on those thinking of becoming teachers.


  12. - illini97 - Thursday, Aug 10, 17 @ 10:47 am:

    ===- Sue - Thursday, Aug 10, 17 @ 10:21 am:

    Another way to look T this is if Districts have more financial responsibilities out they just might reign in their spending. School Boards are not always the best fiscal stewards. Now they might have to be===

    So you’re saying this is a good strategy? That schools are a “beast” that should be “squeezed?”

    I feel like we’ve heard that before…


  13. - Free Set of Steak Knives - Thursday, Aug 10, 17 @ 10:56 am:

    === Another way to look T this is if Districts have more financial responsibilities out they just might reign in their spending. School Boards are not always the best fiscal stewards. Now they might have to be ===

    They’ve had to be financial wizards to get this far, given that Illinois is the worst in the nation when it comes to funding public schools.

    Tell ya what Sue: go tell your boss you would like a pay cut so you can be smarter and more thrifty.


  14. - Arthur Andersen - Thursday, Aug 10, 17 @ 11:00 am:

    Seats, absent any guidance to the contrary in the new language, the Pension Code says that once a member, always a member unless a refund of contributions is taken. So, “new” for this purpose likely means “brand new” teachers or at least those who never have been contributing members of TRS in the past.


  15. - PragmaticR - Thursday, Aug 10, 17 @ 12:07 pm:

    === if Districts have more financial responsibilities out they just might reign in their spending.==

    The data indicates otherwise. Wealthy districts, e.g. New Trier, have almost no state support and these districts tend to spend a lot more money per student.

    Of course, poor districts that rely on substantial state support to partially offset the differences in local revenue would be forced to cut education spending even further if state funds are reduced. This would appear to be the opposite of education reform.


  16. - The Good Lieutenant - Thursday, Aug 10, 17 @ 1:20 pm:

    My 3 youngest children are in Crete-Monee 201U. My property taxes went up 10% this year, with the lion’s share going to the SD. I wonder how some of my good friends in the neighborhood feel will feel about Rauner now. Taxes surely won’t be on the decline with this news. Might bite into their kid’s private school tuitions.


  17. - JS Mill - Thursday, Aug 10, 17 @ 1:39 pm:

    =This is the plan: build a machine that forces local governments to fight with their workers, even when they don’t want to.=

    Ballgame.

    This has been happening for 10 years to some extent. Rauner is trying to throw it into hyper drive.


  18. - Anon221 - Thursday, Aug 10, 17 @ 1:43 pm:

    One point that was made during yesterday’s hearing (and I apologize, I do not remember which superintendent made this point), was because the State has not been upholding their share of costs to schools, staff cuts have been made. And, if enrollments don’t decline or, indeed, increase, class sizes are affected. What he would like to be able to do, under the evidence-based program, is hire more teachers to decrease the classroom numbers to a more reasonable level where needed. He stated that some of the classes had up to 30 students, and I believe this was in the elementary levels, not the high school. So, if the AV is accepted, it is possible that those schools which end up with a decline in enrollment, and the monies are tied to the student and not the district, that this down-ward spiral of not enough teachers and too many students per classroom will just continue, thus perpetuating the “winners and losers” inequity we already have in Illinois K-12 education.


  19. - Oswego Willy - Thursday, Aug 10, 17 @ 1:47 pm:

    ===This is the plan: build a machine that forces local governments to fight with their workers, even when they don’t want to.===

    This is really good stuff here.

    Rauner wants a property tax freeze based on ending prevailing wage and collective bargaining, then wants a teacher pension shift, that in all likelihood need a property tax hike to cover… to make this about trade labor vs. teachers and school employees.

    The thing about Rauner is… if it ain’t hurting someone, than Rauner isn’t for it… If it can divide Labor (sans Decatur) then this is a gift to resist.


  20. - Seats - Thursday, Aug 10, 17 @ 2:45 pm:

    Old and in the way:

    Can you point me where it confirms just going to a new school will make you viewed as a new teacher? I am aware that there is a shortage; i’m just saying even if qualified a school will likely take a recycled “bad” teacher from another district over a good brand new teacher if they become more on the hook for their pension.

    Arthur anderson: thats what I was thinking too, but already have someone saying the opposite so clarification would be nice.


  21. - Anon221 - Thursday, Aug 10, 17 @ 3:00 pm:

    You can cash out your TRS account if you want to (I did- it wasn’t much and because of a career change wouldn’t grown to much of anything), and I would assume that if you returned to teaching at some later point, you would come back into the system as “brand new”. Just changing districts does not make you “brand new”.


  22. - Old and In the Way - Thursday, Aug 10, 17 @ 3:11 pm:

    Seats
    As with the case of most of the govs AV, and other actions, it’s not really clear what the definition of a new teacher is. New to the district or new to the profession. Knowing the gov, unfortunately, I suspect it’s new to the district since this would have the most negative impact on the district and the best impact on the state. Beyond that I have nothing definitive to base it on. Frankly it is counterproductive either way for the district.

    BTW both my niece and nephew have left teaching in Illinois because of the overall negative environment of low pay etc. One is in Minnesota now and the other starts in Texas later this month after receiving a $25,000 bonus to move. She is an experienced math teacher and much in demand. He is a foreign language teacher and had a choice from ten districts! Both are a loss for Illinois and our students. Very sad.


  23. - Seats - Thursday, Aug 10, 17 @ 3:13 pm:

    Anon221: then I stand by my earlier statement; schools will do everything possible to not hire a new teacher


  24. - Anon221 - Thursday, Aug 10, 17 @ 3:26 pm:

    Seats- That may be, but there are some subjects and categories that schools may not be able to fill unless they hire a new teacher- Special Education, the STEM areas, Enlgish. And, that does not guarantee the teacher will be able to stay at that school long enough to qualify for a tenured position. In fact, many schools have to do the RIF dance every year to met their budgets, and that makes it very hard for new out-of-school teachers to plan their lives, especially with starting salaries so low. Many jump the state or go join the business world where their talents and skills are rewarded more. Others will make the rounds of schools, hoping to land a tenure spot eventually so they can get off the RIF pay roundabout.


  25. - Seats - Thursday, Aug 10, 17 @ 3:44 pm:

    Anon221: I think this will hurt the talent pool even more than it is hurting.

    As you mentioned the RIF dance will just turn into musical chairs for teachers. As they hire the previously RIFed teacher at the neighboring school and just keep passing them around rather than ever hiring a new teacher unless it can’t be avoided due to a subject matter extreme shortage.


  26. - Anon221 - Thursday, Aug 10, 17 @ 5:33 pm:

    Seats- sometimes the teacher is RIFed by the same district that hires them right back again for the next school year, also. It’s a vicious circle, and one that makes it extremely difficult for any teacher, new, returning, or seasoned, to make ends meet- especially if you have a family and mortgage and perhaps college loans to pay off.


Sorry, comments for this post are now closed.


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