Time to vote: Here are answers to questions on District 97's referendum

2011 Election Guide

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By Terry Dean

Staff reporter

With the vote less than a week away on District 97's tax hike referendum, here are a few of the questions the Journal's staff hears most often and the answers.

So what's the real cost of this vote to me? Everyone agrees on this – the district, the township assessor, the proponents, the opponents. For every $1,000 you paid this year for property taxes, a "yes" vote will add $38 to your tax bill. So, if your property taxes are $10,000, your bill goes up $380.

OK, then why is everyone talking about the wording and the math on the ballot question being wrong? This is both complicated and simple. The law firm advising District 97, and several other local government bodies, left out a key part of the equation when doing the math. The impact is that the ballot question substantially underestimates the cost of the tax hike. The law firm says it did the math the way the state law reads and that's why nine other ballot questions this spring across Cook County are wrong in exactly the same way.

What about that pay freeze the District 97 teachers took? It wasn't just teachers. Administrators, support staff and teachers all agreed to a one-year pay freeze for the next school year. The agreement freezes wages and the automatic step increases for teachers. The savings will amount to over $1 million next year. Teachers had two conditions for making the deal: Most of the savings had to be used largely to reduce the number of its fellow union members who would otherwise lose their jobs next year. And the current teachers' contract was extended out for another year. That takes it to 2014.

The district has set out a series of cuts it will make this fall if the referendum fails. Is it real? The list of proposed cuts is considerable—foreign language in elementary grades, art, music, drama across the district and after school activities in the middle schools. Critics call it a "scare list." School board members insist those cuts are undesirable but necessary if the referendum fails. The district has said that if it does fail they will still be able to mitigate a portion of the cuts for next year because of the money saved from the pay freeze. Critics contend the district won't make all those cuts this fall and will benefit from learning to live within its means.

Why did the district announce a more expensive referendum plan first? The district has been contemplating a referendum vote for several years. The first plan was announced late last fall and involved selling working cash bonds. In January they shifted gears and approved a less expensive plan that calls for a permanent tax hike. Why the change? Again complicated.

Until the state government passed the income tax increase early this year, District 97 was very worried about when, or if, it would receive the significant state aid it was already owed by the state—in the millions.

So the district initially planned for a working cash bond sale that would have cost voters $61 per $1,000 in property taxes. It would have raised more money for the district to cover the expected shortfall in state funding. It also would eventually have been paid off and left tax rates unchanged. When the state income tax was OK'd the district quickly shifted to a "limiting rate increase" otherwise known as a permanent tax hike.

Critics have claimed this is a "bait and switch" maneuver. The district would say it was a nimble response to changed circumstances and is much cheaper for taxpayers.

Has the district really been cutting costs every year for a decade? Yes, the district has absolutely been cutting costs every year. Programs, administrative staff, materials have all been cut. District officials make frequent references to duct tape holding facilities together.

So why have my taxes paid to District 97 kept increasing? What hasn't gone down are salaries for teachers, staff and administrators, health care costs, numbers of teachers (driven up in part by rising enrollment and special ed requirements). The district says some of those increases are inevitable but also pledges to take a harder line on future employee contracts. Critics say the cost increases are evidence of a profligate spending culture.

Where will the district spend the new money if the referendum passes? In addition to saving many of the programs on the current cut list, the district says it will "invest modestly" in classroom technology and fixing up long ignored schoolyards. Opponents criticize the district saying it has no specific technology plan to follow.

Contact:
Email: tdean@wjinc.com

Reader Comments

61 Comments - Add Your Comment

Comment Policy

Turn Paper Ballot Over  

Posted: April 5th, 2011 12:40 PM

Turn the paper ballot over to vote on the D97 referendum. I just returned from voting, and the D97 referendum was the only item on the rear side of the paper ballot. I had a difficult time finding it, even while knowing it was on the ballot. All elections and other referenda are on the front side of the ballot, and hardly anyone is going to be aware of the D97 referendum being located on the rear side.

c.coleman from oak Park  

Posted: April 1st, 2011 11:07 AM

Bottom Line. Even without the referendum,District 97 will still get a small increase.You can figure what your TOTAL increase would be: e.g. if your "property value" is $500,000, you would multiply $126 times each $100,000 in value=$630.If your property tax was $15,000 last yr. the amt. raised by the referendum would be $570. The difference of $60 is the "automatic" increase.

WORRIED MOM from OAK PARK  

Posted: April 1st, 2011 7:34 AM

OMG...if this Ref doesn't pass, Tyler & Madison will go to Grandmother's afterschool instead of BRAVO...that may keep them out of Harvard! Meanwhile, I think I'm developing feelings for Noel Kuriakos...he's so angry and ethnic and makes my thighs warm...nevermind, it's all about the kids and how they can't live without free music lessons and Mandarin immersion...I mean, how will they speak to our Chinese overlords when we all work for them when we are driven into more debt that they own?

Thanks for the Propaganda from Oak Park  

Posted: April 1st, 2011 7:26 AM

@Terry Dean: So much for "objective press"! So, do you moonlight as a brochure writer for Jassen Strockosh? Hilarious...when will the Wednesday Journal be renamed the "Official News of the Republic of Oak Park"

For @ Oak Park My mom voted yes  

Posted: March 31st, 2011 11:08 PM

OK so you would probably agree on the $$ that if it is more than the $38/$1000 that is published: either you pay for us or we invalidate the vote? Probably no right? The actual costs are way under-estimated and you know that. It is correct that the figure on the vote is "legal" it just does not take the equilazer factor which will make it 3.3 times more.... I can't wait to see the lawsuit if it passes and poeple realize they were taken for fools.

chet21 from Oak Park  

Posted: March 31st, 2011 10:33 PM

@OP Mom. The correct amt IS $38/$1,000. The "problem," though, is that many voters aren't aware of Ali's statement about the omission of the mutiplier on the ballot. Therefore, this voter (and there are many), go to vote, read the ballot, believe that the impact upon their prop taxes is less than 1/3 the true amt - and then votes "Yes." There are 10 ref elections in Cook County on T. All it takes is one atty, who believes that the ballot is tainted, to bring suit. The ballot is flawed.

2011 Reassessment  

Posted: March 31st, 2011 10:31 PM

It will be more because of the reassessment comimg up later this year for most taxpayers, i voted yes, but i wish people would be truthful with the numbers. Also, the homeowner's exemption continues to decline. oak park is just becoming unaffordalbe for most families.

Outdated Info  

Posted: March 31st, 2011 10:03 PM

You are looking at outdated articles. There was a recent, 3/21 I believe, statement from D97 and Ali ElSaffar (Township Assessor) stating that the correct figure is $38/1000. Your info is not current.

@ Oak Park mom voted yes  

Posted: March 31st, 2011 9:58 PM

Or see this article again stating that the actual increase to your tax bill will be higher than D97 is stating. I sure hope you can afford it! http://www.chicagomag.com/Radar/Deal-Estate/March-2011/Tax-Referendums-May-Understate-Economic-Impact-on-Homeowners/

@ Oak Park mom voted yes  

Posted: March 31st, 2011 9:52 PM

Please see this link: The OP Assessor did say that the ballot language is misleading and that teh actual cost would be closer to $126 per $1000 in taxes. Seems that the media, D97 and the YES voters have conveniently (for them) chose to ignore this. http://www.pioneerlocal.com/oakpark/news/3113234,oak-park-referendum-031511-s1.article

Oak Park mom voted yes  

Posted: March 31st, 2011 8:43 PM

Here is the language of the statement signed by the tax assessor: "We also agree that taxpayers can use this $38 per $1000 figure to determine how much this proposed tax increase from the referendum will cost. For example, a household that has a $10,000 tax bill will pay an additional $380." I'm not sure how that leaves any room for other interpretation.

Oak Park mom voted yes  

Posted: March 31st, 2011 8:40 PM

re: tax assessor and numbers. The statement verifying that El Saffar and the district agree that 38/1000 is correct is signed with his name. He also did interviews stating the same thing. One was on Fox news. See the link I provided below, or the copy of the same statement that was published in this newspaper. I don't know what he told the WJ reporter in the story in the paper, but I assume the statement was printed in part as a correction.

Oak Park mom voted yes  

Posted: March 31st, 2011 8:37 PM

@Bill H. That is nonsense. I am just a (not that active) volunteer, not an organizer, but the Committee to Support Oak Park Schools (referendumyes) had a fundraiser, not secret, and collected donations online through their website, also not secret. As interesting as it would be to have it be all a big conspiracy, it's really not all that exciting - just a community of involved and passionate people donating their time and money for something they believe in.

@ Oak Park mom voted yes  

Posted: March 31st, 2011 8:25 PM

Actually, he said the figure was misleading. He said something to the effect of when factoring the equalizer (and you must to compute the total tax bill), the figure swells to over $120 per $100,000 of home value. So the ballot is "technically" accurate, but misleading as to the actual cost. The equalizer in OP is approximately 3.3.

Bill H.  

Posted: March 31st, 2011 7:41 PM

response to: Nancy from Oak Park on who spend money for YES campaign. The $$ does not come directly from D97, it comes from a group who happened to be in a business that gets D97 contracts and will get more if the YES passes. Illegal? No. Conflict of interest: probably. Unethical and deceiving: Definitly.

John Smart from Oak Park  

Posted: March 31st, 2011 7:37 PM

All I can say is looking at the salaries, their past increases, the level of instruction given: not only I can not support an obsenely high tax increase but I think some poeple should really look hard about cutting the current budget. Can one explain why/how an "art" teacher makes over $100K. There is is just a very gross sense of entitlement of many poeple in D97 that prefer the easy "hey let's tax them: it is for the kids" instead of looking at strategic changes that will improve the school

Libel? from Oak Park  

Posted: March 31st, 2011 6:22 PM

@Noel, I'm not a lawyer, but aren't you getting pretty close to "libel territory" by posting names and addresses of posters who have chosen to remain anonymous--especially when you don't have solid evidence? Further, I always thought that writing unsubstantiated claims about a private citizen in a public forum was illegal.

epic lulz  

Posted: March 31st, 2011 5:16 PM

NK said: "Remember over a 1/3 of OP residents have MS & PhDs & about 40% of them are registered independents!" There is no party registration system in IL. You declare your party by selecting a ballot in the primary.

Oak Park mom voted yes  

Posted: March 31st, 2011 5:16 PM

@ L. Bergeron. I'm not sure if you've seen the statement signed by Mr. El Saffar, but he has always supported the $38 per $1000 figure. It is the ballot description that he said was misleading. But D97 (and the reporting) have always used the 38/1000 of taxes figure. http://triblocal.com/oak-park-river-forest/community/stories/2011/03/statement-from-traczyk-and-elsaffar-regarding-d97-ballot-question/

We deserve a civil oakpark.com too - Moderator?  

Posted: March 31st, 2011 5:08 PM

Is anyone from Oakpark.com reading these comments? Please delete comments that list commenter's home addresses in this thread. (Then, please, have someone get to work on deleting the many personal attacks.) I am considering canceling my WJ subscription - I'm disappointed by the way there seems to be no interest in using moderation (or at least an email confirmation system) to keep the discussion here reasonable.

JC  

Posted: March 31st, 2011 3:07 PM

Here's one that keeps getting ignored: Why are the only two choices spend more or cut the programs specified? There are other alternatives that are being ignored (that wouldn't have nearly the dramatic impact of what is proposed) that wouldn't get the soccer moms all into a lather.

MichaelO from oak park  

Posted: March 31st, 2011 2:45 PM

Numbers. OPRF's reserve may have little to do with D97's ref. But it does have a lot to do with Oak Park property taxes.

Numbers  

Posted: March 31st, 2011 11:07 AM

@vPeiler - Actually, the amount of money held by OPRF has been in the newspaper at various times over the past few years. No surprises there. Also, you did catch the item in the TribLocal addendum that said D97's reserve is about 34%, right? This is getting down in the financial watch area unless the referendum is passed or extreme cuts are made. Also, you do understand that D97's referendum has nothing to do with the high school?

v. peiler from oak park  

Posted: March 31st, 2011 11:02 AM

The threat of cuts are the same lies told by the high school to justify their referendum. The Tribune reports today that they now have a reserve of 124%, one of the highest in the State. The last referendum allowed 16% pay increases to high school teachers who are already among the highest paid in the State. The threat of cuts is just more lies. The Journal endorsed this referendum. Why was it the Tribune that exposed this outrageous excess fund and not our local papers?

E. Jackson  

Posted: March 31st, 2011 10:54 AM

Also, why does having an advanced degree have no benefit in the classroom, but matters when you go to vote? And since two-thirds of the people don't have advanced degrees, what are you saying about them?

Noel Kuriakos  

Posted: March 31st, 2011 10:52 AM

Sorry, my bad. I was multi tasking & posting. Note to self, focus.

E. Jackson  

Posted: March 31st, 2011 10:47 AM

I actually asked about the Oak Leaves endorsement, but thanks for reminding everyone that the Wednesday Journal strongly endorsed the referendum as well.

Noel Kuriakos  

Posted: March 31st, 2011 10:42 AM

Erin Jackson, many of Mr. Haley's points about change has its genesis in the endorsement meeting I had with his publication. You seem like a smart person, I will let decide the merits of the WJ endorsement. Remember over a 1/3 of OP residents have MS & PhDs & about 40% of them are registered independents!

chet21 from Oak Park  

Posted: March 31st, 2011 10:10 AM

Me? I'm just looking at the bond yield curves today in Ireland and Portugal. Throw in Japanese intervention with Yen, Chicago PMI released today and, well, I think that this makes me think of the future of D97/OP IF they don't get control of spending ASAP. Yep, all of this stuff does trickle on down to Illinois, Cook County and "Little Old Oak Park" (with acknowledgments to Ms. Estelle). Tax rates to soon equal 5% (plus) of home value? Will OPRF assist and forego RF TIF?

E. Jackson  

Posted: March 31st, 2011 10:07 AM

@Noel - I also can't wait to hear your thoughts on the Oak Leaves' endorsement of the referendum (sorry for posting a link to another publication, Mr. Haley). http://www.pioneerlocal.com/oakpark/news/forum/3130900,oak-park-d97edit-033111-s1.article

E. Jackson  

Posted: March 31st, 2011 9:43 AM

Oh, so you mean like the MAP and DIBELS testing/assessments the district is conducting throughout the year to measure student performance? The MAP and DIBELS testing/assessments reported on at the board meeting on March 22, 2011? The MAP and DIBELS testing/assessments you can learn more about by visiting https://v3.boardbook.org/Public/PublicItemDownload.aspx?ik=31079894? By the way, not sure who Erin Jackson is, but I feel pretty bad that you are calling her out like this for no reason.

Noel Kuriakos  

Posted: March 31st, 2011 9:40 AM

You still have not explained the insta-increase in $40K. How did the board determine this? I would pay $40K if there was a guarantee of some kind. If he does nothing he walks away without anything to loose. He gets the upside while our children & tax payers pay for the downside. Please explain the $600/mo car allowance and how that ties to his experience & financial mgmt. BTW, did he have a good asst sup watching over finances? Was it all him? Do you know this?

E. Jackson  

Posted: March 31st, 2011 9:36 AM

Actually, I would assume it is based on the 40 years of experience he has in education and the fact that schools in the district he worked for during the past 14 years earned either national or state-wide Blue Ribbon status in conjunction with the Blue Ribbon Schools Program. I would also think you of all people would be delighted to have someone whose previous district was recognized for excellence in financial reporting.

E. Jackson  

Posted: March 31st, 2011 9:32 AM

I choose not to base the quality of a school like Brooks based on the fact that it didn't make AYP because a small percentage of students in one subgroup didn't do well on one test.

Noel Kuriakos  

Posted: March 31st, 2011 9:29 AM

So it is not based on experience or performance but just what districts are doing. Yes, that would explain why the board hired Sup Collins for $230K per yr, praised her when she came on board & thanked her for doing a great job all the while we had teaching to the test conditions, failing schools @ AYP, continuing minority achievement gap etc. Voting no is a vote for change. For more accountability, fiscal responsibility & to bring D97 into the 21st century.

E. Jackson  

Posted: March 31st, 2011 9:29 AM

Well, since the only metric you seem to use to quantify student achievement is the ISAT, perhaps the district should spend all of its money, time and resources teaching to the test. Using your pay for performance, D97 can give teachers a bonus for every kid in their class that passes and a percent bump if the school or district makes AYP. Or, would you actually like to share some of the metrics you would use to evaluate teachers?

Noel Kuriakos  

Posted: March 31st, 2011 9:22 AM

@Erin Jackson, I do know that you can't manage what you can't measure. If the DM was very effective then you wouldn't find situations @D97 where teachers are teaching to the test, as one of the D97 Brd mbr Robert Spatz recently commented. You wouldn't have situations where students are passed from grade to grade when they haven't mastered the minimum material. How can you have 4 schools fail AYP when the teacher evals show that they are all great? Something does not add up using EveryDayMath!

Number  

Posted: March 31st, 2011 9:17 AM

Whether you agree with it or not, the type of contract that the D97 Board awarded to Dr. Roberts is in line with the vast majority of contracts in the surrounding area. Sure, the D97 Board could have offered him less but probably did a comparison of other districts and used the normal practice. My guess is that these things will be on the list of considerations for change in the near future along with other cost savings. Let's wait to see what River Forest 90 offers their new hire!

E. Jackson  

Posted: March 31st, 2011 9:16 AM

It really does amuse me how much the anonymity thing annoys you. Anyway, if you do a little research, you'll actually see that the superintendents for most districts receive the exact same benefits or more. If you don't like the way districts compensate administrators, that is one thing. However, seems clear providing those types of benefits is common and a way to ensure they attract strong candidates for these leadership positions.

Noel Kuriakos  

Posted: March 31st, 2011 9:11 AM

BTW , HI Erin Jackson !

E. Jackson  

Posted: March 31st, 2011 9:10 AM

I'll leave the everyday math "expertise" to you. What I do know is that if we are talking fair market value for someone with his experience, I'd say the salary is justified, especially since the superintendents at OPRF, District 90 and the districts towns you use for comparison (Glenview, Wilmette, Elmhurst) are all getting paid more money than he is and receive more in insurance benefits.

Noel Kuriakos  

Posted: March 31st, 2011 9:07 AM

While you at it, please tell us how $600/mo in car allowance will improve teaching effectiveness & learning outcomes. Oh, & how does paying all of his medical ins, travel exp, dues, etc go toward improving test scores. Inquiring minds want to know.

E. Jackson  

Posted: March 31st, 2011 9:06 AM

I'd say the data proves the district is making significant strides in closing the gap. Plus, I'm pretty sure the achievement gap issue is something districts across the nation are dealing with on a daily basis. However, if you've found a district that has successfully eliminated the gap, or know how districts can do it using your 21st Century framework, please let us know.

Noel Kuriakos  

Posted: March 31st, 2011 9:04 AM

@EJ, past performance is no indication of future performance. There was no need to give Sup Roberts a $40K insta-increase in salary. He value didn't go up in a matter of weeks. The board could have paid this to him as a PERFORMANCE bonus. They didn't even put down any measurable or verifiable metric for his 2% bonus in his contract. Please give us your everyday math explanation for this. I am sure Ms. Rosa @ Mann who might be laid off would love to hear it.

E. Jackson  

Posted: March 31st, 2011 9:02 AM

So you have research then that proves the Danielson Model is an ineffective way to evaluate teachers? Furthermore, are you saying our principals are incapable of accurately evaluating certified staff? Is that why you suggested they be replaced with master teachers? Also, beyond scores on an ISAT test, what metrics do you think the district should be using to evaluate teachers?

Noel Kuriakos  

Posted: March 31st, 2011 9:00 AM

@EJ, CLOSING the gap is significant. I never stated otherwise. We spend $13K per pupil, reward teachers & admin with raises & benefits yet our student minority population continues to lag yr after yr. Can you tell us when this gap will be closed? How much will it take to close this gap? Will this tax inc close the gap? NO.

E. Jackson  

Posted: March 31st, 2011 8:57 AM

As for Superintendent Roberts' salary, are you saying that is too much to pay for someone with more than 40 years of experience in education? For someone whose previous district was recognized for excellence in financial reporting and energy conservation, and had several of its schools earn either national or state-wide Blue Ribbon status in conjunction with the Blue Ribbon Schools Program?

Noel Kuriakos  

Posted: March 31st, 2011 8:56 AM

@EJ not sure if that means you can perform an ROI analysis or a Total Cost of Ownership analysis. I find it curious that the teacher evals don't include ANY measures of students' learning outcomes. The Danielson framework used by D97 (it looks really cool on the ipad, that alone is worth it right?) does not incorporate any metric that is measurable & verifiable that assesses student performance. A few subjective observations by the principal is not a hallmark of a 21st century school system.

E. Jackson  

Posted: March 31st, 2011 8:55 AM

Are you saying that closing the gap between African American students and white students, which I believe you referred to as the "traditional minorities" during the forums, isn't significant?

E. Jackson  

Posted: March 31st, 2011 8:52 AM

Doesn't improving teacher performance in the classroom correlate to improved student achievement? Also, what do you say about the fact that the percentage of D97 students passing the ISAT has either significantly increased or stayed steady in the 90s since 2006? How about the slide from the community forum in November that shows the percent of African American students passing the reading portion of ISAT test increasing by more than 20 percent since 2005?

E. Jackson  

Posted: March 31st, 2011 8:46 AM

@Noel - doesn't your use of "every day math" allow you to be more exact than a range of $15k to $30K? Is this the same "every day math" you used to calculate the $5 million the district will spend to beautify one schoolyard? If so, I'll stick to the $14K figure for the iPads I got from the district. Also, the devices have been used to conduct approximately 300 evaluations or observations this year, which are aimed at improving teacher performance.

Curious  

Posted: March 31st, 2011 8:43 AM

@Nancy - The District is spending NO taxpayer money on the referendum. All costs for promoting the referendum are covered by donations by private citizens to that group. D97 is prohibited from doing more than just providing facts as requested by either side. They are not allowed by law to promote one side or the other. Individual employees as private citizens may contribute to either side, however.

Nancy from Oak Park  

Posted: March 31st, 2011 8:33 AM

Does anyone know how much taxpayer money the District is spending to promote the "Yes" vote? How much is being paid the PR firm? How much are the signs, delivered hand-outs, and everything else costing?

Noel Kuriakos  

Posted: March 31st, 2011 8:12 AM

If D97 has been cutting costs, whey did they give the new Sup Roberts, an insta-increase in salary from his previous job to the tune ot $40K ? Why didn't they tie this to performance outcomes? Why did they give hime $600/mo car allowance? Why do they pay his FULL medical ins? Why do they pay the top admins' full medical ins? Why did they spend $15K-$30K on ipads w/o showing how it will increase teaching effectiveness & learning outcomes?

Noel Kuriakos  

Posted: March 31st, 2011 8:09 AM

D97's tax levies increased by 50% over the last decade while the CPI only increased by half that rate. Why didn't the district take advantage of this oppty & save for the rainy days? How did it STILL manage to defict spend (spending more than the increased revenues)? Many districts in IL started took proactive measures 3yrs ago, anticipating funding pressures & managed to avoid cutting core curriculum such as music & the visual arts.

Noel Kuriakos  

Posted: March 31st, 2011 8:05 AM

If the district has been cutting expenses, why did the deficit spend yr after yr, forcing the Il St Brd of Ed to put them in the bottom 20% of financially questionable sch districts? 70% of IL districts seem to have managed their finances yr after yr, why didn't D97? The board never held the admin accountable for fiscal mismanagement & now we face a funding crisis. A vote no will stop this insanity and hold the board and the admin accountable.

Sad but True  

Posted: March 31st, 2011 6:58 AM

You missed a question - Why didn't D97 put the referendum on one of the major ballots? Like most governmental agencies, D97's consultants advised them to put the referendum on a notoriously low turnout election in attempt to skew the results in their favor. Bottom line, D97 fears that the majority of voters would not approve of the referendum if they actually took the time to vote and are relying on voter apathy.

KPost  

Posted: March 30th, 2011 8:49 PM

The 75-80% of the budget gets the second to last paragraph? Here's how we got here. You cannot give 5-6-8-10-11 PERCENT raises yearly. One fourth of staff (124) rcvd 6-10% raises last year. Another 50 got 10-15% raises. Guess how many got back to back 7% or greater raises in 2008-2010 -the height of unemployment? 140.

L. Bergeron  

Posted: March 30th, 2011 8:11 PM

What about these questions?: How much does D97 spend per pupil? How does that compare to communities with similar wealth? Why hasn't D97 balanced its budget? Why has the Assessor said that $38 per $1000 is misleading? Why is D97 one of the few districts (if not the only) in suburban Cook County with such large debt? Why hasn't D97 negotiated contracts that it can afford? I could go on, but it doesn't seem as if this paper is interested in asking the tough questions.

DeJordy  

Posted: March 30th, 2011 1:38 PM

I can't believe "reporter" is by the name of the person "answering" these questions. This is propaganda! The freeze is a sham. There are exceptions and outrageous pension sweeteners that the board has been dishonest about. And they made it clear they will "make up" the freeze after this passes. Cut costs? The journal's own endorsement acknowledged how profligate the board has been in negotiating the number one cost--salaries!

about the salary freeze  

Posted: March 30th, 2011 12:36 PM

Your facts aren't quite right here. Not all teachers are subject to the freeze. Teachers who are retiring and teachers who finished master's degrees will still have a pay increase this year. So really there were more than 2 conditions to the deal.

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