Raises for OPRF administrators questioned


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By Marty Stempniak

Staff Reporter

Seventeen administrators at Oak Park and River Forest High School are getting pay raises for next school year, some as high as 12.63 percent. And critics — inside and outside of the school — are saying the raises send the wrong message to the public in a down economy, while the superintendent maintains that they're needed to keep OPRF competitive.

The high school's board approved the pay boosts on April 28. The increases range from 1.34 percent to 12.63 percent. That would put the top-paid administrator in the group at $183,996, when factoring in matches the school makes to retirement plans.

In a phone interview last week, Superintendent Steven Isoye said the pay changes were necessary to help bring OPRF closer to the middle ground of administrator salaries, as determined by Northwest Personnel Association. He said the high school is striving to stay competitive in attracting and keeping top talent.

"We wanted to position ourselves appropriately in the marketplace," he said. "We weren't necessarily looking to be on the high end, but we also weren't necessarily looking to be on the low end."

The high school is eliminating the position of assistant superintendent for operations, with Jack Lanenga retiring, Isoye said. With that, OPRF will be spending $37,000 less next year on its 17 administrators, or about $2.4 million.

School board member Sharon Patchak-Layman voted against the pay raises last week. She disagrees with how OPRF assessed the marketplace and worries that there's no ending point and salaries will keep skyrocketing indefinitely.

"It's just unsustainable. We just can't keep heading in that direction," she said.

Village Trustee Ray Johnson said he was "fired up" after reading about the pay raises. Village hall has gone through a series of layoffs since the recession started, and non-union employees have had their pay frozen for the past couple of years.

"In this current economic climate, I don't know if anybody is getting 9- and 10-percent raises, year over year," he said. "It's not happening anywhere. It's not happening in the private sector. It's not happening in the public sector. I don't get it. I frankly don't get it, and I think the citizens should be asking questions about how this came to pass."

Jacques Conway, the only other District 200 board member who voted against the raises, disagrees that they're needed to stay competitive. He thinks the bumps are deserved, but they set the wrong tone as OPRF prepares to negotiate a new teacher contract in the near future.

"You're telling me that the people in our building only work there because of the money? That's what you're telling me, right?" he said. "That, if the money isn't right, then everything else that we have to offer just isn't good enough? I don't believe that."

Board President Dee Millard said members asked Isoye to review salaries when he was hired a year ago. The changes help bring the high school toward its goals of improving achievement — by putting academic division heads on the job for more months, and taking away any unrelated responsibilities (such as a $3,976 stipend to one administrator for coaching girls cross country).

OPRF looked at other ways to limit the burden on taxpayers, such as putting part of the compensation increases into administrators' pension costs, rather than all of it going toward the base salary. The school also got rid of the ability to cash out unused vacation days, and some administrators considered above the market got small raises of less than 2 percent. They're moving toward a system where raises are based on performance, she said.

Millard disagreed with Conway's argument that the raises were unnecessary.

"I'd like my kids to have better teachers and better administrators than those that are leftovers because nobody else wants them and we're at the low-end of the pay scale," she said. "If we intend to make the changes that we hired Isoye for, we've got to give him talent to make those changes."

The board held off on discussing pay raises for the high school's two top administrators — Isoye and Chief Financial Officer Cheryl Witham, who earn base pay of $205,000 and $188,375, respectively — as they plan to take those up as part of separate contract talks.

OPRF administrator salaries

2010-11 D200 Administrative Salary Compensation Report


2011-12 D200 Administrative Salary Compensation Report

Reader Comments

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Posted: May 13th, 2011 3:40 PM

Being an OPRF grad as well, I can agree that the education I received was wonderful. Yes, I was in all honors and AP classes. Yes, I played two competitive sports. Yes, I applied to great schools and got into all of them - ended up going to U of I for business. And yes, I am happily employed. Regarding the student post, I couldn't agree more. We are the future and the reason the teachers and administrators work as hard as they do to ensure that we are able to accomplish these goals.


Posted: May 13th, 2011 3:34 PM

Clearly, their level of education probably plays a role in the reason they have not received raises. I do agree they should be rewarded as well, but you all need to keep in mind, that our administrators don't even make that much money compared to many districts in the Chicagoland area. For the hours, work and dedication they put in, it's not even comparable. In fact, I think it's rather low considering what a great school OPRF is.

Oak Parker  

Posted: May 13th, 2011 1:11 PM

The CPA has not had a contract in two years because there isn't enough money for them to get raises. Some of these people are working with students in classrooms, and teachers could not survive without them. Yet the administrators receive raises from 1.34% to 12.63% on salaries five times those of CPA workers? Does anyone else recognize the imbalance in this?


Posted: May 13th, 2011 9:08 AM

@teacher. My kids have obtained an overall excellent education from D97 and 200 (overpaid, though). I believe that parental guidance and social peers play the major role, but there are 4 stools IMO and the other 2 are teachers/principals AND "luck." The latter because I know that many kids that have the 3/4 stools don't have "luck" - and the teen years are challenging. College for kids? Selective (UI) and highly selective. BTW, IL House just voted to cut early ed $$. D97 and all-day kdg plans?!?

teacher from Oak Park  

Posted: May 13th, 2011 8:17 AM

I'm happy for the anonymous student, but would love some data about the types of courses he or she took, ACT scores, type of college selected (highly selective, selective, etc...) and of course, race. Without these data, such broad statements simply don't hold water. Still, it's always nice to hear good feedback, no matter how unsubstantiated.

Anonymous from Oak Park  

Posted: May 12th, 2011 9:26 PM

As a recent OPRF graduate I would have to say that I am extremely pleased with the education I recieved there. We have an amazing curriculum and for the most part you make it what you want it to be when you are a student. If you want to work hard and actually learn something you will. I think the real problem with the school is not who is getting paid more but how the admin. and teachers interact.


Posted: May 12th, 2011 6:44 PM

@get your facts straight--unless you want to start paying the salaries yourself, STFU. Administrators are public employees and every dollar they award themselves is subject to public opinion.


Posted: May 12th, 2011 2:46 PM

Teacher fro OP you also HAVE MY VOTE!


Posted: May 12th, 2011 2:43 PM

@Teacher - Where have you been? Please run for school board or otherwise educate the masses! Afterall it IS for the children, not the unions or bloated administrative salaries.

teacher from Oak Park  

Posted: May 12th, 2011 2:36 PM

Finally, the data about OPRF is on this site: http://iirc.niu.edu/ Some of the information is painful: such as the low test scores for our minority kids and the teacher salaries. Other data is less painful, but well worth looking at: we do less with more even amongst our non-minority or title one population. Clearly, something needs to be done.

teacher from Oak Park  

Posted: May 12th, 2011 2:34 PM

I would like to have more accountability in the hiring practices - is it possible for the board to put limits on the cost of new teacher hires? I realize that once a teacher gets in and gets tenure it's hard to do anything about it, but can't we at least have some accountability at the front end of these costs? In addition, shouldn't we be requiring that new teachers trying to earn their place perform extraordinarily? And continue to do so year after year?

teacher from Oak Park  

Posted: May 12th, 2011 2:30 PM

It takes a lot of skill to be a good teacher, but more skill to mentor and teach new teachers. Compensation should clearly be tied to the ability to build capacity within the district and not simply because someone has a certain number of years in the profession. However, giving someone over 100k for their first year when that is simply not their market value, is simply not defensible.

john murtagh from oak park  

Posted: May 12th, 2011 2:27 PM

Violet - A Skill Set is a capability. More than one skill is called a Skill Set. For instance; a singer has a skill. A singer/dancer has complimentary skills that creates a different form of entertainment. Business is always looking for people with multiple skill sets (engineering and accounting, scientist and public speaker, Stern leadership and personal charm, etc.

teacher from Oak Park  

Posted: May 12th, 2011 2:25 PM

Two of the most rare - and therefore demand the highest compensation on the market - are technical skills requiring knowledge of very advanced math, and high quality leadership skills. I do not want to denigrate anyone's value based on the free market system, but it is the system in which we live, and therefore we need to attend to its rules.

Oak Parker  

Posted: May 12th, 2011 2:24 PM

Money in the bank doesnt or shouldnt translate into a need for raises. Division head for PE/ Drivers Ed makes $142/ yr? Whats the lesson plan he must come up with? Lets gets serious about how these tax funded salaries are doled out

teacher from Oak Park  

Posted: May 12th, 2011 2:23 PM

Violet - a skill set is simply a took kid of skills that a person has; for example, an elite technical skill set, such a computer programmer, demands a large salary simply because there are not a lot of people who have the cognitive ability to learn the skills for the job. Harder to measure, but more important, are skills sets that leaders must have to be effective; for example, OPRF's current superintendent seems to have the attributes of leadership, trust, and vision; the former sup. did not.

Tom from River Forest  

Posted: May 12th, 2011 2:06 PM

(Cont.) It appears that OPRF long gave up on competing academically. Now of course by providing these increase, we have yet again raised the median salary level that will necessitate another salary increase. But more importantly, the board has all but capitulated to the teachers on the next contract. How can they say there is no money for teacher's raises, who will no doubt be hailed by our board as being hard working and deserving. When does this constant increase of our tax burden stop?

Tom from River Forest  

Posted: May 12th, 2011 1:59 PM

This is just further proof that the District 200 board does not represent the interest of the taxpayers but rather is merely a rubber stamp of the school's administration. First, they back door a tax increase so that they can amass a tax surplus of $90 million then they use the canard of needing to pay more to staff to stay competitive. I hate to break it to the board, but at this point, the only point at which OPRF competes is in the amount of money that it pays its staff


Posted: May 12th, 2011 1:08 PM

@teacher from Oak Park. Your information, analysis and proposals are superb. I'll first put on my cynical hat and state that, therefore, "not a chance" (these are NOT new ideas and what is the incentive for the ed blob, presently, to incorporate them?), but I'll follow up with that and say, acknowledging nation-wide fin'l constraints, this does give me hope for the future. I can't thank you enough for taking the time to educate me!

Violet Aura  

Posted: May 12th, 2011 11:46 AM

What's a skill set?

teacher from Oak Park  

Posted: May 12th, 2011 11:45 AM

those degrees are great if the knowledge and practice attained from them facilitate and enhance student achievement. Otherwise, they add little or no value to the institution. There is no evidence to support that a PhD or any other advanced degree has a direct affect on student achievement. If you can find facts to support your claim, I would be happy to hear them. And I'm not complaining about the money; I'm providing a solutions-based approach to the issue.

get your facts straight  

Posted: May 12th, 2011 11:22 AM

I find it ridiculous that many of you sit here and criticize the administrators, talk about their lack of skill set, and put them down without knowing anything about their background. Do You have a PHD? A double masters? An MBA? Keep your ignorance to yourself and acknowledge that maybe you should have continuted to a higher level of education if you're complaining about the money you make, or lack there of. Unless you know the facts, quit your bitching.

teacher from Oak Park  

Posted: May 12th, 2011 11:04 AM

A long-term way to solve this is to simply freeze salaries for a number of years - not one good teacher will quit to go to another district - they will NOT give up tenure, and risked getting RIFed in another district. In addition, most districts would rather hire inexperienced teachers - and most teachers do not have the same market value outside of the district. Finally, the fact that less then half of African American students make AYP should tell us that someone is not doing their job.

teacher from Oak Park  

Posted: May 12th, 2011 10:59 AM

This is one short-term way to look at this problem - another way is to hire second career new teachers who are just as inexpensive as 20-somethings, but will most likely stay in the profession for fewer years, for example, a 45 year old for 20 years will only be earning 100k for ten years, while a 23 year old working for 35 years will be pulling out over 100k (at current salaries) for over 25 years. In addition, many of these people have excellent knowledge and wisdom

teacher from Oak Park  

Posted: May 12th, 2011 10:52 AM

is when a very specific skill set is needed and is not available in a pool of unexperienced but legally qualified applicants. And by this I don't mean experience with something - that can be learned, and my hope is that with all the very well-paid teachers in the district, extra duties of mentoring should be welcomed. Simply put, hiring a new counselor or teacher at over 100k without a very specialized and elite skill set is simply unacceptable.

teacher from Oak Park  

Posted: May 12th, 2011 10:49 AM

director of curriculum and instruction and special education would make almost the same amount if given a teaching position and awarding their years. The practice that should be looked at is 1. hiring policies - high paid department chairs and highly paid experienced teachers should be put into positions where they work with new teachers; OPRF should have a policy of ONLY hiring teachers with very little experience and training them well. The only time this should be waived

teacher from Oak Park  

Posted: May 12th, 2011 10:46 AM

So do the math - a teacher who attains an administrative certificate and enough experience in another district is going to be earning between 80-100 k at the 10-15 year mark, the point in which many teachers transition into dept chair or dean jobs. In this market, the administrative salaries are very competitive. As far as I know, each one of the administrators named, if they moved back into the classroom full time, with the exception of the superintendent, human resource director, principal,

teacher from Oak Park  

Posted: May 12th, 2011 10:42 AM

Most districts award tenure to new administrative hires - for the most part, they have to because the new hired will be most likely leaving a situation in which they have tenure and are unwilling to risk job security. For many administrators, the option of going back into the classroom at their new district is an option.

teacher from Oak Park  

Posted: May 12th, 2011 10:38 AM

Many of the 10 month employees make over 100k; in order to attract teachers to move into adminstration, the salaries in many districts have to be over 100k even though administrators are not covered in collective bargaining agreements; the practice from going to high priced teacher to high priced administrator is going to continue. One way to solve this problem is to hire administrators from outside the field who simply don't have the option of moving back into the classroom.

teacher from Oak Park  

Posted: May 12th, 2011 10:35 AM

One of the reasons that the administrators have to make this much is that the teachers do. Look at the teacher salary report on OPRF's website. A new counseling hire last year was hired from a neighboring district - she almost doubled her salary because Oak Park gave her all of her years - 12 - which they contractually don't have to do. They could have hired someone with less experience, especially since there are so many qualified applicants, but they chose not to.

Oak Parker  

Posted: May 11th, 2011 9:38 PM

Cost of living raises? Are you kidding? 9% of population person is OUT of work and your board is worried about C.O.L increases? Amy, I'm thinking a good majority of them are OVERPAID? What say you?

Decisions in a Vacuum from OP  

Posted: May 11th, 2011 5:05 PM

Thank you, Amy. Now just make sure that your well-developed rationale ensures that total D200 expenses do not require a tax hike (unlikely given the massive surplus the district is sitting on) and we'll be fine. I don't much care WHY they got the money (it all makes perfect sense absent other facts), I just want the district to live within it's unbelieveably ample means. $80 million surplus is shocking...but fiscal management is still required.

Amy McCormack  

Posted: May 11th, 2011 1:53 PM

median price points of competitive districts, but in these salary decisions, there were a number of other considerations at play as well. I was contacted for comment before this article was published, but we did not connect. That said, the comments I made were reported by others, and I am disappointed that they were not reported here. Please know that this is an incredibly hard working and dedicated group of people-disagree about salary, but know that we are lucky to have them working for all.

Amy McCormack  

Posted: May 11th, 2011 1:39 PM

a revamp of the division head salary factors/considerations to better reflect work responsibilities (increased duties and days), as opposed to our former system that - while unintended - resulted in inequities based on administrative experience; as well as consideration of median salaries in the districts with which we compete for talent. Reasonable minds can disagree on whether even a modest cost of living increase of 1.5% is appropriate, as well as whether we should consider (1 more-continued

Amy McCormack  

Posted: May 11th, 2011 1:35 PM

Some increases are based on a market adjustment when comparing our salaries to competitive schools. The intent of the adjustment was to have administrators at the mid-point of the salary comparison. Other extenuating circumstances impacting increases include: a change in work schedule from 11 months to a 12 month position (the 10% increase noted in the newspaper); significant change in work responsibilities (including critical supervisory duties); (more-continued)

Amy McCormack  

Posted: May 11th, 2011 1:33 PM

The raises for administrators involved only modest cost of living increases of 1.5 percent, unless there were extenuating circumstances in a particular case that dictated the necessity of a higher increase. In fact, in some instances, the resulting compensation for administrators will be slightly less than a past year, as a former practice has been reinstituted that would not allow an administrator to hold an additional stipend based position for extra-curricular activities. (more-continued

Check out those health care premiums  

Posted: May 11th, 2011 9:00 AM

17,000 an employee for Healthcare. That's what 50% of the Admins show. A scattering of 13,000 and a few on the low end. That is the taxpayer portion. What is their portion?


Posted: May 11th, 2011 12:30 AM

Has anyone looked at the teacher salaries? When is the WJ going to start publishing all of those salaries over $110,000? Nice job, work about 185 days, arrive late, leave early. Aren't we not meeting state standards for another year in a row? Let's pay them on performance and start reducing the amounts. Go Sharon Patchack-Laymen.

Voted NO  

Posted: May 10th, 2011 10:30 PM

Unfortunately I do not share the optimism that the 10% raise adminstrators will argue against similar raises for the faculty. Quit the contrary, I expect we will see a continuation of nonsense about matching salaries with other communities rather than looking at what we can afford and what we are getting for the already high salaries paid to teachers.


Posted: May 10th, 2011 9:34 PM

It is a WORLD GONE MAD. How dare they give raises to anyone in these economic times. Raises aside, I have never heard of a school district that contribute to/matches 403B plans. When will it end. There are plenty of great administrators looking for jobs and I am sure would be happy to have replaced any or all of those at OPRF at their current salaries.


Posted: May 10th, 2011 4:41 PM

@Another Public... - The article states the Board hasn't even addressed the supt.'s pay yet. Don't know where you're getting the fact that his pay raise is higher than your salary.


Posted: May 10th, 2011 9:11 AM

Now that the administrators have a 10% raise in pocket, they will spend the next 18 months arguing that the teachers do not deserve such a generous raise--and will fail. All of which further depletes our tax resources. Millard, Conway, Finnegan and McCormack are next on the block. Don't forget them in '13.

OP Resident  

Posted: May 10th, 2011 1:03 AM

Dooper it's always been that way. Trustees gush and fawn over the Village Manager. Oak Park's had a couple of real stinkers but there's been little public critism. Behind closed door is another story. I don't believe Barwin deserved a salary increase. His lack of ethics by deceiving the trustees re: the $250K payment to a questionable computer consultant cannot be ignored. Barwin gamed the system and then pled ignorance. He's a former cop and must have heard that same excuse a thousand times.

john murtagh from oak park  

Posted: May 9th, 2011 11:36 PM

By the time you have competed your 2nd term and a riding into your 3rd, you have to take the rap for the 1st eight years. So OPV salaries are in play as are TIFs, bad developments, and bad returns on our personal tax investment. Businesses execs, teachers, athletes, administrators, actors, developers, etc. all play the same game. That guy over there is getting more money than me - so pay me more or lose me. We, the consumer and taxpayer get salary inflation without productivity gain. Dumb!


Posted: May 9th, 2011 11:29 PM

Godwin's law is often cited in online discussions as a deterrent against the use of arguments in the widespread Reductio ad Hitlerum form[citation needed]. The rule does not make any statement about whether any particular reference or comparison to Adolf Hitler or the Nazis might be appropriate, but only asserts that the likelihood of such a reference or comparison arising increases as the discussion progresses. It is precisely because such a comparison or reference may sometimes be appropriate, Godwin has argued[4] that overuse of Nazi and Hitler comparisons should be avoided, because it robs the valid comparisons of their impact.


Posted: May 9th, 2011 11:01 PM

Yay, once again Godwin's Law comes to pass in the closed-campus argument. http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Godwin's_law


Posted: May 9th, 2011 10:55 PM

An OP resident losing her home one by one a thousand times in the last two years. No one writes about it. No one sees. We are our own enemy. Just like the Germans in WWII, we turn our heads and smile. Screw them...they are not one of us. Think our administrative salaries are too high ... screw you ... Move out of your home!


Posted: May 9th, 2011 10:14 PM

It's not just Ray Johnson's fault that the Village Board is giving Barwin more and more. The entire VOP Board seems to be missing the point that they are viewed the same as Dist. 200. Meanwhile, try to find an employee at Village Hall. It looks like an empty mall in there. If you can't afford to have keep employees to provide services to the residents then you certinly cannot afford to give Barwin more money.

OP Resident  

Posted: May 9th, 2011 8:10 PM

Ray Johnson is fired up!? Me thinks he doth protest too much. He sure didn't hestitate to approve a juicy pay raise for Village Manager Barwin nor did he take any action to make sure the top administrator at Village Hall was paying the fair market value for the housing taxpayers were subsidizing. Has Ray asked any of the countless consultants who have been on the public dole for decades to cut their rates? Actions speak louder than words, Ray.

Jim M  

Posted: May 9th, 2011 8:00 PM

One flew east, one flew west, One flew over the cuckoo's nest. That pretty much sums up the majority of Oak Park voters.

Another Public Schools Employee  

Posted: May 9th, 2011 7:02 PM

I work in the public school system (not District 200), and the OPRF superintendent's pay raise is higher than my whole salary.... and yet, somehow, it's the salaries of teachers that are ruining the budget?

OP Resident  

Posted: May 9th, 2011 6:32 PM

@Paul, the referendum was for District 97, not District 200 which is the high school district. Either you don't live in Oak Park or you are greatly misinformed. And I don't think the administrators make several times the average Oak Parker. Many Oak Parkers make several times what these administrators do.

Voted NO  

Posted: May 9th, 2011 5:27 PM

Regarding our hard working adminstrators - I know that the D200 principal is working very hard to close the campus - which will create all sorts of trouble in the school (where to put all the kids and how many more staff to hire to supervise them) and hurt the businesses where the kids go for lunch now. FYI - those businesses pay TAXES on the money they make selling food to our kids. No doubt the solution somewhere down the road will be to raise real estate taxes!

Have my facts straight  

Posted: May 9th, 2011 3:01 PM

I've worked at my recents job for over three years. I haven't received a pay raise yet. I've had a second job for almost three years. I am away from my family almost 70 hours a week. To the administrators and everyone else who received a 10% raise: #@&% YOU!

Upset with OP Schools from Oak Park  

Posted: May 9th, 2011 2:30 PM

Well, Congratulations on your 10% raise. There are many in this town who have not had a raise in quite awhile. Ranting? Just trying to afford living here and keeping schools accountable.

get your facts straight  

Posted: May 9th, 2011 2:01 PM

The administrators take enough heat as it is - cut them some slack, it wasn't their decision. Personally, I think you shouldn't be wasting your time ranting about this and worry about focusing on your job and income. I'm sure you wouldn't be complaining if you got a 10% raise? That's NORMAL. I got one this year as well. People in Oak Park have way too much to time on their hands...


Posted: May 9th, 2011 1:30 PM

Wasn't there just a referendum in which voters decided to give the school district more money? So now they're giving some of that more money to the administrators. I don't think there's anything surprising or strange about this. If you gave me a pile of money with no strings, I'd probably share some with my friends. If you don't like the high school having administrators who make several times the average Oak Park resident's income, vote no next time.

Next Referendum Campaign? from OP  

Posted: May 9th, 2011 12:58 PM

@get your facts straight: This isn't a personal attack and it isn't about how much work people do. It's about running an efficient, effective operation that uses tax dollars wisely. Frankly, in the current economic environment, the raises listed here are highly questionable. To blindly support a system or group of people merely sets us all up for another tax hike. I don't want one, and clearly neither do others judging by the comments here. Or are you starting the campaign for the next Ref?

get your facts straight  

Posted: May 9th, 2011 12:26 PM

You all have no idea how much work these administrators put into that school. It's frustrating to think that your negative words and opinions are going to end up making them feel uncomfortable and disheartened. I know firsthand the outrageous amount of hours they work each week and the dedication and time they put into making OPRF a wonderful school for our community. Shame on all of your for putting in your "two cents" when you know nothing about what goes on behind the scenes.

Upset with OP Schools from Oak Park  

Posted: May 9th, 2011 11:09 AM

Unbelievable, but not surprised by these school boards in this town. I totally think they all live on another planet and never realize what they rest of us are going through economically. OPRF shame on you!

Concerned Oak Park Citizen from Oak Park  

Posted: May 9th, 2011 9:10 AM

What a conundrum. Maybe we can fix the problem by raising property taxes again?

maggy from oak park  

Posted: May 9th, 2011 7:07 AM

Shame on them! Homeowners are struggling to keep their homes in Oak Park with high taxes to pay their decadent salaries? I am tired of hearing the line 'to keep in line of competitve districts', etc....baloney, OPRF is not the school it use to be, but the administrators are making more than ever. Maybe they need to be reviewed EVERY year & get raises on a based on the test scores of the students.

Oaks and Parks  

Posted: May 8th, 2011 10:45 AM

This was on the now defunct Facebook's Vote NO on Oak Park Referendum page. KC wrote this there. It was subsequently deleted but I cached it: Here's what I know: D200 has a surplus of $90M which is 2-3 times its annual budget in violation of state law. The D97 Board has been notified of this but has refused to call D200 on it. What that means is, taxpayer money sits in a bank when it cou

oaks and parks  

Posted: May 8th, 2011 10:36 AM

What a grossly overpaid bunch of people. Who's the fool? Me, and the rest of OP, I guess.

Kim from Oak Park  

Posted: May 8th, 2011 7:48 AM

As long Oak Park taxpayers keep approving referenda, no questions asked, why wouldn't these taxing bodies continue to act as they do? They are like teens with no limits and we are the parents to blame. I don't feel sorry for us at all. We get what we vote for.


Posted: May 8th, 2011 6:15 AM

Well, why would the Superintendent of a ONE SCHOOL DISTRICT do anything to reduce administrative expenses? His mere presence is a testament to bloated administrative expenses. Back in the day (just a few years back), there was no supt, just a principal....but someone decided even more layers and salary was the right approach. Jeez...

Oak Parker  

Posted: May 7th, 2011 5:09 PM

Is the Supt a NEW one or a NAIVE one?

Referendum Again!!! from OP  

Posted: May 7th, 2011 2:30 PM

The path to the next tax hike starts here. And we already have people lining up to support it....that's why the Board has no reason to act otherwise. Meanwhile, the quality of education at OPRF continues to slip....

Dan from RF  

Posted: May 7th, 2011 10:44 AM

So Superintendent Steven Isoye wants to be in the middle of the compensation range to remain competitive. What is he competing for? With the average term of the current administrators at over 9 years on the job, it doesn't seem that retention is a problem. I also think that it is interesting that the school will eliminate an administrator position and assert that, overall, administrators pay will go down. Here is my idea, don't raise any salaries until you cannot get talented people to replace those who leave and annually justify exactly why each administrator position should continue to exist. That would show some mercy and good stewardship for the taxpayers who foot the bill.

Oak Parker  

Posted: May 7th, 2011 10:29 AM

All I can think is: The rich people come out to vote.

Voted NO  

Posted: May 7th, 2011 9:31 AM

"Curious" - and that is just the kind of thinking that got that referendum passed. D97 needed the money! For the kids! All seperate from D200. And in a few years when D200 wants to pass its next referendum, it will be the same - For the kids! because they are "all out of money" Heaven forbid there should be reasonable long range planning, accountability or (double heaven forbid) cooperation (on consolidation) - except for on how to bilk residents out of more tax money.

Not here we go again.  

Posted: May 7th, 2011 9:28 AM

I don't see a single reference let alone a plural reference. Still protecting your territory?


Posted: May 7th, 2011 9:18 AM

Those of you who seem to reference the recent D97 vote do realize this article is about the high school district, right? Everything is frozen for admins in D97.

Lived here too long from Oak Park  

Posted: May 7th, 2011 9:16 AM

So we'er supposed to believe that pay raises of 10% are necessary to be competetive with districts that have been laying people off? If the comparative districts are on the North Shore our "leaders" need to wake up and realize we are not the North Shore.

Oak Parker  

Posted: May 7th, 2011 9:04 AM

When the salary of the Div Head for PE & Driver's Ed is $140K - There is a problem in society. The Village Mgr who oversees 52,000 Oak Parker's and has a staff to run the Village makes LESS than the superintendent?

Peter T  

Posted: May 7th, 2011 8:39 AM

These salaries seem appropriate or even low for those positions. Do your homework before slamming people for being compensated for the work they do every day.

Enough Already!  

Posted: May 7th, 2011 8:16 AM

If the only thing that is going to keep these administrators happy is more pay, rather than career satisfaction or a desire to help the children of this community, let them go somewhere else. If the only thing that is keeping you here is the paycheck, go to another district to collect it.

Had Enough Yet OP?  

Posted: May 6th, 2011 11:12 PM

10%? Easy money if you can get it. Wall Street Bankers going for it got it. Why wouldn't school administrators do the same? People this is what happens when you stop participating. This is what happens when you have no organizational means to stop it. Wall Street or Oak Park it is all the same; the powers will push on the little taxpayer as hard as they can. Is it any wonder why the Tea Party and Scott Walker are rising to power? GET A CLUE MEEK AND TIMID LITTLE PEOPLE OF OAK PARK.


Posted: May 6th, 2011 11:11 PM

And yet these are the clowns the Wednesday Journal kept assuring us who "get it." Yeah, they get it, as in nice fat pay for themselves. We are suckers.


Posted: May 6th, 2011 11:03 PM

@epic. You're correct - even though you don't wish to be, do you? It is PRECISELY because of this universal type of attitude/behavior that we NEED people like Scott Walker. IF this attitude/behavior did NOT exist - then Scott Walker wouldn't be a governor. Period. OPRF has an $80M surplus AND is suing VOP!?! Perhaps the concern with VOP has merit, but these salary increases (along with last teacher contract) exhibits that Bd has NO sense of how this looks. $80M surplus and they want more?!?

Magda from Oak Park  

Posted: May 6th, 2011 10:52 PM

The Oak Park school districts and village must take us for chumps. We continue to hand out the "needed" funds and are surprised when things like this happen. As someone who has experienced hikes and eliminations in pay and health and retirement benefits, I've voted no to nearly every tax-hike referendum, only to come upon stories like this.

Mary Ellen Eads from Oak Park  

Posted: May 6th, 2011 8:45 PM

Some, but not all, of these raises seem excessive, especially in this economy. However, I would note that it is the Board which approves these raises, not the employees themselves. Board members are often affluent members of the community who have little exposure to the economic strains faced by ordinary middle class citizens. They don't see 10 percent raises as all that unusual. They lack a true sense of fiduciary responsibility. And we voted them in.

epic lulz  

Posted: May 6th, 2011 8:21 PM

Good going OPRF. It's this kind of shameless behavior that makes people fall into the arms of idiots like WI governor Scott Walker.

Donna from Oak Park  

Posted: May 6th, 2011 6:50 PM

Whoever gave them the pay raise should be fired. Remain competitive--- are you kidding? In this economy you can get hundreds of more qualified administrators cheaper. Call their bluff---let them all go--

John from Oak Park  

Posted: May 6th, 2011 5:53 PM

Outrageous. It`s like our own little Wall St scam or something. They said exactly the same thing when giving out huge bonuses during the collapse of our economy. Let them leave if 200 grand isn`t enough. Let them leave. I voted know and I bet a lot of people reading this would concur.


Posted: May 6th, 2011 4:41 PM

It is for the Children!but not one of these peopl teach children!

Here we are againg  

Posted: May 6th, 2011 4:39 PM

Wake up people, you are all getting robbed on the streets and on your taxes. If you all keep voting to raise taxes it will never end. I will say this again. I am moving out of this town and county and will not look back. I have already stopped shopping in crook county and will never pay OP taxes again. Competative, Rich you are correct, falling ranks for how long now? Kids smarter?

RichF from Oak Park  

Posted: May 6th, 2011 4:33 PM

Throw more money at them to stay 'competitive'? OPRF has done nothing except fall in ratings of area high schools for years.

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