It is always interesting to see how the journalists and editors in the local newspapers describe something and then compare such descriptions with source documents.
Here’s how the people who made their proposal to the Cary 26 school board described their offering in what little info they gave the board:
“Restricted Use Grant”
The bold lettering was in their original brief proposal.
Also bolded was “12 equal payments.”
How about this little detail in the proposal:
“Any failure to comply with the conditions and terms of the Restricted Use Grant may result in the suspension of the transfer of funds.”
This had its own bullet point.
Seeing how teacher unions legally interpret compliance and non compliance, this is a red flag.
How’s this written detail:
“The Foundation will provide fund verification to the Board of Education after the Board takes an action to accept this proposal.”
The “after” in the sentence indicates a level of unrealism that is laughable for a foundation calling itself “Soar to Higher Heights Foundation.”
How do you trust people who expect a school board to be so naively stupid to agree to this?
They might as well have called themselves
“Taking a Flying Leap off a Tall Cliff Foundation.”
“The Leap of Faith Foundation,”
with apologies to Seren Kierkegaard.
Seeing how the foundation doesn’t really exist yet, at least that’s what the Illinois Secretary of State’s Office just told me
(“We have no record of that.”)
they have time to change the name.
Why don’t these folks want to work through the existing Cary 26 foundation? After all, it already exists.
It is interesting how the newspapers keep referring to the potential monies as a donation instead of “restricted use grant.”
It seems like the word “restricted” is key.
Teacher unions for years have wanted to dictate class size in districts as part of their contracts.
This “Soar” group has proposed specific class size ranges, without including the qualifier of “guideline.”
This is another red flag for any school district.
District 300 was foolish enough to agree to penalty payments to its teachers in the existing contract, if the specific class sizes were exceeded and in this school year it will cost the D-300’s taxpayers millions of dollars.
The D-300 teachers union said no dice to the idea that instead of paying the penalty money to the teachers, that the money go to keeping more teachers.
If the individuals in Cary 26 went about soliciting money for a foundation without registering with the State of Illinois, as may be legally required, what kind of a potential legal mess and legal consequences are there for whatever money has been already obtained or solicited?
The Co-Presidents of the Cary teachers’ union were thanked in writing for their input.
Did they get legal advice on soliciting money for a foundation from their state level teachers union, the I.E.A.? I imagine they had access to such legal advice for the asking.
It seems like any potential violation of State law involving soliciting funds for a foundation might add legal complications to any transfer and receipt of the money.
It will be interesting to see what attorney is involved with the formation of the foundation.
If I was a Cary 26 school board member I would insist on knowing
- what legal advice the group got,
- from whom and
- when, in writing.
If the Superintendent or any administrator was involved in helping the group out, each should disclose to the school board what assistance was given.
It seems a bit odd Superintendent Brad Coleman was willing to make a snap judgment recommendation about considering delaying the start of school for two weeks.
One of the demands or conditions of the group is for the district to report to the foundation on its cash situation on a monthly basis.
This is something a union might like to have, as it goes into contract negotiations at the end of the current school year. Here’s the requirement as written to the board:
“District 26 will provide cash flow and monthly reports accurately reflecting the financial position of the District.”
There seems to be an ulterior motive in making monthly payments and therefore requiring monthly reports.
Seeing how teachers unions interpret the phrase “accurately reflecting,” it would be easy for a union-type lawyer to argue the district isn’t doing what it agreed to.
Financial woman T. Ferrier worked for Huntley School District 158 before going to Cary 26.
Having seen what accounting was done in Huntley while Ferrier worked there, and then was restated by its audit firm, if I were a Cary 26 board member, I wouldn’t touch this requirement with a twenty-foot pole.
Whether T. Ferrier was personally involved in the $1.5 million of accounting and accounting adjustments is a matter of fact finding and interpretation.
I do know it’s not every day an audit firm restates a school district’s previous year’s audit by over a million bucks.
It took vigorous efforts by board members Larry Snow and Tony Quagliano to have the correct numbers become the officially correct numbers.
As I recall, Ferrier insisted she and the Finance Dept. had done the accounting correctly.
Then there was the ten million dollars of on-going construction that was in the Huntley administration’s proposed audit numbers that was for non-existent construction in that fiscal year.
That also was corrected. Ooops!
If the Cary 26 board agreed to “accurately” report to the group, it is an invitation to a dispute whenever the group decides, “We don’t agree.”
The unidentified group made it clear how reasonable it is when it required the board to first take action before verifying the money exists.
This apparently is after missing previous deadlines for verification that it had given the district.
In other words, the group already has a spotty track record to begin with.
I remember that some of my friends and even relatives bought Jimmy Carter’s “Trust Me” pitch.
There seem to be some similarities in the Cary proposal.
The spirit and specifics of the group’s “Restricted Use Grant” is not caring about whether the district remains subject to State takeover as it is now.
Perhaps the teachers’ union figures that, if the teachers are re-employed in Cary 26 and then a State takeover occurs, the people in charge of the State takeover will opt for higher taxes, rather than a large cut in the number of teachers.