Erik Sivertsen Knocks Off McHenry Grade School Board President Ted Pillow

Erik Sivertsen

Erik Sivertsen

I’ve been remiss on looking at school board election results…probably because I don’t know as much about them as about the races about which I written.

Today I looked at McHenry Grade School District 15’s results and discovered that School Board President Ted Pillow lost by 164 votes. (This number might change a bit as absentee ballots received after the election are counted.)

I haven’t written much about the McHenry Elementary District other than when Home School Dad John O’Neill won in 2007.

O’Neill ran unopposed for a two-year term this year.

Erik Sivertsen is the man who beat the School Board President 3,208 to 3,044. The other winners were

  • Kimberly Qualls with 3,686
  • Amanda Geyer with 3,605
  • Patrick Miller with 3,601

When last mentioned, Sivertsen had won a court case along with Cary District 26 Grade School Board member Chris Jenner to remain on the ballot for both the grade school board race and for McHenry County College.  Sivertsen placed fourth with four to be elected in the District 15 race and eighth our of nine for the MCC Board.  Jenner placed second in the race for three openings on the college board.  He withdrew his name from the District 26 contest before the court hearing.

Grade school board members will be sworn in by May 7th after the election canvass, which is taking place this week.

Both O’Neill and Sivertsen are Republican Precinct Committeemen.


Erik Sivertsen Knocks Off McHenry Grade School Board President Ted Pillow — 8 Comments

  1. Klatu: with 65% of your tax dollars going to school boards, that’s the best question you have? I’ll be happy to lend you a few:

    1) will you vote for a levy increase?

    2) do you support late career raises to bolster pension payouts?

    3) do you support district consolidation to eliminate redundant admin overhead?

    I have a real good idea where Erik stands on all three, that’s why I and three other family members voted for Erik with a bullet.

    Good luck Erik, we have your back.

    Nick Provenzano

  2. Nick, with regard to point 3, it seems intuitive that consolidating school districts would save money by eliminating redundancy, and that might be true in private enterprise. Unfortunately, it’s rarely true in government.

    Think about it this way: which is usually more bureaucratic, a small unit of government or a big unit of government? In big school districts, you have assistant superintendents, assistant principals, curriculum coordinators, etc., etc.

    In addition, when school districts consolidate, they invariably go with the higher pay scale.

    The proof is in the numbers. If you look up the numbers (and is a great place to get the data), you will unfortunately find that, on average, larger school districts spend a smaller percentage of their budgets on actually paying teachers than smaller school districts do.

    I would love to be proven wrong, because I think that the plethora of governments is one factor that makes it difficult for the average voter to be informed, but I have not seen any actual data that shows me consolidation actually saves money.

  3. I will give an example Steve.

    Flordia is ranked the 6th best for education K-12 in the U.S.

    However they are ranked 49th as far as funding.

    Which means they do more with less.

    Every county in Flordia has 1 school district period.

    1 Superintendent with a few assistance, 1 school board etc..There 1 superintendent with the assistance’s don’t even come close to the money that is spent in McHenry County.

    Look at the Tampa area that has I believe one of the top 5 or 10 amount of people in country in 1 school district.

    Not only are they the biggest but one of the best.

    I know this first hand because I know teachers etc. in Fla there and the Orlando area.

    Plus they are on the cutting edge of technology being used in the classrooms.

    Giving IPads to kids for there books.

    Those digitally touch screen blackboards.

    I have seen it first hand and its unbelievable how they are moving in the future and with less funding. Y

    Yet Illinois ranks 28th with spending at 18th.

    Thats a -10 when FLA is ranks 6th with spending 39th that is a +33.

    Just my observation.

  4. Michael, I agree with your contention that there is virtually no correlation between spending and performance. But Florida doesn’t spend less on bureaucracy because they have large districts, they spend less on bureaucracy because they spend less per pupil than we do here in Illinois.

    If consolidation were directly tied to spending less — if consolidated districts received less money per pupil, then, perhaps, spending on bureaucracy would decline. But that’s not what happens.

    Here, in Illinois, on average — and it is the average that matters when looking at public policy, not the exceptional — large districts are more bureaucratic than small districts. Plus, as I mentioned, there is a difference in what different unions have negotiated, but when districts merge, they invariably go with the higher union pay scale.

    One thing I have not done, and would be glad to do, is look at actual cases here in Illinois where school districts have consolidated. If anyone knows where I can get a comprehensive list, I would be glad to look at what has actually happened in those cases to see if costs declined or increased.

  5. Our education system needs to be entirely rebuilt not just consolidated.

  6. The reason school district consolidation is typically not economically feasible in Illinois is yet another teacher union friendly state law.

    This particular law states when school districts consolidate, the higher teacher pay scale must be used.

    The pay scale and stipend scale is pretty much what determines teacher salaries.

    The largest single expense in a school district is teacher salaries, far eclipsing administrative salaries, because there are far more teachers than administrators.

    Let’s compare the pay scales of McHenry CCSD 15 (elementary and middle school district) and McHenry CHSD 156 (high school district).

    Starting elementary/middle school salary: $36,310.

    Starting high school salary: $40,353.

    Highest elementary/middle school salary: $82,339.

    Highest high school salary: $94,749.

    The salaries listed above do not include stipends.

    Many teachers receive stipends.

    There is a separate stipend schedule in each collective bargaining agreement.

    Another teacher union friendly perk is the State of Illinois has in past provided four year financial
    incentives for school districts to consolidate to offset the higher teacher pay. That incentive disappears in year five and its up to the local taxpayers to make up the difference.

    If you want to research further, Illinois public school districts are required by state law to put their collective bargaining agreements on the district websites.
    Path > District > District Business > Finance > Salaries and Teacher Contracts and Vendor Contract Reports > Salary and Teacher Contract Information > 2011-2013 Teacher Contract

    This is the 2012-13 school year.

    The McHenry Elementary/Middle School pay scale for 2012-13 is located on page 42 of the pdf, which is page 38 of the agreement.

    The McHenry High School pay scale for 2012-13 is located on page 37 of the pdf which is also page 37 of the agreement.

    Maybe you want to learn more about teacher unions.

    The teacher union for the elementary/middle school district is the McHenry Classroom Teachers’ Association, IEA-NEA.

    The teacher union for the high school district is the McHenry High School Teachers’ Association, IEA-NEA.

    Both are local affiliates of the Illinois Education Association (IEA), which is the state affiliate of the
    National Education Association (NEA), which is affiliated with Education International.

    Both teacher unions belong to IEA Region 23, which is one of 66 IEA Regions.

    IEA Region 23 is located in the Elgin office at 2230 Point Blvd, Ste 400, along with IEA Regions 24, 25, 33, and 63.

    The Elgin office is one of IEA’S 22 regional offices.

    Teacher unions typically prefer school district consolidation because it’s a consolidation of power.

    The result is more union members in the local affiliate.

    More members means more negotiating power resulting in a more powerful affiliate.

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