Rauner Seeks Fewer School Mandates

School buses were even parked on the grass at Crystal Lake Central High School.

School buses at Crystal Lake Central High School during the first football game after the new bleachers went up.

In a press release from Governor Bruce Rauner, quoting from an Associated Press story, it is revealed that the Governor is trying to get rid of a couple of unfunded mandates in order to help offset a property tax freeze.

Of the over 100 mandates on school districts, Rauner targets two sacred cows beloved by gym and driver’s ed teachers:

  • offer driver’s education and behind-the-wheel training and
  • daily physical education

Rauner is also going after restrictions of privatization of outsourcing for janitorial and transportation services.


Rauner Seeks Fewer School Mandates — 18 Comments

  1. When we are seeing more youth with diabetes and obesity related problems Rauner wants to drop PE.

    Kids also need something to get their adrenaline out while sitting in classes all day.

  2. Get them away from the computer games and tv at home.

    Send them outside to play jump rope. roller skate, hop scotch, bike riding and various ball games and they will do fine.

    Came from an era where we did not have the PE and we were fit.

    Had physical therapy lately and the therapist said he was getting 12 YEAR old and teens with lumbar problems because they were always hunched over looking at i phones, tablets, and computers.

    No money for crappy snacks.

    Apples, oranges and bananas were the snacks.

    Meals were freshly prepared.

    Take responsibility for your own.

  3. It is not the responsibility of the school and more importantly the taxpayer to teach proper food and lifestyle choices.

    The leading cause of diabetes,heart disease and chronic inflammation is a diet high in refined sugars.

    Aka most of what is served in schools.

    Send them with a sack lunch.

    My dear mother packed thousands for my brothers and sisters and I.

    If parents don’t care enough to feed their children right why should the taxpayer be burdened for their dereliction of duty?

    Let’s call a spade a spade here

    The reason our school systems have half the programs they do is because kids are not learning these things at home.

    Nothing will change until we begin as individuals to take full responsibility for what is.

    The schools are doing what they do because that is what they are tasked with accomplishing.

    Remove some of burden from the schools and place it back where it belongs, at home.

  4. I took a look at some of the teacher salaries for PE in D155.

    THESE ARE FROM 2012, so they probably make more now.

    Here’s what I found:

    Prairie Ridge:
    Rick Lima $110,000
    Patricia Hie: $136,991
    Michelle Loeding: $128,858
    Glen Pecoraro: $116,872

    Mike Adams: $113,583
    Dean Britt: $138,413
    Matt Fralick: $100,824
    Rachel Harrison: $102,077
    Brigid Jacobs: $94,117
    Laura Jensen: $114,515
    Mike Marchewka: $131,053
    Justin Lehr: $90,315

    They don’t work a full year, and get lots of extra days of during the year that the average person does not.

    And before you argue that they have a lot of years in and graduate degrees, Justin Lehr at Central has been a teacher for 4 years and only has a bachelors degree.

    Why are we paying him so much?

    What would the equivalent be in the real job world?

    Not to mention that we are paying a good portion of their retirement cost and they don’t pay into social security.

    I’m for paying teachers well, but gym class is a joke to begin with.

    It should not be mandated.

  5. As long as the State of Illinois and local school boards continue to accept federal tax dollars, interference in parenting of our children will continue to increase.

    I am fed up with my tax dollars being used by the Illinois Teacher unions for radio commercials which support the Teacher unions.

    Until we remove the stranglehold Mike Madigan and other Democrats (funded with your tax dollars via public sector AND private sector unions) have on our State government, your taxes will continue to increase.

    We must work diligently to elect more honest conservatives to represent us in Springfield.

    We do not need more like Althoff and Barb Wheeler whose primarily goal is “to reach across the aisle”.

    We need more like McSweeney.

    In D-66 for this election that would mean Serwatka.

    The voters need to give Bruce Rauner more legislators who will help him remove the right to strike from all public sector employees and NOT have it replaced with forced arbitration.

  6. How do the number of public sector employees in the category of Total employees involved in Education in Illinois compare to the rest of the country?

    We rank 20th but when we look at what they are paid, we rank 9th from the top.

    In the category of Elem & Sec Instructional Employees in Illinois we rank number 23 from the top in the number of full time equivalent employees but when you look at what those employees are paid we jump up to number 10.


    The right to strike should be removed from the public sector and we must change our Constitution relative to guaranteed pensions OR you can pay higher taxes.

    It is the threat of higher taxes that made me take the time to research the impact of Township Consolidation which it turns out is guaranteed to raise property taxes.

  7. Schools accepting Federal grants are not allowed to verify (low income) eligibility of free lunch applicants.

    D200 loses significant money annually providing free school lunch.

    This could be easily solved by declining the Federal grant money and means-testing free lunch applicants (3 years tax returns can be requested as with mortgage apps) .

  8. Mandates do not explain why Woodstock D200 spends $400,000 more for School Administration than Huntley 158, which has 2800 higher student enrollment than Woodstock D200.

  9. Well said Susan.

    Chicago privatized their janitors which I read in the Northwest Herald is another Rauner idea.

    Well it is a disaster with dirty schools.

    If a child throws up in class you don’t say wait until the janitor comes tomorrow.

    Teachers and students have to do this work instead of teaching classes.

    It also said Springfield did not have PE for middle school and high school because of lack of gym facilities and classroom space.

    Can anyone tell me why all the grade schools in McHenry are having additions built when people are moving out of Illinois?

    Are we using taxpayer money to then sell it for a loss to charter schools or other entities.

    McHenry bought the old McHenry hospital paid to knock it down and sold it to a Cary developer for a sum of $10.

    That developer went bankrupt and it still has vacancies.

    Blame the politicians who build things they have no money for.

  10. The logical conclusion is that current policies describing spending of public funds benefit certain parties, to the detriment of other parties.

    Spending policies have not been modified.

    Therefore the spending policies are to the benefit of parties empowered to either modify spending policies or not.

    Therefore spending policies will not be voluntarily modified in the future.

  11. There are mostly self declared republicans in McHenry County and mostly republican politicians so get involved people.

    It can’t be a hand full of people going to meetings, calling representatives, attending school meetings and a majority complaining at other times.

    If teachers go on strike why can’t they hire new ones.

    Wisconsin teachers make less money and I am sure they would travel here.

    Don’t point fingers but find solutions.

    Water rates in McHenry City are going up over 50% in February but two older, retired people only complained.

    Let your voices reach the right ears of local politicians.

  12. When voters are given referendums for anything, they are never informed of any negative impact.

    How many school bonds are approved without disclosing what the long term impact will be?

    Want to know why people are leaving the state? They know the debt “rooster is coming home to roost”.

    Check out the charts at this link:


    Here is an excerpt from the post:

    “Debt reported on the face of Illinois’ balance sheet basically doubled on a per-capita basis from 2005 to 2014, reaching nearly $9,000 for every man, woman and child in the state.

    “Over the same time frame, debt per capita in Indiana stayed basically flat, and was only one-third the amount for Illinois in 2014.

    “It should quickly be noted, however, that this is only the debt reported on the balance sheet.

    “That amount is far outstripped, especially in Illinois, by massive off-balance sheet obligations for employee government retirement benefits. We will be looking more closely at those debts next week, in our Financial State of the States report.”

  13. Intellectually, I don’t have a problem with mandatory gym classes.

    It makes sense to have everyone intermix some physical activity with rest of their learning activities.

    However what makes intuitive sense or sounds logical does not always provide the results you’d expect.

    We still have a generation of kids with too many who are overweight and/or unhealthy, and let’s face it many parents, who are also.

    Mandatory PE has not improved this trend.

    Some will argue it would/could be much worse without the compulsory PE classes.

    It’s just as likely that teaching them another useful life skill would be more valuable.

    Heck, for some of the salaries shared by Really?, we should have a plethora of Olympians.

    I still believe that requiring kids to have PE will aid in their overall health, but whatever we’re doing is not working well enough for what we’re spending.

    Budgets are hard to manage and making cuts is always going to hurt; there is really is no way around it.

    Just like families who have to decide what bills they have to pay (rent, mortgage, electric, water, gas) and eliminate nice to haves (cable, netflix, health club memberships, subscriptions, heavy phone plans).

    When you have a limited budget, somethings have to be removed.

    However, when your budget is “limitless” because you’re spending other peoples’ money, all the neat-sounding cool stuff, becomes critical – never to be cut.

    When the budget is “limitless” you can put together a program to address every hangnail in society.

    Note, I said “address” because government programs are really good at “addressing” problems and expanding their reach, but the rarely EVER solve anything.

  14. as always, evertsen’s “research” can be taken with a grain of salt and disregarded.

    What else would you expect to hear from a former township loyal?

    Keep repeating it and it becomes fact…not really!

  15. Students in an IHSA sport should be able to opt out of PE.

    PE teachers frequently earn one or more stipends for coaching a sport.

    Stipends are pensionable income.

    Thus stipends would be included in the public teacher and administrator salary databases.

    The “salary” reported on the the school district websites may not include the coaching stipends, which is one reason why if you compare the salary on the school district websites to the public databases for the same year, there is a mismatch…in other words the school district is not posting pensionable income but the public databases are posting pensionable income.

    The stipend salary grid is included in the teacher collective bargaining agreement.

    The collective bargaining agreement is required by state law to be posted on the school district website, if the school district maintains a website, which all in McHenry County do (in some rural areas the school district does not maintain a website).

    Stipends include a wide variety of extra duties over and above classroom teaching, such as sponsoring a club, bus / car lane duty for elementary teachers (helping kids get in and out of the school, before and after school), etc.


    Teachers are certified by state, so a Wisconsin teacher can’t teach in Illinois unless they receive an Illinois teaching certificate.


    Comparing Chicago public schools privatizing janitors to anything else is near meaningless.

    CPS is a dysfunctional train wreck at all sorts of levels.

    Yes there are some good employees and but overall it is a mess.


    When comparing the cost of administrator salaries or any employee salaries or pensions, it is important to also included years worked.


    The costs of public education in Illinois are too high for all sorts of reasons.

    1. Pensions.

    2. Bonds.

    3. Prevailing Wage.

    4. Unions receive money from an employee even if the employee does not want to belong to the union, aka agency shop, aka fair share fees.

    Governor Jim Thompson allowed non-member fair share payments when he signed the laws allowing for collective bargaining of public sector employees on December 27, 1983.

    There was one law for public sector employees except public education.

    And another law for public education employees.

    Illinois Public Labor Relations Act (IPLRA), Public Act 83-1012 (PA 83-1012) which was Senate Bill 0536 (SB 0536).

    Illinois Educational Labor Relations Act (IELRA), Public Act 83-1014 (PA 83-1014) which was House Bill HB 1530 (HB 1530).

    Democrat Michael J Madigan was Speaker of the House in the 83rd General Assembly, and Democrat Phillip J Rock was Senate President.

    This paying fees to the union as a mandatory condition of employment concept is one of the collective bargaining changes that Wisconsin passed in 2011 in Wisconsin Act 10.

    5. Early Retirement, taxpayer subsidized early retiree healthcare, and many other perks and fringes, many found in collective bargaining agreements.

    6. Right to strike by public sector employees (police and fire cannot strike currently but the rest (non public safety employees can).

    7. Arbitration and mediation law.

    8. Collective bargaining law.

    9. Employee pension pickups by employer.

    10. Employer (school district) pension pickup by state for TRS pensions (TRS covers teacher and administrator pensions outside Chicago).

    11. Parents unaware child is track for remedial level classes in college, until child reaches college.

    Remedial level classes are classes the student pays for, but does not receive college credit for, because the college deems the student should have attained that knowledge in high school.

    Typical remedial level classes are math and english.

    Whether or not a child requires a remedial level class can vary depending on the college major.

    For instance Engineering or Business majors often have a higher minimum math ACT score than the Arts or English, to prevent the remedial level requirement.

    12. Technology is WAY underutilized in public education. It’s easy for a school to put for instance the best lecture of a particular lesson on YouTube. If the lesson can be presented on a smart board / white board / chalk board, it can be presented in YouTube. Then more classroom time can be devoted to individual instruction.

    13. Age level promotion without mastery of core subjects such as English and Math. IHSA athletes are taking gym yet struggling in English or math, that’s nuts.

    And that’s just for starters.

    Parents and taxpayers are not organized.

    No watchdog for most school districts.

    If there is one group that has the most power right now in public education it’s the teacher unions, but they are far from the only problem, and one can understand why they would want a union in dealing with administration, which is in a sense ironic since most administrators began their career as union teachers.

    But right now teacher unions have far too much power and it’s a detriment to the education of children.

  16. By the way public education administrators constantly complain about Springfield unfunded mandates.

    Another irony.

    Administrators make rules for teachers, students, and parents, but administrators complain (sometimes legitimately) about following the rules others make for them.

    Here is a mandate that didn’t come from Springfield, but from school districts to students and parents.

    Late starts and early dismissals.

    Just about every high school in Illinois, and some middle and elementary schools, have late starts and / or early dismissals once a week, bi-weekly, monthly, or whatever the schedule, it varies by school district.

    Parents just accepted the change with little protest.

    Here’s what happened.

    Instead of extending the school day, so students did not lose any instructional minutes, in most cases, the school day was kept the same, and a late start and / or early dismissal instituted.

    The result.

    Less instructional minutes for students.

    The student day changes.

    Students come later or leave earlier on certain days.

    That’s why on certain days you will see high school kids during hours normally they would be in school.

    But the teacher day did not change.

    Teacher and arrives and departs the same time.

    Now what the teacher does during their day changed, but not the arrival and dismissal time.

    In general.

    There are always exception especially in Illinois politics and Illinois public education.

    So that means the teacher minutes in the teacher collective bargaining agreement did not change.

    That’s key to the way late start / early dismissal was rolled out in most school districts.

    Teacher works the same number of hours, but teachers have less instructional minutes, and more meeting minutes.

    What could have been done instead.

    Instead, each school day could have been extended by say 10 minutes or whatever, so students would not lose any instructional minutes.

    Then once a week or bi-weekly or monthly, have the late start or early dismissal.

    That was typically not done.

    Because if you extend the school day, the teachers will ask to get paid more in there collective bargaining agreement.

    It was far easier for the school districts to take instructional minutes away from kids, rather than extend the school day, which would extend the number of minutes per day the teacher is required to be at school.

    If there was a parent collective bargaining agreement, or some way for parents to have more influence int he process, the school districts could not have stripped away student instructional minutes so easily.

    The PTA does a very poor job of advocating for students, as the PTA almost always goes along with what the school district recommends with little fuss and in fact they often go out of their way to promote the school district agenda.

    Teachers are better protected than parents.

    The school districts use the argument that instruction is more effective as the result of improved instruction resulting from late start / early dismissal meetings.

    That should not come at the cost of loss instructional minutes.

    Those instructional minutes should have been sacred.

    Why are student instructional minutes less important than teacher work day minutes.

    Teachers already by collective bargaining agreement law in Illinois have probably amongst the shortest number of hours worked per year of any profession.

    If not the shortest.

    They work approximately 180 days.

    Less the number of sick days in the collective bargaining agreement (they get to accumulate up to 340 sick days and cash out or exchange for years of service upon retirement).

    And the collective bargaining agreement does not mandate an 8 hour workday.

    Some teachers say they work more than what’s in the collective bargaining agreement, but that’s typically at their discretion, if the administration forces the teacher to do something other than what is in the agreement, the teacher can often file a grievance.

    There are plenty of cases where teachers clock in and clock out according to their agreement.

    Conversely there are also teachers who work more hours than what’s in their agreement.

    The teachers who work the most hours for the same duties get paid the same as the teacher who doesn’t put in any extra time.

    The highest rated teacher gets paid the same as the lowest rated teacher.

    Both get paid the same, both get promoted the same.

    It’s collective.

    How is that fair to taxpayers, or teachers who put in the extra effort, or teachers who are able to attain better results with our without extra effort.

    Teaching is an art and talent.

    You cannot teach everything that is required to be a great teacher.

    As in any profession, some are better suited for the profession than others.

    But all get paid the same thanks to the collective bargaining agreement.

  17. The beautiful thing about a more decentralized education system with fewer mandates is that even though Bruce Rauner and Mike Madigan don’t tell you that you HAVE TO have a gym class doesn’t mean that you CAN’T have a gym class.

    Maybe people should go to their school board meetings more.

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