The topic of consolidating elementary and high school districts into a unit school district keeps coming up.
Anytime a politician uses the work “consolidate” in connection with multiple tax districts, the public assumes there will be cost savings.
That is not necessarily true.
Take, for example, McHenry High School District 156 and its two feeder grade school districts, McHenry and Wonder Lake.
The Illinois Report Card has data that can be used to perform an elementary cost-benefit analysis.
First, let’s look at 2016 teacher salaries.
The high school district has 137 (Full Time Equivalent) teachers.
They earn an average of $70,051.
Harrison Grade School District 36 has 29 instructors earning an average of $40,878.
McHenry Elementary School District 15 has 137 teachers who earn, on average, $60,878.
If the three districts were combined, grade school teachers would dominate the resulting combined union.
337 elementary school teachers and 137 high school teachers.
So, what to do with salaries.
The grade school teachers, controlling the union, would insist on leveling up to what the high school teachers now earn.
The cost of equalization?
- $3,044,272 for current McHenry Grade School teachers
- $846,017 for those now in the Wonder Lake Grade School district