Jeanne Ives Plays to Those Who Don’t Know How Salary Costs Would Increase If Dual Districts Became Unit Districts

I am so tired of people who don’t do a cost-benefit study before advancing government reorganization proposals.

There was Jack Franks, who bragged at the savings of allowing townships to take over township cemetery districts.

Yes, there would be some savings–whatever the cemetery trustees are paid.

But, the other expenses would remain the same.

Hardly reason for a press release.

See 6-25-16 article “Looking for the Beef in Jack Franks’ Latest Consolidation Bill.”

Or consider the McHenry County Board Committee which could not quantify savings to consolidating townships.

What other purpose could such a committee serve than to identify such savings.

See 8-18-15 “No Cost-Benefit Analysis on Township Consolidation, Just Data Dump – Part 6.”

Now comes Bruce Rauner primary opponent State Rep. Jeannie Ives proposing that all grade and high school districts be forced to merge into unit districts.  That’s in the Daily Herald article referenced below:

Governor candidate Ives: ‘Every school district should be a unit district’

If elected governor, state Rep. Jeanne Ives would push to consolidate school districts, she says, telling the Daily Herald editorial board it’s a way to save money and eliminate waste. But she also called for downsizing Elgin Area Unit District 46. Full Story

As Governor Pat Quinn said, there would not have to be as many administrative officials.

Jeanne Ives

$20 million in savings on supervisory personnel.

But, as Quinn ignored and Ives apparently does not realize, such mergers would result in salary increases for elementary and junior high teachers that would greatly exceed any administrative savings.

So, here again is the cost-benefit study I conducted when Quinn made his proposal.

The numbers will have changed, but not the logic.

And the logic says that the larger number of grade school teachers would result in the new unit district union being controlled by elementary and middle school teachers.

No way they are going to settle for having lower salaries than the much higher paid high school teachers.

Here’s my article from days past:

School Consolidation Would Cost Taxpayers Plenty

Governor Pat Quinn thinks that consolidating schools will save big money because fewer administrators would be required.

The average Crystal Lake High School District 155 teacher salary is $91,573.

Reading the Daily Herald article, I notice that no mention is made of equalizing up elementary school teacher salaries to the level paid by the overlying high school districts.

$68,489 is the average teacher salary in the Cary Grade School District, the one is such financial trouble recently.

All Quinn mentions is saving $100 million in administrative costs. That’s well under one-half of one percentage of what’s spent on schools in Illinois.

In Fox River Grove the average grade school teacher makes $60,507.

Pretty much peanuts, in other words.

In the Prairie Grove Elementary School District underlying Crystal Lake High School District the average salary is $59,840.

The Northwest Herald has bought into the argument, also incorrectly assume that consolidating hundreds of school districts in Illinois will save big money.

The largest of the District 155 feeder schools, Crystal Lake District 47, pays its teachers $57,788 on the average, according to the 2010 School Report Card.

“… there’s no good reason why towns such as Cary, Crystal Lake and McHenry should have separate elementary and high school districts.”

That’s what the Northwest Herald wrote Thursday.  (Look quickly.  Soon you will have to pay to see it.)

Might I suggest that a salary comparison be made?

Look what took me less than ten minutes to find.

High school salaries in District 155 are higher than those in Crystal Lake Grade School District 47, Cary Grade School District 26 and Prairie Grade School District 46.

Let me list them:

  • Crystal Lake District 155 – $91,573 (412 teachers)
  • Cary District 26 – $68,489 (198 teachers)
  • Fox River Grove 3 – $60,507 (41 teachers)
  • Prairie Grove District 46 – $59,840 (68 teachers)
  • Crystal Lake District 47 – $57,788 (564 teachers)

The weighted average of grade school teachers in the three districts is $60,505.

The difference between the average weighted elementary school salary and the District 155 High School teacher’s average salary of $91,573 is $31,066.

Let’s do some multiplication.

First, let’s estimate. You know, what grade school students are taught to do.

What’s $31,000 times 900?

Hey, that’s over $25 million.

The exact figure is $27,058,486 my calculator says and it didn’t take tens of thousands of dollars paid to some Northern Illinois professors to figure that out.

So, let’s be rational and assume no teacher would be willing to take a pay cut and all grade school teachers would want to be put on the same salary schedule now enjoyed by area high school teachers.

Looking at these figures, it is hard to believe they would not expect an average raise of $31,000 if consolidation were to occur.

Now, I’ll admit that I have not made detailed comparisons to take into account the longevity bonus that high and grade school teachers get.

Maybe after making such adjustments the raise for unifying the pay schedules wouldn’t average over $31,000 a grade school teacher.

Pick your number and multiply it by 871.

Then, compare that mid-$20-some million number with the $100 million statewide savings that Quinn projects in savings from unneeded administrators.

Anyone think the savings by getting rid of redundant administrators within the Crystal Lake-Cary-Fox River Grove-Prairie Grove area would approach $25 million?

So why is the Governor proposing something that is going to cost every part of the state with both high and grade school districts big money?

Would I be being too cynical to suggest that Quinn may be trying to reward Illinois Education Association members who supported his re-election?

Would anyone think Illinois union leaders would let teachers in the same unified district be on two different pay scales?

The IEA Uniserve Directors would be knocking at school administrators’ doors the day after a merger.  Maybe before.

The entrance to Disney World’s Fantasy Land looks so enticing, but what’s beyond looks like a carnival to me.

Proof is how teacher unions won’t allow a consolidated school district to use even two different pay scales.

The elementary physical education teacher that teaches kindergarten P.E. classes is on the same pay scale as the high school math and science teachers.

Only in editorial and Quinn Fantasy Land unions would be helping to save money.

The result would be teachers hearing the sound of “Ca Ching!”

Years later you would likely read editors bemoaning how this couldn’t have been foreseen.

But that’s what collective bargaining will bring if all school districts are shoved into the unit district mold.

It will be the result of collective bargaining. You know, what the fight in Madison, Wisconsin, is all about.

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See also


Jeanne Ives Plays to Those Who Don’t Know How Salary Costs Would Increase If Dual Districts Became Unit Districts — 12 Comments

  1. Cost of public education will continue to escalate as long we, the taxpayers, permit closed union shops.

    Want to decrease / control the escalating cost of public education? Pass right to work legislation. Consolidation with current laws in place will definitely increase costs.

    I have no problem with requiring a – so called – cost / benefit analysis prior to any consolidation with one caveat: Once the consolidation is complete, spending must comply with the results of the study OR the elected officials in charge will face felony charges.

    Requiring cost / benefit analysis with no negative repercussion if the result costs more is nothing but more fluff legislation.

  2. This must be why there is a higher cost per student the larger the district is.

  3. To help pay for the Bush tax cuts, made when economy was rolling down the track full speed, the fed’s cut back on subsidies to state functions, schools, police, fire, counties, cities.

    This is when our local and state tax burden increased rapidly. Then the unfunded wars and bang, the great recession.

    We didn’t learn anything from this. Another tax cut is taking place with an economy that is in not too bad of shape, corporate earnings are strong, housing is decent and getting stronger, unemployment is low.

    Besides adding 1.4 trillion to our deficit (CBO estimate), the feds again will cut subsidies to local government and our local and state taxes will rise.

  4. Creating a D-155 Unit District with a more affordable and sustainable operating cost structure is completely dependent upon the 7 new Board members that would have to restructure operations and negotiate new union contracts.

    The current Operating Tax Rate differential that exists between the 4 elementary districts would dictate that any new rate results in, at a minimum, matching the current lowest rate (D-26).

    Based on the levy collected in 2017, driving down to D-26’s rate would reduce the combined levy by $11.7 million.

    There is no where near that amount of duplicative administrative spending that could be eliminated to generate enough savings to offset that revenue loss.

    That means, the new Board would have to look elsewhere for savings.

    By combining with D-155, this process becomes exponentially harder.

    Clearly, the D-155 teacher contract is much more expensive than the elementary district’s contracts. Additionally, there is a substantial teacher-equity differential just on required student contact time between the contracts.

    Negotiating an affordable new teacher’s contract covering almost 1,200 teachers would be challenging.

    The math gets interesting if you apply the “Cut 10%” Theory to what a Unit D-155 referendum Operating Tax Rate would look like.

    Today, Cary residents have the lowest combined tax rate (D26+D155) of $6.469228 per $100/EAV, if you cut that by 10% down to $5.822 and apply it across all of the communities it would yield a combined tax cut of $28.3 million.

    That means we need to have 7 Board members that would be prepared to do some heavy lifting in order to generate the savings required to have a balanced budget.

  5. In addition to the new combined district paying salaries at the higher contract rate, there is the “bureaucratic imperative”.

    I’ve analyzed the finances of all the school districts in Illinois over several different years.

    Every time I find the same conclusions.

    * There is no correlation between expenditures per student and test scores or graduation rates.
    * There is no correlation between teacher pay and student outcomes.
    * There is no correlation between teacher experience and student outcomes. * There is only one statistically significant relationship: larger school districts spend more per pupil than small districts.

    People often suggest that “economies of scale” will lead to lower costs, like in private business. What they miss is that private business are motivated by profit to cut expenses, while governments lack such an incentive, indeed, are motivated to spend as much as possible.

    If you combine three school districts, you’ll lose two superintendents.

    But in short order, you’ll gain many more assistant superintendents, assistant principals, curriculum coordinators and other administrators.

    These are the facts, born out by our own experience right here in Illinois.

  6. Performance based education created by competition.

    There is societal value to education but only within an accountable environment.

    Vouchers put the power in parents hands thereby increasing accountability, lowering costs and removing artificial impediments placed by would be slavemasters.

    Free the minds of our children, the teachers who want to teach them and the parents who cannot afford insane taxation as well as private education costs.


  7. Just like consolidation/elimination of townships just prove consolidation of schools will save $$$$.

    Then let us vote on it.

    Form a 12 person committee and just do it.

    6 Educators and six anti gov dudes.

    Make it a mandate to match the lowest present school tax rate.

    Keep the 80% for wages and 20% other.

    Let stop talking and do it.

  8. Everybody understands the role and importance of teachers who actually teach day after day in the classroom. We get that. We get that it is desirable to have a certain ratio of teachers to students for effectiveness. But, what about so-called administrators? Those other than the principal of a school?

    What do administrators do in one school that is the same or very similar to those done in another school? Could administrators function and provide their services across a number of schools. Is there anything to be learned from corporations that continually look to consolidate and reduce staff across their regions and operations?

  9. Of course there could be fewer administrators, but cost savings there will not offset the increase in cost of raising grade school teachers’ salaries to high school teachers’ levels.

  10. New school funding bill outlines how many teachers deemed needed per pupil.

    BUT there is no deterrent contained to socially engineer reduction of non-instructional staff nor the amount of their remuneration.

    Expect (non-evidence-based, and without evidenced-based-standards required by law) Admin expenses to continue to skyrocket.

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