School Consolidation Will Not Save Money

I’m posting this because some readers (and legislators) still think merging grade school districts with their high school district will cut taxes.

It is counter-intuitive, but such consolidation will result in higher taxes.

http://mchenrycountyblog.com/2016/08/20/considering-consolidation-of-high-school-district-155-with-feeder-grade-schools/


Comments

School Consolidation Will Not Save Money — 12 Comments

  1. If anyone thinks Consolidated School Districts save money, see Woodstock CUSD 200

    Our property tax rate has rsnged between 3.5% and 5% of full fair market home values for over a dozen years.

    Our trachers compensation packages exceed those of registered nurses by 100%

    Our administrators are compensated more than medical doctors per hour worked.

    We have a school run at local taxpayer expense for discount tuition benefit of 80% out-of-district enrollment who are spared liabilty for OPEBs of staff hired solely for their benefit

    One administrator, seemingly hired without open job applications accepted, is receiving well over 6 figure salary for a post he accepted after early “retirement” for which he receives well over 6 figures “retirement ” benefits.

    The school board has raised spending in obscene amounts while Woodstock home values languish relative to national and Chicago real estate appreciation.

    and property tax rates in Woodstock CUSD200 district remain near 4% ( compare to national average ~1%, Chicago average ~2%).

    Any questions?

    If you really want to lower property taxes, put a percentage cap on property tax rates.

    This worked in California, Indiana, Massachusetts.

    Its not difficult to understand that the Illinois political industry has no intention of meaningful property tax reform.

  2. Susan’s right.

    But townships need to be abolished.

    Biggest ripoff in the state.

  3. I tend to say this is only one part of the savings question, lets talk overhead burden, basically a lot less Com Ed and Heat if your only got one school open lets really look at the Big all encompassing picture not the excessed out of control school management themselves which need to be reined in and the only way to do that is to give them LESS to work with to begin with…

  4. It’s not actually counter intuitive.

    People who think that are reasoning from an incorrect analogy.

    They say, “Well, in private business, there are economies of scale, so the same should be true of government.”

    Of course, the incentives of private business are to minimize costs and the incentives of government are to become as big as possible, hence the term “the bureaucratic imperative”.

    And the evidence supports the theory.

    There is no correlation between expenditures per pupil, experience of teacher, teacher pay, or percentage of teachers with advanced degrees and student performance, as measured by standardized test scores or graduation rates.

    There is, however, a strong correlation between the size of the budget and expenditures per pupil:

    bigger districts spend more money, and in a consolidated district that can’t be a function of merging districts giving all teachers the higher pay scale.

  5. Politically it would be very difficult to change what there is now without a overall increase in taxation as has been suggested.

    Yet if a PLAN was made to basically start over completely, there could be some consolidation of services and lose of extra administrators, but probably not the number of teachers, there numbers would most likely stay flat.

    Make a PLAN, same with townships or any other agencies of gov, spend the time, or just whine as you pay.

  6. I agree.

    Obviously the same is true for townships.

    County employees don’t work for less $$ and they can’t take over with the employees they have now

  7. Mrs. Is stupid.

    Townships are biggest waste.

    Indiana just got rid of township assessors.

    Mrs., c’mon feed up. You are a Bernie heel.

  8. It’s wasted effort to compare school districts with townships.

    Look at your tax bill and see which line item concerns you more, which one takes the elephant’s share of your money.

    This is not to say the value of townships should not be debated, but trying to equate them with our school districts is a distraction.

    I’m sure the teachers union loves it when attention is drawn away from their greed and largess.

  9. Trexler, when writing a sentence in English is beyond your ability, you shouldn’t call anyone stupid. Keep America great.

  10. Per:

    https://www.bettergov.org/news/too-many-school-districts-in-illinois-what-you-should-know-about-school-consolidation/

    “Too Many School Districts In Illinois? What You Should Know About School Consolidation
    With 852 separate districts, Illinois has the third most school districts in the nation, bested only by Texas and California, whose populations are more than double ours.”

    One of the lowest amount of school districts is in the State of Georgia having 181 school districts serving 1,600,000 students.

    Comparison:
    Illinois 852 districts serving 1,984,519 students
    Georgia 181 districts serving 1,600,000 students

    Also, Per:

    https://www.illinoisreportcard.com/state.aspx?source=studentcharacteristics&source2=enrollment&Stateid=IL

    Illinois lost 70,000 students from its public school system from 2015 to 2019
    2015 2,054,556
    2019 1,984,519

    Thus, total student population down 3.4% from 2015 to 2019.

    So, we just go on and on and on with a combination of outrageously high teacher/administrator salaries and benefits and bloated administrative structures causing astronomical real estate taxes. No wonder families and individuals are fleeing Illinois to better managed States.

  11. Using HS District 155 and its feeder districts 3, 26, 46, 47 as an example, the 2019-2020 starting salary for a new D-155 teacher (BA-0) is $47,404 compared to the feeder districts that range from $36,629 to $43,305 (or 9.5% to 29.4% higher in the HS district than the K-8 districts.

    That range of elevated salaries at the HS level is seen throughout the salary table regardless of years of service (Step) or education (Lane).

    Assuming the roughly 850+ K-8 teachers were to be elevated onto the D-155 salary table, you would be looking at millions in incremental salary and TRS pension expense.

    For those K-8 teachers that would receive these large increases that are within 4 years of their retirement, any raise in excess of 6% triggers substantial TRS penalties upon their retirement that would have to be paid by the newly formed district.

    You would probably also see increases in salary and benefit spending for the support staff as the compensation structure is equalized upwards across the consolidated districts.

    One of the biggest problems to overcome would be that the D-155 contract work-day provisions are completely incompatible with teaching K-8.

    The D-155 contract limits a teacher’s work load to 4.5 hours/day (no, I’m not making that up).

    A K-8 teacher is typically in front of students around 6.25 to 6.75 hours/day.

    How one resolves this substantial “work load” limitation would probably have to involve either:

    1)Hiring substantially more K-8 teachers,

    2)Reducing the instructional day for K-8 students or

    3)Elevating K-8 teachers salaries even more to account for the extra “work load”.

  12. Bred makes sense to me.

    The Mrs. needs to chill and quit the propaganda for our WAY TOO MANY millionaire school administrators and their fat pensions.

    Is she getting one?

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