Coffey tells how the school board cut costs in a comment, which is posted here:
How the Cary Grade School District Managed to Dig the District Out of the Pit
Watchdog 2, while there is nothing we can do regarding pensions, we have addressed our labor costs.
The salary changes under the union agreement since FY12 have been:
- 13 = zero
- 14 = zero
- 15 = +1.7%
- 16 = +1.5%
Additionally, over the previous 3 years we have had in place a BA-0 new-hire policy, where new hires are only brought in at the lowest base salary in the district.
My guess is that this policy alone currently saves the district more than a million dollars/year given all of the new hires brought on during the previous 3 years.
Per ISBE, our average teacher salary has fallen from $80,226 in 2011 to $57,006 in 2015 (or almost a 30% reduction).
I think we’ve had great success in reaching a point where the district can offer the programs, technology, new textbooks, etc. to make our students successful, while operating with an affordable, sustainable cost structure.
As to the levy, while we are already operating with the second lowest operating tax rate in the county for K-8 districts, over the last 3 years we have actively implemented various different strategies that have reduced the current and future debt service levy by $1.6 million.
By refinancing debt to reduce interest expense, refunding for less through the contribution of fund balance, establishing a bond sinking fund to retire debt early on its call date, and abating the debt service levy, we have been actively trying to reduce our community’s tax burden.
For 2017, the fourth year in a row, it looks even better.
The Board will shortly review a program that’s on target to add another $3.2 million in tax reduction savings through the simultaneous use of all of these strategies.
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This is the school board on which newly-slated District 3 County Board candidate serves.
Reports like this and the one yesterday contain the kind of information that I imagine taxpayers all over Illinois would like to read about their local tax districts.