Police ask Ill. lawmakers to protect youth funding - Education Week

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Source: Education Week Illinois

2 dozen Chicago high schools to distribute condoms - Education Week

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Source: Education Week Illinois

Ill. House passes measure to change GED testing - Education Week

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Source: Education Week Illinois

Report finds Illinois school finances worsening - Education Week

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Source: Education Week Illinois

State superintendent: education cuts 'devastating' - Education Week

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Source: Education Week Illinois

Testing Skeptics Aim to Build Support for Opt-Out Strategy - Education Week

Critics of high-stakes testing believe having parents refuse to let their children take assessments could force policymakers to take note of their cause.

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Source: Education Week Illinois

Feb. 27 Media Advisory: CCH releases survey findings that show Illinois school services fall short for homeless students

What: Chicago Coalition for the Homeless (CCH) releases findings from a statewide survey of public school districts across Illinois regarding services offered to homeless students.

Issue: Despite enrollment figures showing more than 54,800 homeless students in Illinois schools last year, too many children and teens are going without needed services – more than half of homeless students must cope without needed tutoring, preschool and counseling.

Media Availability: Thursday, February 27, CCH staff whose work focuses on the issues facing homeless students and youth will be available for interviews, by phone or in person, 9:30 a.m. – 4:30 p.m. (Interviews on other dates may require an appointment.)

Parents of students experiencing homelessness are available for interviews through CCH contact below.

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CCH ran a statewide survey in December 2013 that asked public school districts and Regional Offices of Education to respond about the level of services reaching children and teens identified as homeless students. Sixty-seven percent responded – 36 of 54 sub-grantees under the federal McKinney-Vento Homeless Assistance Act. Key findings include:

  • 52% responded that more than half of their homeless students do not receive needed tutoring or access to preschool.
  • 56% said that less than half of homeless students received counseling
  • 44% said their staffing capacity to identify and enroll homeless students is limited or very limited
  • 21% responded that less than half of homeless students get transportation assistance to get to and from school

The Illinois State Board of Education has proposed to restore $3 million in FY15 state funding for grants to school districts for services to homeless students, but the proposal must still be approved by the Governor and the state legislature. Funding was awarded for only one year, during FY09, though homeless enrollment in schools across Illinois has more than doubled over the past five years, to 54,892 last school year (2012-13).

Contact:

Laurene Heybach, CCH Law Project director

- See more at: http://www.chicagohomeless.org/feb-27-media-advisory-cch-to-release-study-that-illinois-school-services-fall-short-for-homeless-students/#sthash.7iQYDkyN.dpuf

Top 15 Superintendents Pensions for 2013.

Last week we published the Top 10 Superintendents salaries. To show how excessive salaries effect pension liabilities we are publishing the Top 15 pensions in TRS all of which are former superintendents except James Hintz who was the school business manager i.e. the school accountant.

The key point in the following chart is the column titled “
Months Pension To Cover Employee Contrib.” Note that the range is 11 to 16 months of pension to cover every penny contributed by the employee.  That’s the equivalent to making my $25,000 annual Social Security payment over $130,000 per year. Nice deal if you can get it.

And please note Mr. Reginald Weaver who was not a state employee but an employee of the Illinois Education Association – the largest teachers union in Illinois.

Special deals, distortions and political corruption all play a role in the outrageous pensions shown here. And you the taxpayer always end up paying the tab.

We will have more articles on how superintendents excessive salaries and the pension they generate are manipulated to the benefit of employees and to the detriment of taxpayers.

Top 15 Superintendent pensions as of October 2013
Superintendent Name School District  Pension  Member’s Contribution  Months Pension To Cover Employee Contrib.  Pension Paid To-date
Wyllie, Lawrence A Lincoln-Way CHSD 210    289,861       376,384                 16           74,076
Bangser, Henry S New Trier TWP HSD 203    277,617       275,366                 12     1,776,815
Catalani, Gary T Community Unit SD 200    276,382       289,151                 13     1,512,519
Murray, Laura L Homewood-Flossmoor CHSD 233    271,913       298,591                 13     1,304,013
Curley, Mary M Hinsdale CCSD 181    264,089       248,708                 11     1,445,244
Lamberson, Jonathan E Riverside SD 96    262,516       339,413                 16           87,505
Fleming, Larry K Lincolnshire-Prairie View 103    258,163       326,507                 15        323,420
Weaver, Reginald L National Education Association    257,435       264,894                 12     1,224,457
Hager, Maureen L North Shore SD 112    256,059       277,774                 13     1,003,003
Hintz, James S Adlai Stevenson HSD 125    249,109       235,017                 11     1,774,797
Conyers, John G Palatine CCSD 15    244,778       217,805                 11     2,136,680
Kelly, Dennis G Lyons TWP HSD 204    236,935       289,587                 15        601,789
Dada, M Mohsin Schaumburg CCSD 54    236,904       299,494                 15        532,874
Gmitro, Henry A Community CSD 93    234,803       282,750                 14        997,912
Bultinck, Howard J Sunset Ridge SD 29    233,034       257,014                 13     1,298,420

STEM Academy's Reach Spans Illinois - Education Week

The Illinois Mathematics and Science Academy is working to expand its influence beyond campus with a growing number of outreach initiatives, including after-school, summer, and professional-development programs.

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Source: Education Week Illinois

Top 10 School Superintendents Average $333,000 per year salary

When it comes to overpaid public employees it is difficult to argue that K-12 school superintendents aren’t at the top of the list.

What exactly is it that supers do to justify $300,000 plus salaries not including fringes and pension payments?
Not much from what I can see.

These are not “managers” as we think of them in the private sector. They don’t really manage the employees since the majority are teachers and the 50-60-70 page teacher union contracts define in detail what can and cannot be done to and for teachers.

They don’t manage sales because there are none. They get paid no matter what the revenue is.

They don’t manage costs since they don’t really care what costs are. The union contracts define the vast majority of the costs incurred by school districts and again the supers don’t care because costs have nothing to do with their compensation.

So basically they end up as cheerleaders for the schools, reassuring teachers they will get whatever is in their contracts and reassuring parents their children have the best education available and reassuring taxpayers that their outrageous property taxes are well spent. And they lead the way in the almost-annual pursuit of more tax dollars via referendums.

Basically they are Public Relations experts – never offend anyone (teachers, students, parents, taxpayers) if you can possibly avoid it. That will keep the school board happy and likely produce bigger and better contracts for them in the future. From the looks of these numbers that approach is working extremely well.

Note that the highest paid super, Larry Fleming, works for a district that only has about 1,600 students. That means his salary, not including fringes and outrageous pension payments, costs more than $225/yr. per student.

Top 10 Superintendents Salaries Fiscal Year 2013
District last First  Salary
Lincolnshire-Prairieview SD 103 Fleming Larry          374,302
Lake Forest CHSD 115 Griffith Harry          362,339
Bloom Twp HSD 206 Giannetti Glen          341,512
Elmwood Park CUSD 401 Anderson Kevin          340,732
Riverside SD 96 Lamberson Jonathan          339,733
Marquardt SD 15 May Loren          327,748
Matteson ESD 162 Davis Blondean          323,866
Park Forest SD 163 Carmine Joyce          315,435
Skokie SD 68 McTague Frances          314,236
Batavia USD 101 Barshinger Jack          299,460
Average>>>>>>>>>>>>>          333,936