Wednesday, December 28, 2011

Are individuals gaming the state retirement system?

The previous posts on local government pensioners ( ) indicates that Belvidere School District 100’s “business managers” receive both IMFR and Teachers’ pensions. 

I trust that this is completely legal but is this fair to the taxpayers?  Did each of those systems use those “six figure” last years salaries in calculating their respective pensions? If so—is that double counting?

Look at the numbers.

Biesladecki, James P.  $80,878 TRS   23 years

Biesladecki, James P.   $29,603 IMFR 11 years

Metz, James D.     $11,053    TRS     4 years

Metz, James D.     $10,810    IMFR    7 years

Local Government Pensions

The following are taken from Champion pension site.  Some of the list are only partial list of the highest paid.

All are taken from the following:





Belvidere Community Schools IMFR


Boone County


Rock Valley College—SURS


Other “note worthies” by name only:



Monday, December 26, 2011

Family Taxpayers Foundation’s List of Highest paid educator in Illinois

TOP 200 Salaries* in Illinois

*The word "salary" used here is synonymous with "compensation." According to the ISBE, the technical term for the data we post is "total creditable earnings."

Public school employees are compensated in many ways. The numbers we post are the official "total creditable earnings" that school districts report annually to the Illinois State Board of Education.

According to the ISBE, the annual salary data reported to them is the same as the "total creditable earnings" reported to the Teachers Retirement System. It includes, among other things, extra-duty pay (coaching, clubs, etc.), board-paid retirement contributions, vacation and sick day buyouts, bonuses, and other compensation that the Teachers Retirement System includes in total creditable earnings. This salary data does not include the cost of employer-paid health insurance. Individual school district contracts should be consulted for details.

Following is taken from:


Districts for for 2010:

Russell, Lucille

Engler, Thomas

Dada, M Mohsin

Fleming, Larry

Lamberson, Jonathan

Giannetti, Glen

Many, Thomas

Harper, John

May, Loren

Mical, Gary

Lane, Bruce

Rafferty, Edward

Carmine, Joyce

McTague, Frances

Mansfield, Edward

Barshinger, Jack

Buckner, J Kamala

Nebor, Jon

Schoffstall, Phillip

Hill, Gerald

Humphrey, Steven

Doebert, Sandra

Swanstrom, Paul

Fornero, George

Yonke, Linda

Robbins, Kathryn

Joy, Donna

Porto, Joseph

Kroeze, David

Schlomann, Donald—#30

Vieth, Linda

Boyd, Alex

Rodgers, John

Weninger, Attila

Thomas, Timothy

Raymond, Garry

Renner, Sandra

Perdue, John

Riebock, Ann

Wyllie, Lawrence

Sorrick, Kenneth

Schweers, Daniel

Jerome, Sarah

Wahl, Nicholas

Pryor, Sally

Gatta, Nanciann

Sobocinski, Philip

Twadell, Eric

Blanche, James

Behlow, David

Schuler, David

Meissen, Michael

Batiste, Donaldo

Kurr, Gregory

Culver, Arthur

Williams, Creg

Rydland, James

Milton, Walter

Wilson, Phyllis

Riggle, Michael

Davis, Blondean

Lindsay, Thomas

Witherspoon, Eric

Goers, Donald

Westerhold, Jane

Mitrovich, Mark

Murphy, Hardy

Torres, Jose

Jordan, William

Dart, Paul

Taylor, Rick

Gillum, Robert

Bridges, Lela

Lee, Calvin

Robb, Nancy

Lechner, Raymond

Tivador, Edward

Hawk, Jill

Collins, Constance

Baule, Steven

Sass, Michael

Benedetti, John

Byrne, John

Brendel, Jerome

Birkett, Kathryn

Sheffield, LaVonne

Butts, John

Amadio, Thomas

Shields, William

Dada, Yasmine

Nielsen, Robert

Lukich, Daniel

Berger, Robert

Edgecombe, Jason

Leonard, Thomas

Lea, Prentiss

Ward-Epstein, Dennice

Kalinich, Kelley

Handcock, Darryl

Steyskal, James

Hewitt, Larry

Davis, Gloria

Armanetti, Arleen

Michelini, Mark

Collins-Hart, Nettie

Hagerman, Thomas

Longo, Margaret

Arndt, Kenneth

Goier, Renee

Albus, Allen

Finger, Catherine

Gonzalez, Janet

Berning, Catherine

Swoboda, Joy

Surber, James

O'Donnell, Daniel

Kendall, William

Kilrea, Timothy

Foderaro, Kerry

Clark, Christine

Bolek, Barry

Mutchler, Kent

Roberts, Jerome

Millard, Beth

Auer, Carol

Zafiratos, Dr. Thomas

Cooper, Laura

Obradovich, George

Correll, Ellen

Paraday, Troy

Perkins, Kim

Wallace, Kenneth

Krizic, Lynn

Lupo, Robert

Trumble, Douglas

MacAskill, Dan

Ware, Jody

Martin, John

Whittaker, Cindy

Mattingly, William

Krause, Ronald

Adamic, Donna

Sheahan, Mark

Hackett, Judith

Buchanan, Gregory

Hoyda, Marion

Riordan, Michael

Benway, Darcy

Ehrhardt, Philip

Briscoe, James

Young, Christopher

Vincenti, Robert

Hebson, Suzan

Prince, John

Shinners, Marie

Bonner, Barbara

Rudig, Douglas

Majchrowicz, Joseph

Dagley, Glenna

Zabilka, Gary

Claypool, David

Dubec, Joseph

Drury, Richard

Borja, Janet

Gunnell, James

Niehaus, Gary

Eddy, Thomas

Di Virgilio, Robert

Engel, Jill

Williams, Rudolph

Gay, James

Zaander, Paul

Herrmann, Mary

Tabbert, Victoria

Eason-Watkins, Barbara

Hollich, Pamela

Fredisdorf, Mark

Schlichting, Glenn

Taylor, Roberta

Asplund, John

Prosise, Roger

Swanson, Bradley

Wrzeski, Ellyn

Ward, Maria

O'Mara, Kevin

White, Donald

Middleton, David

Hutton, John

Barnhart, Brian

Guarrine, Gregory

Pierce, Kathleen

Houselog, Michael

Donegan, Catherine

Cavallo, Jr., Louis

Matthews, Janice

Manville, Margaret

Ireland, Susan

Wernet, Patricia

Brown, Traci

Freeman, Robert

Wednesday, December 21, 2011

District 100 foresees continued decrease in student enrollment

The following is taken from the agenda item #E-3 from the December 19, 2011 Board of Education Meeting.  It is available on the internet at:$file/Copy%20of%20FY%2013%20Enrollment%20Projections.pdf

Click on the the photocopy to enlarge: 


Thursday, December 8, 2011

Wisconsin public school employee pay for the 2010-2011 school year - JSOnline

How well are Wisconsin teachers paid?—Find a district or teacher’s name and find out.
Click on the following to research this data base:Wisconsin public school employee pay for the 2009-2010 school year - JSOnline

Wednesday, December 7, 2011

Beloit School Board nears tax-vote decision

the proposed referendum is intended to improve all facilities and build two new 4-8 grade intermediate schools at the Cunningham and Morgan school sites. Under the proposed plan Burdge, McLenegan, Royce and Kolak Education Center would be retired. Administration and the charter schools would each move into one of the closed schools, leaving a net loss of two buildings which would later be sold.

The property tax increase for homeowners would be $108 annually for a home valued at $100,000. McNeal noted that the average home value in Beloit is $74,600 and said most taxpayers will likely pay less.

One part of the proposed referendum includes plans for a new pool at Beloit Memorial High School. The high school can no longer have a swim team because the pool doesn't meet code, and practices for students are inadequate. Manager of Facility Services Jeff Jacobson gave some updates on the deficiencies of the pool.

Jacobson said the perimeter pool gutter system is deteriorated and a source of water loss. Water circulation piping is undersized and deteriorated and pool mechanical and HVAC systems are undersized. The pool floor is too shallow for starting blocks - the minimum pool depth should be four feet. The locker rooms are in poor condition and do not meet ADA codes.

Click on the following for more information:

Beginning with the next fiscal year IMRF employees making more than $75,000 must have their wages and benefits posted on government’s website

It appears that high paying grounds and building personnel at District 100 will have their wages posted next Fiscal Year.

This is taken from Boone County board minutes:$file/salaries%20open%20meetings%20act.pdf

Click on the photocopy to enlarge:


Monday, December 5, 2011

Channel 17: RVC Board of Trustees Respond to Union Vote of No Confidence

Rockford - The Rock Valley College faculty union announced a vote of no confidence in the school's Board of Trustees during a board meeting on Tuesday, today the board responds.
The main issue of concern centers around healthcare benefits. The school wants teachers to contribute 1-3.75% of their salary to help keep the current benefits package.
But, the teachers union rejected it.

Rockford - The Rock Valley College faculty union announced a vote of no confidence in the school's Board of Trustees during a board meeting on Tuesday, today the board responds.
The main issue of concern centers around healthcare benefits. The school wants teachers to contribute 1-3.75% of their salary to help keep the current benefits package.
But, the teachers union rejected it.
They've been working without a contract since July.
In a statement to WTVO from the RVC Board of Trustees they said "The bottom line is that the college's health insurance plan does not have a financially viable employee cost sharing formula. [With] revenue sources... and student enrollment down... a meaningful employee premium sharing plan is needed to ensure the continued viability of the college's group healthcare program."
The teachers union say they're prepared to strike if necessary.

Sunday, December 4, 2011

District 100 does refunding to hold down 2011 and 2012 bond levy

On November 29 approximately $7.08 million will be borrowed for refunding of debt.

See below the interest on the new borrowing is anticipated to be 3.75%.   The following figures are taken from:$file/Final+POS+11-9-11.pdf

Click on the photocopy to enlarge


The proceeds will be used on lessen levies for the following notes.



More exacting details should be available after the December School Board meeting.

District 100 is attempting to take the following debt structure: (from:$file/Pricing+Final+2011+Nov+16.pdf)


and changing it to the following: 


Basically total tax rate—education tax, misc and bond and interest—will be frozen for next year 2011 levy and following year 2012 levy. 

Levy Yr       Current       After refunding

2011          5.25            5.00

2012          5.34            5.00

2013          5.57            5.50

2014          5.60            5.63

Monday, November 14, 2011

Funding in place, McHenry County moves to fill vacant regional superintendent’s office


The one candidate who met all the qualifications wanted to keep his current education job as well to earn a salary, but backed out because the law forbids regional superintendents from holding any other employment….

McHenry County joined other governments and their lobbying groups in opposing the funding bill out of fear that the move will open the door to the cash-strapped state skimming more from shared revenues.

State Rep. Mike Tryon, R-Crystal Lake, voted for the bill, while Reps. Jack Franks, D-Marengo, Kent Gaffney, R-Lake Barrington, and Sen. Dan Duffy, R-Lake Barrington, opposed it. Sen. Pamela Althoff, R-McHenry, missed the vote because of a family emergency.

The Lake County Regional Office of Education has been helping McHenry County fulfill the office’s statutory duties.

Click on the following for more details:

Tuesday, November 8, 2011

Interesting Items on Belvidere District 100 CPA Audit—do they deserve questioning?

The complete District 100 Audit is available at:$file/2011+Financial+Statements+District+100.pdf

Page 82District is still not balancing its checking account to the general ledger—This is a significant deficiency—See below statement from the Auditor’s Management Letter (page 3) defining this term.

Our consideration of internal control over financial reporting was for the limited purpose described in the first paragraph of this section and was not designed to identify all deficiencies in the internal control over financial reporting that might be deficiencies, significant deficiencies or be material weaknesses. We did not identify any deficiencies in internal control over financial reporting that we consider to be material weaknesses, as defined above. However, we identified certain deficiencies in internal control over financial reporting, described in the accompanying schedule of findings and questioned costs that we consider to be significant deficiencies in internal control over financial reporting. Findings 11-03 has been identified as significant deficiency. A significant deficiency is a deficiency, or a combination of deficiencies, in internal control that is less severe than a material weakness, yet important enough to merit attention by those charged with governance.

Click on the photocopy to enlarge:



In an October 11, 2011 memo to the Board of Education, Mr. Brown had the following comment.



If the check book did not reconcile with ledger on June 30, 2010 and June 30, 2011 when did they become properly reconciled?  if the financials provided the audit team by management on the above audit dates did not reconcile how do we know that the accounts are now reconciled each month?  Management certainly did not supply the audit team financials that they “knew”did not reconcile to the checking account.

Mr. Brown states that amounts were “immaterial”. What is the amount?  Why not provide a formal reconciliation of the difference.

See the “corrective action” shown above.  12-1-2011 is the anticipated date of the corrective action. Is this in conflict with Mr. Brown’s Memo to the Board of Education?  The management reaction in 2010, see Findings 10-1 below indicated that monthly reports would be reviewed for accuracy.  Why then was the June 30, 2011 financials for the auditors not accurate?

This item regarding not balancing the district’s checking account was previously posted in 2010 at: and at:

Did the CPA firm really handle this item properly?  The following is Schedule 15 where the accounting firm  indicates that finding 10-1 from last year is resolved yet they list the same item as a 11-3 finding in the current audit(see above) and indicated that the item was reported in the prior year. The 10-1 finding is shown below the wording is only slight different.


2010 Audit—Finding 10-1

2010 audit 1

Page 49—District 100’s increasing debt costs for the upcoming years.


Page 45—Last year the District paid nearly a quarter of a million dollars($234,224) because some district retirees’ salary increases for the last years before retirement exceed the 6% limit.  There was no such expense last year. Is a further explanation needed?   Will this occur next year as well?



Wednesday, November 2, 2011

Cary District 26 unanimously approves 3-year contract with CEA

For all teachers not in the retirement pipeline, the contract includes a three-percent pay cut in the 2011-12 school year and a pay freeze in the 2012-13 and 2013-14 school years…..

The new contract also changes the employee insurance program. Under the 2008-11 agreement, the board paid 100 percent of single coverage and between 20 and 40 percent of family coverage depending upon a teacher’s years of service in the district.

Under the agreement approved Tuesday, the district will pay 50 percent of single coverage and between 10 and 40 percent of family coverage.

Click on the following for the complete story:

Monday, October 31, 2011

McHenry County School has Whopping Cough


The following is taken from:

Click on the photocopy to enlarge.


McHenry County School Performance

More schools fall back in No Child Left Behind


'Making the Grade' - 2011 School Report Cards

CRYSTAL LAKE – More McHenry County schools are falling behind federal education standards as the state seeks a waiver from the No Child Left Behind law.

Of the 19 districts with schools in McHenry County, four made adequate yearly progress, or AYP, in 2011. That’s on par with last year. But a growing number of schools within the districts failed to meet federal benchmarks. Sixty-two of the county’s 99 schools failed to make AYP, up from 48 schools in 2010, according to data released today by the state Department of Education.

None of the county’s high school’s made AYP this year. Only eight high schools in Illinois did. Statewide, 65 percent of schools and 80 percent of districts came up short of AYP

Click on the following to read the rest of the story:

Tuesday, October 11, 2011

Boone County Journal: District 100—Considers Short Term Debt Refunding

The following is taken from 10-8-2011 Boone County Journal which is available free of cost at merchants across the county or available on line at:


Click on individual photocopy to enlarge: 




Letter to Editor of RR Star: Belvidere has become a divided city

The following appears on the Opinion Page of today’s Rockford Register Star.

Should the people of Belvidere be concerned about our school system?
I think we should. Having two high schools has not only affected our extracurricular program but has divided our city. What a shame.
Remember Buc Pride? Belvidere was proud of its school and its activities. Now we have small numbers taking part in sports and music.
Will the variety of classes as well as advanced placement classes also be adversely affected?
To go to a football game and see 25 players on the varsity team and 50-60 musicians at halftime makes you wonder:
How does that affect the players competing against larger teams?
How does that affect students who would qualify for scholarships but have less exposure because the team didn’t get past the regular season?
How does that affect attendance and the income from activities?
How much more is it costing the taxpayers?
It seems there could have been a better way of solving the crowding problem at the school. Now that we’re in this situation, how about the leaders coming up with a solution that would better fit our community for all concerned

— Lois McKenna, Belvidere

Monday, October 10, 2011

Editorial on rising District 100 debt levy

The following is taken from the October 7, 2011 Boone County Journal.


Thursday, October 6, 2011

TRS official gives state of teacher pensions, reform


Although many in the audience mumbled about the phrase’s origin as a curse and not a proverb, most in Illinois would agree that for those at the helm of pensions and their reform, these are very interesting times.

It was the state of these times and the reform that has been looming but not executed that Ingram spent the majority of the evening discussing with a full auditorium of educators and other spectators that traveled from near and far to Husmann Elementary School in Crystal Lake.

By the latest numbers from 2010, TRS has 378,288 members, 171,000 of whom are active teachers.

The average pension is $46,452, although that number is slightly lower for the McHenry County area, which Ingram said averages pensions of $39,075.

In fiscal year 2012, $4.5 billion will be paid in benefits.

The two biggest numbers on the agenda, however, were $81 billion – total pension liability – and $44 billion – unfunded pension liability.

“We don’t want anyone to confuse the mortgage with the mortgage payment,” Ingram said. “You can’t go to the bank and pay off the mortgage, but you can make your payment every month.”

Ingram used this comparison to say that although the debt is high, the sky isn’t yet falling.

“TRS has carried an unfunded liability since 1953,” he added.

Click on the following for the rest of this article:

Tuesday, October 4, 2011

RVC student complains of college policy regulating student postings and handbills

District 100 levy rates to rise because of increasing debt service demands

Below is a chart prepared by William Blair for a presentation concerning a possible restructuring a portion of District 100 debt so as to hold down tax levies for the near future.  The area in yellow is the projected levies for the present and near future.


Bond and Interest will double from 2007 levy .61 to 2015’s 1.20.  Because there also is an increase of the operating tax levy and actual decreases in assessed Value, total levy is skyrocketing.


I prepared the following chart to clarify what district taxpayers are facing.  In levy year 2010 and 2011 (Taxes paid in 2011 and 2012) the levy rates are up double digits—see figures in red.  Even if your individual property declines  by an amount approximately equal to the decline is EAV, nearly a 5% annual increase in taxes will occur in 2010 & 2011. (2010—12.8% change in tax rate minus 7.78% decrease in value equals 5.02% increase and 2011—14.2% change in tax rate minus 9.58% decrease in value equals 4.68% increase). And if 2012 and 2013 have flat increases in EAV growth as the William Blair assumptions-- approximately 3% increase in total levy will occur for each of these years. Even greater residential property tax increases might occur because the biggest property devaluation are occurring with commercial property.


The back end financing of Belvidere North High School is coming due.  Will the Board of Education devise a plan to alleviate some of the pain in this the Great Recession?  Some of the proposals which William Blair are proposing are available at the District 100 website: 

Monday, October 3, 2011

Sunday, October 2, 2011

Elgin-area school districts post some six-figure salaries for administrators

By Emily McFarlan

Those salaries were required to be posted on school districts’ websites by Saturday, according to Illinois Public Act 96-0434.

That bill, which took effect in 2009, requires Illinois school districts to post an “itemized salary compensation report for every employee in the district holding an administrative certificate and working in that capacity, including the district superintendent.”

That includes base salary, bonuses, pension contributions, retirement increases, the cost of health insurance, the cost of life insurance, paid sick and vacation day payouts, annuities and any other form of compensation.

The school district employs 183 administrators, whose base pay, before benefits, ranges from $30,000 for a food service manager to at least $223,300 for Superintendent Jose Torres, according to FOIA information requested by The Courier-News. One of the district’s newest additions, Ushma Shah — hired this summer to fill its newly created chief of equity and social justice position — earns a base salary of $120,000.

Within a position such as elementary school principal, those base salaries still range from $75,379.20 for Huff Elementary School Principal Angelica Ernst to $121,594.59 for Thomas Stiglic, principal of Centennial Elementary School in Bartlett. Ernst has been employed by the district seven years, and Stiglic 15.

Click on the following to read the rest of the story:

Thursday, September 29, 2011

Washington Academy’s technology lab offers students a glimpse into the digital world

The door to Ms. Rios’ Technology Lab at Washington Academy opens and a bunch of excited little people dressed in navy blue tops and khaki slacks and skirts scoot to their favorite places at tables, and on the rug. Two to each laptop computer, they take turns drawing with their fingers on the touch screens, using tools like virtual paint brushes, creating shapes or clicking with the mouse on templates to color

Read more of the story by clicking on the following:

Tuesday, September 27, 2011

DeKalb District-428 wants to unload empty buildings, expenses


With the budget constraints we’re in, it just costs too much to keep them sitting empty like that,” he said.

State and local regulations require the district to maintain the unused buildings; vandalism has to be cleaned up, damage has to be repaired and the schools have to be heated in the winter to prevent pipes from freezing and breaking. Sidewalks and streets also have to be salted and plowed.

August, the school board approved spending $5,500 to appraise the three buildings, along with other pieces of property in the district. Gorla said the board should receive the final results of the appraisal within two weeks.

From there, Briscoe said the matter likely would be discussed in the district’s soon-to-be-formed finance committee. He hopes the board finds new owners for the schools in Cortland and Malta.

But failing that, the district would likely demolish them – something that could cost hundreds of thousands of dollars – depending on what bids come in and if there are any asbestos to remove

Click on the following for the rest of the story:

Homecoming Photo for Belvidere North


Belvidere Daily Republican has a few homecoming photos.Click on the following:

Monday, September 26, 2011

NEA President earns large TRS pension


For the Good of Illinois

“We’ll shine the light. You’ll bring the heat.”

Thank you for registering and searching at
You’re ready for reform. Over 25,000 people have rendered over 300,000 pageviews since our spectacular online launch.
As the Chicago Tribune exposé of sweetheart union access to City pensions became a national story, we have the only publicly accessible City of Chicago retirement database. Choose RETIREMENT and CITY OF CHICAGO from the two dropdown search boxes on the homepage, then click twice on MONTHLY ANNUITY AMOUNT (orders from most to least).
Union Chief, Dennis Gannon has the top city pension of the last ten years. Retiring in 2004, Gannon worked one day for the city and has a monthly pension of $13,583. He has already collected over $1 million.
If our portal was up five years ago, three years ago, or last year, the sunlight would have made insider union pensions impossible! In Illinois, transparency is the foundation for good government.
On September 6th, we exposed that the unions also have insider access at the state level. Read the post, here. Listen to my interview with Big John & Amy on WIND 560AM Chicago, here.
The second highest teacher pension in teacher retirement history ($20,200/month) went to the President of the National Education Association (NEA), Washington DC. His Illinois government pension was predicated on his out-of-state union pay and not his earnings as an elementary school teacher from Harvey. For his earnings, contributions and monthly annuity, click here.
What are you finding? On a confidential basis, please let us know.
Thank you for being a part of our website launch and a watershed moment in Illinois politics.


Adam Andrzejewski
Founder | CEO
For the Good of Illinois

Letter to Editor of NW Herald draws over 300 comments

This letter to editor regarding teachers has over 300 comments at last count.  Take a look for yourself at:


To the Editor:

If it looks like a duck, swims like a duck and quacks like a duck, then it’s a duck. That saying is true and also works in reverse. If you treat someone like a duck, don’t be surprised when they start acting like one.

Take our much maligned teachers with their evil pensions. In our quest to Walmart-ize every last job in America, we have cut teachers’ pay, reduced their benefits, attacked their right to collectively bargain, and lengthened their workday.

In Wisconsin, scores of the best and most experienced teachers have decided, for whatever reason, to retire early. Don’t be surprised when a teacher who used to forgo lunch, or stay after school to help the struggling student, suddenly decides not to.

When more and more teaching time is spent grading the previous day’s assignments rather than taking it home to complete, again don’t be surprised. Forget about school spirit. Why promote it by helping out at a football game or an after-school event.

Today’s teachers are burdened with very little resources, often funding the day’s art project themselves, all the while being portrayed as greedy villains.

We have all had a teacher who has left a lasting impression on us or our kids. There are many good, honest, hardworking people working everywhere, including Walmart. But the next time you go there, look around and ask yourself who you really want to entrust the next generation to.

Jeff Albertz


Sunday, September 25, 2011

Rock Valley College Enrollment similar to rest of state

Just like the majority of Illinois public junior colleges shows a slight decrease in enrollment from the all time highs of Spring 2011.



These charts are available at:

Saturday, September 24, 2011

St. Charles North teacher faces theft charges

By Erika Wurst

St. Charles North High School physical education teacher charged with two counts of retail theft is back in the classroom following a weeklong paid administrative leave.

Katie Sauber (Duraski), 34, 600 block of Dural Lane, North Aurora, was arrested twice last month for allegedly stealing items from a Von Maur department store and a Target, according to Kane County Court documents.

Sauber was put on paid administrative leave on Sept. 1, said Jim Blaney, director of school and community relations for the St. Charles School District. She returned to work on Sept. 8, Blaney said.

Click on the following for more details;

Enrollment leveling at Elgin Community College

By Emily McFarlan

Last spring, 11,943 students had enrolled at the community college. Enrollment last fall, at the start of the 2010-11 school year, remains the highest on record at 12,219 students.

Sam said that enrollment has been up over the past few years at all age levels and in all fields of study except health care.

“The thing with health care is we’ve been stymied by the size” of the school’s health care facilities, he said. “We always get more applications than we are able to admit.”

That will change when the college’s 130,000-square-foot Health Careers Center opens this spring, according to the college president.

That building, part of the Elgin Community College Facilities Master Plan, was scheduled for completion in summer 2012. It also was expected to cost the school $55 million, the bulk of the $178 million bond referendum amount that voters in Elgin Community College District 509 approved in April 2009

Click on the following for more details:

SwedishAmerican Medical Center/Belvidere Launches Student Art Program

Image Detail

ROCKFORD (SAH) -- Students from Belvidere-area schools have an opportunity to display their artwork in the hallways of SwedishAmerican Medical Center/Belvidere, thanks to a new art program established by the hospital in partnership with the Belvidere School District.

The program was developed at the end of the 2010-2011 school year when Medical Center/Belvidere Administrator Dawna Menke reached out to the Belvidere School District to discuss how the facility could connect with area students.

"We are committed to being an active member of the Belvidere community," says Menke. "By utilizing available wall space and public areas of the hospital, we have been able to create a gallery space where the public can see how creative area students are."

Recently, artwork from students at Meehan Elementary School, Belvidere North High School and Belvidere High School was framed and put on display on the first floor of the hospital. Artwork was provided by the following students:

-Avry Blume
-Dakoda Hattendorf
-Mackenzie Morris
-Alejandra Pasillas
-Elizabeth Resendiz
-Natalia Rodriguez

“I think it's amazing that one of my pieces hangs in the halls for everyone to see,” says former Belvidere North High School student Dakoda Hattendorf. “It's a pretty cool feeling.” Dakota is currently attending Rock Valley College and hopes to transfer to an art institute where she will focus on advertising design.

These pieces are being displayed outside of the vending area of Medical Center/Belvidere and are visible to patients and visitors. Although space is limited, students interested in having their work considered may contact their art teachers and/or Shannon Hansen, the Communications Coordinator for the Belvidere School District, at (815) 544-8528 begin_of_the_skype_highlighting (815) 544-8528

Click on e following for more details:

Friday, September 23, 2011

Education pensions receive diagnosis at DeKalb High School

In fact, the TRS brought in $10.5 billion last fiscal year while scheduled benefits for this fiscal year amount to $4.5 billion. Dick Ingram, executive director for TRS, said it is that perceived cushion that has led some lawmakers to question why the state needs to make its full contribution.

Ingram said it is important for the state to make its full contribution because the results of partial payments has led to an inequitable burden on taxpayers. Previous taxpayer generations did not make full contributions to the system, so the current taxpayers are responsible for two or three generations of teachers, he said.

“The right people aren’t paying for the right costs,” Ingram said.

The result is a $44 billion unfunded liability in the system. Ingram said it is important to realize the unfunded liability is more like a mortgage, and that the liability should go down each year if payments by the state, members and school districts are made on time and as the formula requires.

But the state has struggled to make contributions in the past and is on the hook for $2.4 billion in contributions this fiscal year, two-thirds of which is past due payments and loan interest. Ingram said if the state had not “kicked the can down the road,” it would have $1.6 billion more for other budget items.

“That’s the cost of the can,” Ingram said.

The average educator in the DeKalb area now will have, upon retirement, a pension of $34,152 per year, down from the state average of $46,452. But all teachers could see a change in their pensions because of pending legislation in Springfield.

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Thursday, September 22, 2011

McHenry County to wait to fill ROE post


McHenry County Board has given up on finding a new regional superintendent of schools for the time being.

With 10 candidates rejected for the now-unpaid elected office defunded by Gov. Pat Quinn, and the courts so far siding with Quinn’s power to do so, the county is not pursuing the matter further until the money from the state is there, County Board Chairman Ken Koehler said.

“We have basically come to the conclusion that until we know there’s a funding source, we can’t hire anybody on,” Koehler told the County Board on Tuesday evening.

McHenry County faced a daunting problem – find someone who met the long list of qualifications who would work for free.

State law requires regional superintendents to have a master’s degree, a state education supervisory certificate, at least 20 credit hours of graduate professional education, and at least four years of teaching experience. Candidates must have spent two of the past four years either teaching or supervising. Because the position is elected, a vacancy must be filled by a Republican, the same party as the previous officeholder

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Wednesday, September 21, 2011

Kishwaukee Community College's growth hasn’t hit ceiling other community colleges have reached


report from the Illinois Community College Board found spring 2011 enrollment fell nearly 2 percent statewide from 2010’s record enrollment.
Of the state’s 48 community colleges, 18 saw an increase in total students from last year; 15 saw an increase in full-time equivalent – or FTE – enrollments. That number is determined by calculating the total number of credit hours being taken by students and dividing by 15, the number of hours traditionally considered a full-time class load.
Kishwaukee College is among the schools that saw an increase in both categories. While the actual number of students increased by only 13 from spring 2010 to spring 2011, more students increased their credit hours, bumping up the college’s FTE by 82, or 2.9 percent.

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