Monday, October 31, 2011

McHenry County School has Whopping Cough


The following is taken from:

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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

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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:


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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.

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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.

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