Engage200 finances: no cuts, take money from others

The Daily Herald (5/8/2014) reported 
“Many of the nearly 200 residents attending Wheaton Warrenville District 200’s fifth Engage200 session on Wednesday drew a blank when asked how the district should cut spending.  Some said they felt the district already was “bare bones,” while others said they don’t know how more cuts could be made without seriously impacting students.  Suggestions for ways the district could increase revenue, however, were bountiful.”
True, I was there.  Most tables regurgitate what the district tells them in the presentation and the districts mentioned nothing that could be cut. 
Our table had a bountiful list of spending cut suggestions. 
- All administrators should pay the same portion of their pension and other benefits as the teachers do.
- We could stop paying lobbying groups. 
- Too late now, but there is no excuse for giving Dr Harris a $20,000  raise, taking him from a base pay of $195,000 to $215,000. (Soon enough so that the district will not be penalized for end of career salary spiking by TRS)
- The technology department has had huge raises in the past few years.  Why?  
- Buy fewer hard copy textbooks (classroom copy and a few extra) buy online versions for students to use at home (save $ and backs). 
- Prior to Dr. Harris, one of the district staff handled press releases, now the district has a PR director, assistant and they hired a PR firm to organize the Engage200 sessions.  How does this help the children?
- Consider outsourcing building maintenance.
- Push back on mandates.  For instance, tuition charged for typically developing peers in the preschool only covers 55% of the associated costs.
I would like to see stats now vs 30 years ago, ratio of teachers : students : aids : administrators : secretaries.
As for the revenue increase, all Engage200 participants’ suggestions could be summed up as “who, other than ourselves can we get to pay for this?” 

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