Category Archives: Schools

CUSD200 Admin contracts renewing SOON

The current administrator contracts were approve last year at the June 8, 2016 board meeting as entries in the personnel report which was attached to the meeting’s agenda.

The salaries for our sample administrators are:
admin 2017 salatiesEach received a 0.8% increase.

Several years ago I asked the board in my public comments if they had any idea what they had approved?  The board packets listed who had contracts renewing, but nothing about salaries or benefits.  I thank the board for including the administrator’s salaries in the personnel reports after that.

However,  I don’t see a sample contract attached to last year’s agenda so that the board & public can know what benefits are included.

There is a finance committee meeting at 7:30 AM on May 31.  Meeting Notice  And the next regularly scheduled board meeting is 7:00 pm on June 14.  That board meeting is when the administrative contracts should be approved.  Expect the meeting notice to be posted on the preceding Friday.  By law it must be available at least 48 hours prior to the meeting. 

  • The administrators contracts that I have were all for one year – expiring June 30, 2017.  That is the end of next month! (correction the ones I have were for July 1, 2015 to June 30, 2016.  The renewed last year)
  • The current WWEA teacher contract expires June 30, 2018
  • The Classified Education Association (CEA) 2014-2017 (support staff)  also expires end of June.
  • The Superintendent’s contract also runs through June 30, 2018

In my opinion:

  1. The Board must know what is in the contract that they are approving – a sample admin contract should be attached to the meeting agenda.
  2. ALL post career compensation must go!
  3. Extra sick days for pension padding must go!
  4. Administrators must pay their own pension contributions, just like teachers do – and no, we cannot give them large raises so that they see no loss in net pay.  This is a perk they never should have had.

For my analysis of the current contracts see:

Admin compensation – CUSD 200 (part 2)

For part 1, see:

I was wondering just how much more generous the administrators’ contracts are than the Teachers’ contract. This posting will look at Holidays,  vacation days, sick days and their affect on the pension/end-of-career payouts.  The Sick Day Bank can be quite large at the end of a career.  It can be used to increase the pension payout or to take a lump sum at retirement.

 While looking at these detail, I noticed a couple perks in the latest teacher contract that  were not in their previous contract, and I had not seen when the contract was approved.  Note: the contract was not available until  weeks after it was approved. 

The latest WWEA contract increased the sick days allocate as well as the post-employment-compensation.  Neither  were in the highlights that were posted for board approval.   Although the increase in post employment compensation was mentioned by board members as they voted for it.


The current teacher contract is for July 1, 2015 to June 30, 2018.

The WWEA (teacher union) contract is negotiated with union reps on one side, and school administration on the other.  For the current contract, no school board member was on the negotiation team.  In fact, I was told they didn’t have anyone even watching.

The negotiating team from the WWEA contract:

wwea negotiating team


Generally, the administrators will get what the teachers get and then some (like pension pick-up).  Who is representing the taxpayers?

Leave of Absence

See the contract for the full set of rules and details for all types of leaves (seick leave, Bereavement leave, personal leave, Religious holidays, Parental leave, family medical leae act, general leave of absence, military leave, & Professional leave)

Number of days worked

For Teachers, based on the school calendar  teachers are scheduled to work 186 days a year – 5 of those days are teacher institute/work days with no students in class.  They receive two months off in the summer and all the school Holidays.

Administrators who work 12 months, have 260 working days
(364 days a year, 52 weekends is 104 days, 364-104 = 260)
They each receive 12 holidays, 23 vacation days, and 15 sick days.
Each can carry up to 36 vacation days to the next year
Up to 59 vacation days can be cashed in at the per diem rate at termination (retirement).

Vacation and Holidays

From Biscan’s contract (sample admin)

days off

Note: the maximum number of vacations days that an administrator may have is 59.  According to their current contracts days in excess of the 36 if not used are lost.  This wasn’t always the case.  For instance, Bill Farley cashed in 5 vacation days in 2013 for $3,606.19.  I do not see this listed in Farley’s current contract, but we have a FOIA that lists this dollar amount.    And it is in Dr. Schuler’s current contract

schuler cashout vac


Bossier’s contract (the one grandfathered in with the 6% end of career salary spikes) allows excess vacation days to morph into unlimited sick days:

vac holidy bossier



From Biscan’s Contract:



What is this sick leave worth?

admin sick leave bank


The maximum number of sick days to count towards pension service with TRS is 340, where 170 days = 1 year.   Up to 15 sick days can be cashed in at the per diem rate at retirement (days count for one or the other, not both)

WWEA (teacher) contract is more generous

weea sick leave

Why are they increasing the number of sicks days per year as the size of the sick bank grows?  Could it have anything to do with TRS accepting up to 340  sick days as credit towards pension?    I do not see a line about cashing in unused sick days at the per diem rate in this contract.  pdf

From the WWEA contract for July 1, 2012 to June 30, 2015 (no longer posted on the district web site) we know that this perk was new in 2015.

wwea12to15 sick

Was the school board aware of this increase in sick days for  teachers as they approach retirement?  The extra sick days were NOT in the contract highlights posted for the board to approve.

Contract approval

The contract was approved at a special board meeting on June 4, 2015.  The contract was approved based on  contract highlights .pdf which was made available approximately 48 hours prior to the meeting.  At the time I  questioned why they could not wait until the next week at the regularly scheduled board meeting.  I also questioned the wisdom of passing it without actually seeing the contract.

The BOARD has a fiduciary responsibility to the taxpayers.  Part of that is to be part of contract negotiations, not just a bystander who votes on what is brought to them.  The boards failure to be a part of these negotiations is a failure of the board and another example of what is wrong with so many public officials.  Disregard for the public is no longer being tolerated!  CUSD 200 Board actions were no different than those of COD with their golden parachute votes.

Prior to the meeting I was advised that “They MUST recite key elements of the contract with enough information as to inform the voter of the actions being taken.”

From a 6/3/2015 email from Jan Shaw to a few friends regarding my thoughts for public comment:

  • 3 year agreement covers the 2015-16; 2016-17; and 2017-18 school years
  • OK
  • and provides for a balanced budget based on current revenue projections.
  • OK
  • It also contains a limited re-opener memorandum to address any drastic changes in funding or revenue enacted by the legislature.
  • Sounds Good – want to see it
  • This agreement addresses staff professional development time,
  • OK
  • eliminates staff access to the State’s Early Retirement Option,
  • Good – does this affect the amount that is paid into the pension?
  • eliminates the salary step increment,
  • Define please?  Doing away with steps?  Or same chart for 3 years?
  • and includes increased staff contributions for health benefits.
  • Does it include a “Good for the Goose, Good for the gander” clause so that all administrators will need to pay into the pension and for health care like teachers do? 
  • Not here, but section 12 of the existing contract gives a lump sum to retirees based on years of service (unless they opted for the old 6% for 4 year option) $500 per year-of-service
  • 20 year = $10,000.  ALL end of career goodies need to GO!

Missing minutes for 6/4/2016

The June 10, 2015 agenda include “Approval of Minutes – March 25, 2015 Open and Closed, May 13, 2015 Open and Closed, May 18, 2015 Special Closed, May 27, 2015 Open and Closed, and Approval to Destroy Recordings of Closed Sessions Prior to January 2014 as Allowable by Law”

The July 10, 2016 agenda has “Approval of Minutes – June 10, 2015 Open and Closed, and Approval to Destroy Recordings of Closed Sessions Prior to February 2014 As Allowable by Law”

Where are the 6/4/2015 minutes?

The podcast of the meeting

is available on youtube: CUSD200 6/4/2015

11:05 Dr. Schuler
15:55 Dr Rammer – what is in the contract.
16:20 board discussion – Brad Paulsen,
18:15 Dr. Schuler – overview of salary schedule.
20:40 Intihar
22:30 Swanson
24:30 Coghill
27:40 roll call vote with comments
30:00 Gambiani’s comments as to why he voted “NO” (worth listening) “…Total salary increase approaching $6 million.  Total salary percentage increases that could reach 8.5%.  Total stipend increases of 6% and 50% increase in post employment payment. In the 2016-2017 school year, this district will enjoy a $4 million windfall, given the fact that 60 retiring teachers will be replaced with teachers at lower salaries. This situation presents the district with a unique opportunity to have access to funds that could be used for building maintenance… It is important to acknowledge that the district has numerous current and future financial challenges that can no longer be ignored. Unfortunately these available funds are being used to support the teachers’ contract…”

33:10 Vroman covers more (include $250 more per year for post-employment compensation)

Based on the comments, the board was aware of at least one change that was not in the posted highlights.

What was in the sick bank for those who negotiated this?

negotiator sick bank

Overly Generous in the Past

The district was once far more generous with this for at least a couple administrators.  Dr. Catalani was the Superintendent from 2000 to 2007.

catalani pay and pension

And there were two other top administrators who made out like bandits,  Sorrick and Belha.  For details, see:

Marfo Sorrick retired in 2011,

  • Sorrick had 33.026 years of service credit plus 1.974 year for unused sick-leave credit (total 35)
  • Her service included 1.026 years purchased credit for private school service.
  • From TRS she received a $23,001.62 refund ($18,592.62 for “2.2 refund” and $4,409.00 for not using the early retirement option)
  • From CUSD 200, she received lump sum payments of $ $21,085.22 ($6,487.76 for 53.2 vacation days and $14,597.46 for 18 sick leave days)

 Sorrick’s end of career raises were 6.26%, 20%, 0%, 6% and 6%.  Her contract ended in 2009 and was extended to 2010 and 2011.  Her 20% raise came 2008 – three years earlier than contracted  – the contract called for 20% for the LAST year worked.  It appears to have been effective the day after Superintendent Catalani retired and on the day Dr. Drury began.  We never found anything to show that it or the 6% raises for her last two years were approved by the board.  We are still paying for this as it increased her pension for life. 

Lori Belha retired in 2011

  • Belha had 37 years of service credit plus 1.97 year for unused sick-leave credit
  • Her service included 10 years purchased credit for out of system service.
  • From TRS, she received a $28,105 refund ($23,784.95 for “2.2 refund” and $4,320.21 for not using the early retirement option)
  • From CUSD 200, she received lump sum payments of $32,889.26 ($25,200 for 59 vacation days and $7688 for 18 sick leave days)


Belha’s end of career raises were 6.95%, 18.47%, 0%, 6% and 6%.  Same comment as above, although I wonder if her 20% was put into effect a month or 2 earlier.

Note Dr. Belha was the Assistant superintendent for Human Resources.




Admin compensation – CUSD 200 (part 1)

I had submitted a FOIA to Wheaton-Warrenville, CUSD 200, for some administrator contracts last summer [2016].  

I was wondering just how much more generous they are than the Teachers’ contracts. First thing we confirmed is that while teachers make their own pension payments, the district pays the employee portion for administrators.  Checking the compensation report we discovered that this cost the district $602,454.89  in 2016 [correction – thee FOIA was summer 2015 – time flies].

  • The bulk of the administrator contracts matched Biscan’s and were for July 1, 2015 to June 30, 2016.  I will use it as a sample.
  • One, Bossier is different. She had a grandfathered contract with the pension spike and she was on the retirement track.  I believe the last of the employees with this 6% end-of-career option retired in 2016.
  • Superintendent, Dr. Schuler’s contract is unique. It is a multi-year contract (Sep 2, 2014 through June 30, 2018). Available on the district website: Superintendent Contract
  • We also have some older administrator contracts which were even more generous.

These contracts contain some benefits that exceed what is in the teacher’s contract (WWEA) – available on the district website:  link to contract



From Biscan’s Contract:

contract length and pay


In Bossier’s contract the following paragraph was included. She was grandfathered into the old contract that offered 6% end-of-career spiking.

pension spike

For a history of CUSD 200 end-of-career salary enhancements see:

From the sample contracts for 2016, we have the following list of base pay and per diem pay.

pay per diem



For teacher’s the pension contribution is deducted from their paycheck (i.e. they pay their own).  For administrators, the district makes the TRS or IMRF payment.

From Biscan’s Contract:

trs imrf


Another verbiage for pension pick-up is seen in Bossier’s contract

bossier pension pick up


There are two compensation reports available on the district’s website click, Departments, Human resources.  Then Compensation reports.  You will find 2 reports.

  • 2016 Teacher Administration Salary Compensation Report click here
  • 2016 IMRF >$75,000 Compensation Report click here

I copied the entries that had a non-zero “Retirement Enhancement” which is the pension pick-up.   The total cost to the district is $602,454.89  (would this be better spent on  capital improvements?)

The administrators entries from the 2016 Compensation reports (I dropped the cents to save space): admin compensation 2016


Post Employment Compensation – Retirement Benefits:

From Biscan’s Contract:

post emp

And the retirement section from Biscan’s Contract:


From Bossier contract (the grandfathered version)

retire bossier

Compare this to what the Teachers have in the WWEA contract:

WWEA post emp compERO was the Early Retirement Option.  No longer available.

Teachers must work at least 18 years to receive a post employment lump sum (does not count toward their pension).  Administrators need only work 5 years for this payment, and the amount is larger.


We have made public comments for years, telling the board that end-of-career salary spikes MUST GO! and Then all post employment compensation must go!


Wheaton-Warrenville, CUSD 200, Post-Referendum Survey

The school District sent an email to everyone on their email list asking for our feedback. I’m sharing a portion of it here, because most community members who do not currently have student attended D200 school will not have seen this.

On April 4, the community stated that they did not support the facility plan put forth by the Board of Education…

The Board has opened a community survey to gather feedback on the April 4th Facilities Referendum. The responses received from this anonymous survey will make an important contribution as we identify the next steps to address our facility needs. In order to gather the most comprehensive feedback from a broad representation of our community, I ask that you:
[Please] take the survey…
The survey will be open from today through Friday, May 19.
Thank you for taking a few minutes to share your feedback with us.

Jim Vroman, President
CUSD 200, Board of Education

Donors to the “yes” campaign

To find information about Candidate or Political Action Committees (PAC) spending & donations start at

Any candidate or political group that spent more than $5,000 must file reports.  The “yes” campaign for the Wheaton-Warrenville, CUSD 200 referendum was mainly funded by the Parent Teacher Associations (PTA).  These groups are 501(c)3 non-profits.  I suspect that each took a vote at a regular meting with the typical few in attendance.  How do the bulk of the parents feel?  Are they aware that PTA being politically active could jeopardize its non-profit status?

Friends of the Schools – Yes For Wheaton
Quarterly Report 1/1/2017 to 3/31/2017
Filed 4/14/2017 6:11:48 PM
Starting balance     $711.05
Contributions    $12,425.10
Expenditures     $11,826.69
Ending balance   $1,309.46

Note: the quarterly report lists $12,425.10 Contributions, which is slightly less than the sum of the donations by listed contributors:  $12,869

yes campaign 2017

Ivor Andrew  a.k.a. Boost Marketing is owned by Keith and Susan Booton.  They were paid approximately $20,000 by the district for referendum videos  and apparently handled “Yes” marketing materials. The note for their donation was for “Graphic design and copy writing services” which is most likely donated labor.


Captive Reasources, LLC
Found on-line:
America’s Alternative Insurance Specialists
Schaumburg, IL
I did not find them listed on the district website.
But wondering: Do they have anything to do with D200 insurance?

Individual donors:

  • Corry was on Wheaton city council and she was the co-chair of engage200 committee
  • Hupp was on the engage 200 committee
  • Triscik in a member of the PTA council
  • Dan & Lisa  Wagner are professional political fundraisers and were paid staff for politicians.  They headed the failed 2013 “Jefferson Yes” campaign.

NON-profits and PACs
Tax exempt 501(c)3’s are allowed to give up to 10% to lobbying efforts, but nothing to candidates or political action committees (PAC).  The referendum committee is a PAC. These PTA’s could be endangering their non-profit status and their donors’ charitable donation claims.  I was told this by several people, who are involved in non-profits.  I have not found any case law to verify the cautions.

See: or for rules regarding non-profits.

Voters didn’t connect candidates to their position

It appears that many of those voting “NO” did not know the candidate positions.  The “Yes” side most likely did.

In 2017 the four winners received

7,792    Ginna Ericksen (union endorsed)
7,485    Brad Paulsen (union endorsed)
6,325    Rob Hamlin (union endorsed)
7,091    Jim Mathieson (union endorsed)
7460      #yes

2017 Challengers

5,463    Harold Lonks
5,289    Tom Hudock
5,435    Neil Harnen
5,696    Marcus Hamilton
8903      #no

The challengers could have won in 2017.

There were 1,443 more “No” votes than “Yes” votes.
How many voted for the referendum but not candidates?
total voting for referendum is 7460 + 8903 = 16,363.
total candidate vote 50,576 divided by 4 is 12,644 (minimum number of voters who voted for candidates).
The difference 16,363 – 12,644 = 3,719
So at least 3,000 voters left the candidates blank (a few may have voted for 1 to 3 but not 4).
Adding 3,000 to the actual vote counts for the challengers, they could have had:
8,463 Harold Lonks
8,289 Tom Hudock
8,435 Neil Harnen
8,696 Marcus Hamilton
The top vote recipient, Ericksen, with 7,792 .  Even she could have lost, if all those who left the candidates blank had voted for the ones who opposed the referendum.

We see the same pattern In 2013.  The four winners received

4,862 Joann Coghill (union endorsed)
4,794 Barbara Intihar (union endorsed)
4,600 James Mathieson (a challenger in 2013)
4,753 Brad Paulsen (union endorsed)
# Yes votes was close to the number of votes the union endorsed winners received.

2013 The 5 other candidates

3,243 Kyle Nenninger
1,937 Bruce C. Fogerty
2,878 Harold Lonks
3,736 Jan Shaw
3,573 Ken Knicker (union endorsed)
# no votes

Had those voting “No” known the candidate positions,

Jan, being the only one vocal against the referendum should have won in 2013.
Ken Knicker made the mistake of saying that those who can’t afford their taxes should move.  He was endorsed by both the union and the Dailey Herald.

Why so many special Needs?

I’ve been watching a video series called “The Truth About Vaccines”
Some Say Vaccines are Essential. Some Say They’re Evil.
If you have children or grandchildren, you deserve the FACTS to make your own informed choices…  Available for a limited time

I’m hearing several things that put together explain a lot.

  1. Pre-1990 autism was less than 1 in 10,000 children.  Most of us hadn’t even heard of it.  Now they claim it is at least 1 in 100, maybe as high as 1 in 50. 
  2. 1986, congress passed a law that vaccine producers could not be sued.  It also set up a fund for vaccine injured children.
  3. I recall having a few shots as a child.  Our children (now young adults) were vaccinated.  Today’s children get about twice as many shots, at younger ages and even pregnant women are given the flu vaccine, which has not been proven safe or effective.  WHAT are we doing?
  4. If they are right that this cocktail of vaccines is causing developmental problems, then ceasing to mandate vaccines could reduce the incidence of autism, ADHD, … which would reduce the need for so many special Ed teachers/aids in schools, and thus reduce the cost of public education.  And more importantly, it could improve the quality of life for so many of our youth & their families who must care for a vaccine injured child.
Look around.  You know something is happening that is not right!

Proposed 6th grade Studies includes “growth of Islam”

In today’s (4/13/2017) “Focus on Learning” district 200 e-news letter, I see:

Curriculum – The Board has posted anew social studies curriculum for public review and comments. Comments on proposed curriculum can be directed to Faith Dahlquist or 630-682-2103. 

Clicking on it there are several pdf’s.

In  6th_grade_SS_BOE_pdf.pdf I see:

Grade 6 Social Studies Middle School Required Course Course Description This course develops the knowledge, dispositions, and skills necessary for success in college, career, and civic life (c3 framework). The Social Studies curriculum supports democratic discourse within a diverse and collaborative context. Students will develop questions, apply concepts, evaluate sources, use evidence and communicate conclusions. The foundational inquiry skills and concepts outline the knowledge associated with four disciplines: Civics, Geography, Government and History. Grade 6 core content topics include The Growth of Islam, African Civilizations, Asian Civilizations, Medieval Europe, Civilizations of the Americas, European Renaissance and Reformation and Early Modern Europe.

[highlight added]


Why are the schools teaching “Islam” but no mention of any other religion?

There really isn’t enough detail in the pdf’s alone to know what is being taught.

If anyone takes a closer look into this curriculum change, please post your thoughts as a comment on the DuPage Watchdog site.

For a list of the administrators in charge of curriculum go to  then click on “Departments” then “Student Learning” on the drop down menu.


Rebuttal of an Incumbent board member’s FaceBook posts

For those who do not have Facebook, the following is being copied here (original post were made around 1:00 pm on 4/3/2017)

Hank Kruse
CUSD #200 Rant 1/8

An incumbent board member Brad Paulsen place the following misleading information on this FB page. My response to each of his assertions.

Rumor 1: The District is not spending enough in the early years of the program on capital work.

Brad’s Response: The worksheets being used to make this claim are old planning documents that are not the basis of the referendum question. Additionally, capital work is only a portion of the program. The facts are that 75% of the program is projected to be put in place from 2018-2020. If the referendum is approved, the balance of 2017 will be spent planning and designing.

MY REPLY: For years the District has maintained a comprehensive capital improvement/building maintenance document that identified nearly $130M in building needs. This report prioritized each item with a Condition 1, 2 or 3 status and an identified 1, 3, or 7 year completion timeline. The needs of this document were simply integrated into the Master Facility Plan study (that cost the District over $250,000) and was specifically intended to identify 21st Century classroom improvements, not the $130M building needs already identified in the District facility document. Additionally, a document prepared by the General Contractor, Nicholas & Associates, suggests that 89% of the total project will be completed between the 2018-2019 and 2022-2023 school years. This is public information
Hank Kruse
Rant 2/8:

Rumor 2: Putting this much work in place will increase property taxes beyond what has been communicated.

Brad’s Response: This is not true. The principles of math are not same as the principles of finance. The amount invested early will not cause debt service payments to be accelerated.

MY REPLY: The referendum is back-loaded. The true cost to a taxpayer who owns a $322,000 home is approximately $7,300 in additional taxes the first 10 years of the referendum. This information is available to the public.
Jan Shaw The $7,300 is for all 20 years the bulk of which is paid in the last 10. It is an estimate, as the district assumed that interest rates will remain at the current historically low level.
Hank Kruse
Rant 3/8:

Rumor 3: The proposed new early childhood center is too large compared to the existing Jefferson school.

Brad’s Response: The existing Jefferson School is approx. 26,000 sf and the proposed new school is 45,000 sf (note – the 2013 plan was 59,000 sf). The increased size is to serve the needs of students more effectively. Currently, the early childhood program is housed in four sites due to constraints within the existing Jefferson School. It is a larger building to consolidate other early childhood programs housed at Johnson, Whittier and Madison Schools. Right now, teachers are losing efficiency and education time as they travel from school to school. Consolidating this program will save money and allow teachers to spend more time with kids instead of their steering wheel.

MY REPLY: While there are classrooms in other locations being used, many are allocated to the Head Start Program which is NOT a State of Federal mandated program. In fact the proposed ‘foot print’ for the new Jefferson school expands the Head Start program assuming that “If we build it they will come”. This is public information
Hank Kruse
Rant 4/8:

Rumor 4: The proposed new early childhood center could just be provided with excess capacity at Hubble.

Brad’s Response: The District looked at 25 different alternatives to house the early childhood program – including Hubble Middle School. There is not enough available space and would require an addition to Hubble. The site complications would be very significant and would provide a less than ideal solution while also compromising the learning environment at Hubble. The costs savings were not significant enough to warrant further exploration for what would not be a good solution.

MY REPLY: The District had a local commercial real estate broker to explore alternatives for a new Jefferson. Based on information available to the public it appears that less than 4 alternatives were presented. Additionally, the public was informed that for Hubble to be a real alternative a 27,000 square foot addition would need to be added to the existing Hubble. It seems that serious investigate to re-purpose the existing 191,000 square foot Hubble space was not completed. This is public information.

Hank Kruse
Rant 5/8:

Rumor 5: The District can use the $22 M available now.

Brad’s Response: The $22M will not be accumulated for several years. The portion of the program that would be funded outside of the referendum question is a combination of existing fund balance and the commitment to increase future budget allocations for the balance of the program.

MY REPLY: Approximately $8M of the $22M is available from the fund balance and could be used for immediate building needs. This $8M draw-down from the fund balance would still maintain enough funds in the account to remain in compliance with the currently Fund Balance Policy. This is public information.
Hank Kruse
Rant 6/8:

Rumor 6: This is caused by the District’s management of the pension situation.

Brad’s Response: Pensions are not a district-level program. The Teacher Retirement System is managed at the state level. This is the program the State hasn’t funded and has been unable to legally fix. Teachers contribute more than 10% for TRS and the Teacher Health Insurance System (for retirees) out of their own paychecks just like private market employees contribute to social security and 401Ks. The District does not spike teachers’ salaries in the final years before retirement (and hasn’t for many years) and eliminated the early retirement option (ERO) before the State let that provision sunset last year.

MY REPLY: The District does pay the TRS contribution for the superintendent. Additionally, the District continues to contribute millions of dollars to fund the teacher benefits package. This is public information.
Jan Shaw The end of spiking was with the previous contract, those who put in their retirement date prior to that contract expiring, still received the spike. We believe the last of those with the 6% for 4 years end of career spike retired in 2016 – that is why there was a bumper crop of retirees last year. And the District replaced the spike going forward with a bonus – that bonus increased in the last contract. ALL end of career goodies need to GO!…/post-employment-compensation/
Hank Kruse
Rant 7/8:

Rumor 7: Lack of financial planning has created this situation.

Brad’s Response: The District made approximately $14 M in cuts coming out of the recession and has lost almost $41 M in state funding since 2008 (indexed back to 2008 levels). At the same time, the District has invested almost $24 M on buildings and technology. At the recommendation of the community through Engage 200, the District has spent the last 2+ years engaging the community (at least 15 different times), developing a facility master plan, sorting through priorities, aligning funding scenarios and surveying the community all so that the District can avoid being in this situation again.

MY REPLY: All school districts’ State funds were cut. The recession had little to do with the cuts at local level. Rather the cuts were made at the demand of the then acting superintendent as the district was not controlling its spending. Around 2010-2011 the approximately $5M was spent on technology using budgeted dollars. The remaining balance of the $24M referenced above was for building maintenance but very little of the money was actually from the building maintenance budget. Rather this activity was funded by 1) a $10M cash bond that the taxpayers had no vote in and are still paying taxes on, 2) performance bonds, 3) fund balance, and 4) taking money from other areas within the budget. This is public information.
Hank Kruse
Rant 8/8:

Rumor 8: The District’s general contractor should not be contributing to the vote yes campaign.

Brad’s Response: Nicholas & Associates has not contributed to, nor will they be contributing to Friends of the Schools, the committee coordinating the Vote Yes effort. From what I have been told, the entry on the State Board of Elections site has been removed since no contribution was or will be made

REPLY: In February Nicholas & Associates made a $2,444.61 Donation In Kind to the political action committee; Friends of the Schools (FOTS). An invoice was issued to Nicholas & Associates by Ivor Andrew (formerly Boost Marketing) for yard signs and magnets. During the March 8 Board meeting a public speaker validated the Nicholas & Associates contribution and suggested this behavior to be unethical as said firm had been identified the de facto general contractor the project if the referendum was approved. On March 9, at 12:44 PM, Nicholas & Associates withdrew their Donation In Kind. This was not the first time this has occurred. In fact on 2/24 a similar event occurred in Waukegan District 30 when a Donation In Kind was made by Nicholas & Associates. On March 3 they withdrew their Donation In Kind.

It should be noted that Ivor Andrew (the firm is very active with the political action committee FOTS), has invoiced District 200 nearly $20,000 in marketing materials, many of which are associated with the referendum.

Formal complaints have been filed with the Illinois State Board of Elections for violation of the Campaign Disclosure Act.
This public information.