Residents - PLEASE READ and voice your opinion
to the D211 Board of Ed. Email them. Show up at
the next meeting. Do not do nothing.
Read Mark Evenson's
analysis on palatine.patch.com
Here it is in a
"For the last seven years ending in 2012, the
operational funds’ combined annual levy increase
averaged about $5.2 million.
Over the same period, on average the total
revenue exceeded expenditures by about $10.6
million each year, adding these excesses to an
ever growing fund balance.
While it’s the district’s policy to maintain an
ending fund balance of about one third budgeted
expenditures, the balance rose from a reasonable
level of $66 million in 2005 to over $148
million in 2012, about $75 million over their
policy’s target level."
Arbitrator's decision is in on Late Start/Early
professional development time will take place by
means of an early dismissal of students on
FRIDAY AFTERNOONS beginning January 31st.
High School District
D211 Board of Education Meeting THIS THURSDAY,
October 17th at 7:30 pm
We all need to
support our elected representatives when they
ask the Board Members to control its spending
and to keep our TAX levy flat.
The Board of Education Meeting Room is at the G.
A. McElroy Administration Center (entrance is on
the south side of building) 1750 South Roselle
Rd. in Palatine
is strongly encouraged
Community Communication Forum
October 23rd at 7 pm at the Joseph M. Kiszka
Educational Service Center, 580 N. 1st Bank
forum, a panel of Board members and District
administrators will take questions from the
community regarding the District’s Annual Board
Goals, its implementation of the new Common Core
Standards, and its second semester launch of
weekly release time that will provide teachers
with professional development opportunities"
Our own Len Green Addressed the BOE; here are
"At the Sept 11
meeting, BOE member Scott Herr asked questions
1. Lack of legal
expert review of the Educational Support
Personnel Association’s new four-year labor
2. Negotiating team made changes inconsistent
with May 8 Board guidelines and did not confer
with the Board to explain
3. Terms of this agreement are inconsistent with
other similar agreements
I have a few
1. Why did no one answer his questions given
that this was “in discussion”?
2. What compelling reasons existed that made the
a. NOT Obtain legal review
b. NOT Stay within the May 8 guidelines
c. NOT Inform the whole Board prior to finalizing the
3. Did anyone in the negotiating team ever ask
a. Obtaining legal review
b. Adhering to the May 8 guidelines
c. Informing the whole Board
d. If yes, who asked and who answered/what was the answer?
4. If, as was
reported, D15’s attorney reviewed Superintendent
Thompson’s contract, which is a measly
$225k/year compared to this $55mm contact, why
was the attorney not involved in advising on
this ESPA contract?
When a BOE member
asks questions like these, addressing issues of
governance of a publicly funded entity, I think
it is incumbent on those BOE members being
questioned to answer their fellow member in this
forum. That’s really part of one’s obligation as
a board member. It seems like at least 3 members
of the negotiating party had prior experience
Silence is not
really an option, it creates an impression that
(a) the people being asked don’t know the answer
or (b) they don’t want to answer. I therefore
want to advise you that, like the 3 BOE members
who raised questions last meeting, I expect an
answer and that I expect it shortly. If you do
not want to provide an answer, you should
provide us, the public, with compelling reasons
(Program Assistants) Contract Vote
Below is a
a portion of the video from the 9/11/2013 BOE
meeting. In it, you will see:
- Board President Babcock's attempt to block
discussion even though it was during the "Board
Reports and Discussion" portion of the meeting!
- Supt. Thompson and BOE Members Babcock, Bokor,
Sieffert and Ekeberg are silent when questions
are asked by BOE Member Scott Herr:
1. Why was there was NO attorney review on the
new $55 million ESPA (program assistant)
2. Why were Board-established guidelines not
3. Why are the terms and conditions for this
contract inconsistent with other negotiated
Notice the lack of response/acknowledgment for a
fellow Board Member's reasonable and wise
Thank you Scott Herr for asking the right
Thank you Manjula Sriram for making a statement
stating the same concerns.
Thank you Gerard Iannuzzelli for also voting NO
given this total lack of
No discussion, no questions, no answers
whatsoever from Babcock, Bokor, Sieffert or
Ekeberg. Just a rubber stamp YES vote.
TO BE TAKEN IN SPITE OF THREAT
A SPECIAL MEETING
HAS BEEN SCHEDULED TO VOTE ON THE EARLY
RELEASE/LATE START ISSUE:
Friday May 3,
2013 7:00 p.m. Walter R. Sundling Junior High
School 1100 North Smith Street, Palatine
**Please come to
the meeting if at all possible.**
Show your support
for Board Members who will stand up to threats
The new Board has
not yet been seated. This will be the last vote
the current Board undertakes. Note: The only
change, albeit major and very unfortunate, will
be Tim Millar leaving and Jim Ekeberg coming on.
There will be
time for Citizens to Address the Board.
Lisa Nuss believes "overwhelming opposition",
per the wording of the contract for the
professional development time, has not been
shown. We beg to differ based on survey
responses, petition signatures, etc.
threatened to begin legal action in the event of
a vote for Friday Early Release.
If you haven't
sent one yet, please do it TODAY. Every email
matters and will contribute to the "overwhelming
opposition" showing needed in the event of
in attendance at the last Board meeting where we
expected a vote on the Late Start/Early Release
issue since it was on the agenda. A vote was not
taken and perhaps we now know why thanks to Lisa
Szczupaj, the leader of the petition drive and
advocate for Friday Early Release.
We have been informed the Classroom Teachers'
Council has threatened to file a lawsuit if the
Board of Education votes for an Early Release.
This is how they show they are "for the kids"?
We are not at all confident our Board
Members-Elect (Babcock, Bokor, Seiffert, Ekeberg)
will vote according to the needs of the students
and families of our community. Based on their
track records, we are very concerned they will
vote exactly the way CTC President Lisa Nuss
Please take a minute to send an email to the BOE
asking for FRIDAY EARLY RELEASE.
The CTC Leadership clearly does not care that
Late Start is not in the best interest of
students and families.
They clearly are not concerned with minimizing
the negative impact on the education of our
community's children. Since this contracted
professional development time will be occurring
during the current school day, it must be done
at a time so as to minimize the negative effect
on students. The only option that makes sense is
during the least productive time for learning -
Friday afternoons. The teachers would not be
working any later than they do now.
Please take a minute to copy and paste these
addresses into an email and ask them to not be
rubber stampers for the union and do the right
thing for students and for education.
"Producing high-performing, financially-sound,
taxpayer-friendly schools starts with better
local leadership at the school board level. Not
glamorous work but all-important...school board
leadership is mission-critical."
Dan Proft 3/14/13
Dear Fellow Citizens,
Citizens for Accountability in D15 believes in
having independent and honest representation on
our Board of Education. This is an unpaid
volunteer position and sometimes people with
ulterior motives are drawn to run for these
positions. We need community members with the
right motivation and community service track
For the April 9th election, there are 9
candidates for 4 open seats. Since the 2011
election, the current Board majority (Millar,
Herr, Iannuzzelli, Sriram) has been working hard
to chart a new path and this must continue. Tim
Millar is not running for re-election. So, if
the three current incumbents and the former
Board member are all elected, all of the work
toward deficit reduction and transparency over
the past 2 years will be undone.
Citizens for Accountability endorses the Vote
Matthew Lyons, Jennifer Zold, Donna Johnson
They are ballot positions 1, 2, 3.
They have demonstrated the ability, commitment,
and integrity to serve our community as true
Jen Zold has
been heavily involved in D15 since 2005. She has
worked tirelessly over the years, especially
during our historic 2010 petition drive, in
order to give the community a voice and a vote.
Jen's leadership has helped the community
tremendously over the years. Matt Lyons
has been focused on D15 issues for several years
and also gathered signatures in 2010. He has
dedicated much time over the years to dig deep
into the details and contribute to D15,
including the Navigate 15 process. Donna
Johnson is a lifelong fiscal conservative
and has the skills and prior Board experience to
do the job.
Jen and Matt are parents and Donna is an aunt to
D15 students. You can learn more about them on
their web site:
We've interviewed the other 2 non-incumbents,
Ramnath Cidambi and Abdul Javid. We were
especially impressed with Ramnath's new ideas
regarding improving education. We also
appreciate Abdul's desire to run for the Board.
However, at this time, we are only endorsing 3
candidates who have the proven track record,
right motivation, and experience. We encourage
Ramnath and Abdul to stay involved and we look
forward to seeing them at future District 15
As for the incumbents, it is clear why we cannot
endorse them as their questionable motives, poor
judgement and financial mismanagement caused the
creation of our group:
- In 2009, Babcock, Bokor and Ekeberg voted for
a questionable labor contract they were told the
community could not afford but voted for anyway.
This put us on a destructive path of millions of
dollars of deficit spending per year. Why would
they do this? These 2 links may provide the
- To cover up their actions, they attempted to
borrow $27 million for a working cash bond
without the voters' approval in 2010. They are
now saying this was only for capital
improvements. However, when Sue Quinn made a
motion to restrict borrowing to the amount
needed for the improvements, they voted NO and
proceeded to vote YES to borrow the full $27
million for working cash.
- Though Seiffert was not on the Board in 2010
as he was appointed later, said recently at a
candidate forum hosted by TOPPER he also
supported the borrowing plan.
If the previous Board majority is re-elected, we
have every reason to believe this type of
mismanagement will return to our BOE.
Spending precious dollars on needless interest
payments does not help the education of our
community's children. We need BOE members who
are public servants and who will do the job as
it was originally intended.
We need your help
in spreading awareness during these final weeks
of the campaign. As we learned in 2010, many
hands are needed. Whether you have kids in the
schools or not, this affects all of us. We need
all of our BOE members to be independent
thinkers, honest, and trustworthy to make sure
the money is used wisely for the education of
Election Day is April 9. Early voting is March
25 - April 6.
Voter turnout is especially critical in local
elections. Please forward this email.
Please don't hesitate to contact us with any
questions, to volunteer, or to make a
much-appreciated donation to Vote 1-2-3.
Citizens for Accountability in D15 Leadership
This photo was taken In 2009 during the
Board of Ed campaign. Yard signs for then-candidates
Peggy Babcock and Rich Bokor were distributed to D15 bus
drivers while they were still on duty - still in the
buses. They were also seen walking out of the department
We need Board members who have no hidden agendas, are
completely independent and honest, and who look out for
the entire community, not just the employee groups. It
needs to be a balanced system for it to work properly.
Regarding Late Start/Early Dismissal
Dear Fellow Citizens,
At the last Board of Education meeting,
several parents addressed the Board regarding the
schedule change beginning in the fall.
This is an important issue for the
children of our community. The
40 minutes of professional development time was
negotiated as part of the new teachers' contract and is
currently scheduled for a late start on Wednesdays. This
can change, per the wording in the contract,
if and only if, the community gets involved and there is
an OVERWHELMING response.
We are strongly encouraging an early
release rather than a late start. The routine of going
to school each day at the same time is crucial for young
children. Also, for working parents, after school care
is already in place and would only need to be moved up.
A late start would create a new, and potentially costly,
We believe an early release on Fridays
would have the least impact on most children and
families and would result in the least amount of lost
Even if you don't have a strong
opinion on a Friday early release, please help
demonstrate the "overwhelming opposition" needed to
change it from the current plan of a Wednesday late
start. The following actions are needed:
1. Sign the Change.org Petition. This
will take 2 minutes:
Information from Citizens For Accountability
Dear Fellow Citizens,
In response to mass emails, press
coverage, and citizens who addressed the Board at the
12/12/12 Board meeting, we are presenting the following
facts regarding the Board's vote to proceed with the bid
process for transportation services.
Important Note: Citizens for
Accountability has not taken a position. There is much
data gathering and discussion that will take place
before the Board makes a decision as to whether to keep
the driving in-house or to outsource. District 15 is
planning to keep the buses and maintain them in-house.
The following facts are important for
the community to know:
•At the 12/12/12 Board meeting,
the only action the Board planned and completed was
to take a vote on whether to gather data in light of
the District 15 Transportation Union (DTU) contract
expiring in 2013. In order for the Board to work
competently as our community representatives, they
must get information and the only way to do this is
through the bid process.
•According to state law, if a change is made to a
private vendor, all current employees must be
considered for employment by a new transportation
company for their current positions at their current
salary and benefit levels.
•These employees and any future hires would continue
to be subject to criminal background investigations
and training requirements consistent with the
District's current policies. Safety regulations are
heavily regulated by state and federal mandates -
regardless of how a school district's transportation
system is structured.
•The recently elected Board members, along with
President Millar, have made every effort to be
transparent with the community. All meeting dates,
agendas, documents, board briefs and recordings of
each monthly meeting are available on the District's
•When the President of the DTU addressed the Board,
she indicated she had been aware since last May the
Board wanted to know more about outsourcing. The
vote being on the agenda was not a surprise to
Citizens for Accountability and it should not have
been a surprise to anyone else.
The DTU contract is available on the
District web site:
www.ccsd15.net under 'Services'. Select 'Personnel
and Human Services', then click on 'Negotiated
Agreements' from the right side to view the list of
contracts. The DTU contract is the 2nd one in the list.
It is critical for our community to
deal in the facts, to not fall prey to fear and emotion,
and look to the motivation of those spreading
Dist. 15 board settles
on 3% levy increase
See the Daily Herald
Accountability in District 15 Update
The District 15 Board of Education is
having their monthly meeting this week.
They will be voting on the tax levy.*
Wednesday, December 12th, 2012 at 7 p.m.
Walter R. Sundling Junior High School
1100 North Smith Street, Palatine
* From last month's meeting regarding the proposed 2012
Michael Adamczyk, assistant superintendent for business
and auxiliary services, reviewed the District's proposed
2012 tax levy, which calls for a 2012 extension increase
of 4% to roughly $113.4 million.
The Property Tax Extension Limitation (also known as the
Tax Cap) limits the District's year-to-year increase in
its extension (actual taxes levied) for its operating
funds to 5% or the prior year's inflation rate,
whichever is lower, plus an additional amount for new
growth in the Equalized Assessed Valuation or EAV.
The 2011 inflation rate was 3%. Including new growth in
EAV, the District's 2012 extension for its operating
funds would likely increase by approximately 3.3 % to
3.6% over 2011. After factoring in taxes for bonds and
interest that are unchanged from the prior year, the
total extension would increase by approximately 3.1% to
3.4% over 2011.
The District 15 tax levy for the past 3 years was:
2012 Levy $110,518,704
2011 Levy $109,328,688
2010 Levy $108,882,034
A Letter to Editor:
In advance of contract negotiations, CTC
(the union representing CCSD15 teachers) started an ad
campaign to discredit financial claims made by the
school administration. In their
ad CTC suggests the district has a history of
"grossly inaccurate projections", obviously to convey
the impression the district routinely underestimates
For 2008 CTC demonstrates the district
budgeted for a deficit of $2.5 million but experienced a
deficit of only $206,000. So, it must have "found" over
$2 million in unanticipated revenue, right? Wrong.
Actual revenue came in $1.6 million less than projected.
The reason for the lower ending deficit was the district
took aggressive cost savings steps throughout the year
to minimize the ending red ink.
For 2010 CTC claims the district
projected a budget deficit of $1.2 million but actually
experienced a surplus of $6.8 million. While true, when
the district drew up the original budget it could not
possibly have known the effect of two one-time
windfalls. About $5 million came from a change in how
Cook County collected taxes, which simply advanced the
collection of taxes from the next budget year while not
increasing them. About $3 million more came from
temporary Federal Stimulus funds. Was this really poor
CTC's most recent ad looks at the fund
balances of past years to suggest projections of a
declining fund balance in future years is somehow
flawed. Are they disputing the projected future revenue
growth based on the Consumer Price Index? Are they
disputing the projected expense for wages and benefits
based upon the existing union contract? We don't know as
they are silent on both.
CTC fails to recognize that it has
been mostly cost containment actions that have produced
the past financial results they presented. As such, per
the Illinois Interactive Report Card CCSD15 now has the
highest class size of its three closest neighboring
districts after having eliminated 132 teachers since
2002. Suggesting those same past financial results will
magically occur in the future without something giving
is just wishful thinking. Let’s hope that the “something
giving” is not even higher class sizes, essentially
funding our deficits on the backs of our kids.
On March 1st Citizens For Accountability held a public
meeting at the library. Here is the
that was given.
If you have trouble
downloading the presentation, try updating Adobe Reader:
Accountability in District 15 Update
Last Wednesday, February 8th, Citizens
for Accountability and a number of other residents of
D15 addressed the Board of Education at its monthly
you were not able to make it to meeting, please take few
moments to read the presentations (presentation
Where to find information:
Our Recommendations and Financial
Analysis are on the Links on the right side of this page.
To access the district's
budget documents and financial reports, visit
What you can do to help:
The Board needs your support as they
attempt to rein in the excessive spending pattern that
has plagued our school district for the last 10 years
and return to spending within our means. There are two
ways to help:
1) Attend a Meeting - Below are important
dates of upcoming meetings where you can show your
Saturday, Feb. 25th BOE Community
near the Palatine Library 9 am - 11 am
2) Send an Email - Email
the Board members and Superintendent Thompson.
Please take a moment to let them know how you feel. It
does not have to a time-consuming task; just a quick
note of your support for our recommendations or your own
suggestions is appreciated.
If you have any questions, please send
us an email (link on top of page).
Citizens for Accountability in D15
Citizens for Accountability
Addresses the Budget Crisis
Important decisions are going to be made which will directly
affect our community in order to address the huge deficit
District 15 is facing.
Superintendent Thompson has presented his list of possible
recommendations. The executive committee of Citizens for
Accountability in D15 has been spending many hours analyzing the
financial situation and we've constructed our own list of
recommendations (see below).
Residents served by Community Consolidated School District 15
(CCSD15) will be faced with several choices in the coming year
to address forthcoming budget deficits. The latest 5-Year
financial forecast shows that current spending and revenue
patterns will deplete District reserve funds by the end of 2016.(1)
Here are the year-by-year forecast numbers:
The District’s Fund Balance (essentially our “checking”
account) on June 30th, 2011 was $55,521,145. If the revenues
and spending come in as forecasted, the Fund Balance on June
30th, 2016 will shrink to $4,823,596. Because of uneven cash
flow from revenue sources, the balances available in 2015 and
2016 could mean the District might not be able to meet its
obligations without resorting to borrowing against future tax
revenues. These short term loans are called Tax Anticipation
Warrants and like any loan carry an interest cost which will
only add to the growing deficit.
Not included in the budget forecast is the “On Behalf of”
payment by the State of Illinois, in the amount of
$17,871,274 dollars to the Teachers Retirement System for
Teachers in CCSD-15. This amount while not collected in
property taxes levied by the District, comes from income taxes
paid to the state by the residents of District 15. Therefore,
total taxpayer funded expenditures for the 2012-13 school year
in CCSD-15 is on the order of $172,738,963 dollars(4).
While spending in all 8 funds needs to be put under a
microscope, the Educational Fund, which accounts for 79% of
total spending, would seem an obvious place to review and
analyze not only the absolute dollars spent but the growth or
shrinkage patterns within the fund.
Like any organization that delivers a service, in this case the
education of our children, a significant majority of the cost to
deliver the service is for people. Please click on the links
below to see more detail about the problem and proposed actions
to address the structural problem in the District’s Budget.
1. Report to the Board of
Education from the CCSD15 Office of Business & Auxiliary
2. TRS is the Illinois
Teacher Retirement System
3. Report to the Board of
Education from the CCSD15 Office of Business & Auxiliary
4. This value assumes that the “On Behalf of”
dollars are equal to the 2011-12 dollars. The final figure will
be determined when the budget is submitted.