Tuesday, April 19, 2011

Broke Northfield SD31 Won't Touch Fat Teachers' Salaries

Field Middle School

Printed below is the complete list of 2010 salaries for teachers and administrators in West Northfield School District 31.

(Ed. note: They all got nice little pay hikes for 2011, which you can see by clicking HERE.)

The education establishment there just asked voters to pony up an additional $2.2 million in property taxes, but by a 2 to 1 margin they said nuts to that.

Allstate Insurance, one of the largest taxpayers in the little 870 student district, successfully appealed an excessive $3.3 million in tax assessments leaving the one elementary and one middle school way overextended.

Faced with having to tighten their belts, just like their hard-pressed property taxpayers, all the administrators there could think of was to leave vacant the spots of a couple of retiring art teachers and a retiring administrator.

Apparently no one dares ask the unionized teachers to "share the sacrifice," to use Obama's expression.

No one seems to want to ask why 870 grammar school kids need:

--- Five administrators pulling down 6 figure salaries,
--- An army of six "Learning Behavior Specialists,"
--- Three speech therapists
--- Two social workers and one psychologist
--- Five gym teachers, one pulling down 6-figures

And the next time the illegal alien apologists say that immigration doesn't cost the taxpayers anything, it might be noted that this little district is paying more than $250k to 4 ESL/Bi-lingual teachers.

And no one has even thought of asking the union government employees there to consider an across-the-board pay cut as happens at any private business when it faces hard times.

Here is the complete salary list for SD 31 in alphabetical order. The data was obtained by the Family Taxpayers Foundation. A more complete spreadsheet can be found at their website by clicking "download data."

These 2010 salaries are, in most cases for 9 to 10 months of work:

Teacher Salary Database
West Northfield SD 31 2010 - --------------------------------------------------------------------------------

Ament, Arlene $100,285
Barbanente, Laura $25,697
Baumann, Jackie $56,622
Bergman, Janette $87,060
Blair, Jessica $57,723
Bloss, Catherine $89,785
Boudreau, Mona $54,418
Braje, Barbara $91,285
Brisson, Nicole $57,028
Chinitz, Lisa $67,465
Clark, Karla $13,385
Clark, Kathleen $54,418
Conway, Kay $90,810
Damon, Jonathan $55,520
Delehanty, Paula $50,012
Demitropoulos, Deanne $46,532
Diamond, Stacy $53,317
Doyle, Sean $54,418
Dusilo, Christina $65,957
Fenton, Andrew $52,215
Frega, Martin $79,758
Gebert, Allison $65,681
Gooch, Trisha $52,215
Greenfield, Lisa $61,376
Heller, Stephanie $47,790
Hill, Karen $91,560
Hulting, Mary Beth $70,307
Jenkins, Quincy $58,130
Jeon, Deborah $50,012
Kalant, Maria $135,507
Kalotihos, Kathy $54,360
Kim, Nancy $51,114
Klein, Lisa $53,317
Kolbuk, Christine $68,741
Kondela, David $65,957
Krieman, Kristina $62,826
Lang, Meredith $72,800
Lauter, Trina $61,376
LeBlanc, James $45,431
Leehy, Thomas $88,560
Levin, Rita $55,695
Levy, Kelli $63,621
Loeffler, Kelley $45,431
Magnuson, Elizabeth $46,532
Maher, Elizabeth $79,758
Manos, Kathleen $56,622
Masiarz, Marilyn $92,785
Miller, Michael $75,873
Miner, Nikki $54,303
Moon, Suejin $55,520
Murphy, Erin $100,000
Murphy, Kathleen $69,503
Newman, Sandi $67,291
Nicholson, Alexandra $200,000
O'Connor, Julie $52,042
Panopoulos, Joanne $107,085
Paone, Anne $53,317
Perley, Barbara $83,115
Plotsky, Courtney $55,520
Pokora, Carlissa $51,114
Razes, Daniel $106,717
Reyes, Karen $57,723
Ricordati, Jane $75,873
Rohrer, Beth $96,535
Rudnik, Carol $70,075
Sackley, Michael $46,707
Seegers, Deborah $86,508
Shames, Lori $57,723
Shine, Gary $102,261
Stein, Sharon $65,475
Stodola, Heather $49,837
Styrkowicz, Carolyn $53,317
Suh, Joenn $56,738
Tamillo, Nancy $90,535
Terdich, Catherine $99,535
Tess, Kelly $53,317
Walk, Shay $46,532
Wasielewski, Michael $69,503
Watford, Jennifer $54,418
Weisberg, Sarah $56,506
Wolney, Pamela $62,826
Zeller, Marilyn $38,842


  1. You mean they weren't willing to make sacrifices, or take "a smaller piece of the pie"?

    Surely government employees wouldn't be that selfish!

    Okay, /sarcasm. ;) Really, it's no surprise at all.

  2. I mentioned quite clearly in the post that the entire spreadsheet with all that data is available from the FTF website, which is linked.

    There you also can get the formula for the very generous pensions that these unionized gov't workers will be hauling in -- many as early as age 50 --this while Congress is telling the rest of us that the Soc. Security retirement age is going upward.

  3. As for the teacher salaries, I am not sure why teachers should have to take a pay cut because the residents of the community were given false and misleading information, causing the referendum to fail miserably, thus cheating their OWN CHILDREN out of the quality education they deserve. The school teacher already does so much for the student.

  4. The above was an abridgement of a lengthy treatise covering every common unionized teacher's complaint, from backbreaking workloads to a recent increase in the age for getting 100% retirement benefits.

    Once again, not a peep about sharing the burden. The Pres. of this district's school board said in the GV Patch, that they were "sitting on a gold mine." That's how the educ. estab. views the taxpayers.

    Everybody else is learning to do with less, why can't these teachers? Instead they are increasing fees to parents and increasing class sizes for kids -- but they won't even think of making any concessions in their salaries.

    These teachers seem downright immoral in that regard.

    If you could legally just fire them all tomorrow, I guarantee that there would be aline around the block of qualified applicants willing to work for less. That is the free market, but it doesn't apply here because of unionized teachers in a monopoly market.

  5. If you were making as little as those teachers were making??? Honey, I am making much less than those teachers are making, and working a full year to boot with no summers off! Have you really taken a look at your property taxes, that is, if you pay them? At least 61% of my taxes go to public education, funding unionized teachers. My property taxes go up each year, my take home pay becomes less, I have to make sacrifices and adjustments, and all the while our public education system goes down the toilet as the teachers coast on bloated salaries. Come on, a six figure salary for a gym teacher?! That's some whistle he's blowing.

  6. While there is frustration on salaries, why are the teachers being blamed or feeling the brunt of this situation? Shouldn't the anger be on the large company who was able to take money away (not a little but a significant amount) from the town and keep it themselves? It seems to me that punnishing the teachers and in essense the students is poor judgement on all our parts.

  7. How did Allstate "take money away" from anyone? Your statement seems to be based on a socialist assumption that all money "belongs" to the government and they just deign to let us occasionally keep a little of it.

    Fair and square, under the laws, a private company was determined to have been over-assessed and its taxes returned.

    Maybe if the Teachers' Unions hadn't spent millions electing their friend, Pat Quinn, who hiked the corporate tax rate wildly, Allstate would have been less intent on seeking relief from local taxation.

    And who, do you think ends up paying higher taxes levied on Allstate? Try policy holders. The same little people that the teachers also want to tax.

    There seems to be no end of people and organizations that the teachers don't want to tax to pay their bloated salaries and pensions.

    And they seem not to give a damn about the kids in their unwillingness to do their part to share the burden in this depression-like economic climate.

  8. The problem with Allstate started in 2005, when District 31 found out for the first time that it owed millions of dollars back to Allstate from back taxes for over a decade. I don't really think the problem is with Allstate disputing their taxes. I do think it's effing frustrating that huge corporations practically have their tax refunds red stamped by whomever they have bought out (this seems to know no party lines) and the average joe like you and me can't even get our own property taxes reduced by $5. The bottom line is that there needs to be some kind of protection for a tiny school district like 31. The district was never notified until they came to collect the money. No chance to work things out in court, nothing. School districts budget for tax refunds, but a small elementary district can not possibly foresee a refund that large. After the 2005 debacle, laws were changed so that at the very least, the school district was to be notified when the company filed for a triennial dispute. It allowed the school district to try and negotiate with the company. District 31 has tried to sit down at the table with Allstate...to no avail. They don't return calls or emails. Nothing. The one time there was a "meeting of the minds"...the corporate lawyers put a stop to any deal making between the company (who seemed concerned) and the school district. Of course, the corporate lawyers stand to line their pockets if they secure the 3 million dollar refund much more than if they only secure 1 million or 1.5 million. Allstate could have donated even a portion back to the schools as a good neighbor (oops, good neighbor? wrong insurance company) and write it off as a tax deduction. Instead they want to take it to court.

    What is sorely needed is a system whereby a school district knows what its income will be and not be subject to a refund this large, especially all at once.

    I understand (though disagree) with your anger over teacher salaries...but an award winning school district doesn't earn its awards with crappy, underpaid teachers.

  9. This comment has been removed by a blog administrator.

  10. It does seem odd that tax revenues in dispute would be given to a government body before a dispensation of the dispute. But in your personal finances, would you go out on a spending spree and blow a windfall accounting error from a bank if you knew there was a chance the bank would legally reclaim it?

    Wouldn't a sensible administrator have put the funds in a de-facto escrow account pending dispensation of the matter?

    In any event, the Allstate tax fiasco just put off the day of fiscal reckoning that this and all other government school cartels are now beginning to face.

    They're going to have to make cuts. And with 80% of costs in personnel, that will mean more than buying 1 ply toilet paper rather than 2 ply.

    As for the apostrophe correction on the blog, I can't respect a commentor who ignores the serious arguments entirely and tries to undermine the source of the inconvenient truths by finding one little nit to pick.

    But it sounds like the kind of thing an intellectually challenged school marm might do.

  11. Well, the thing is that the school district did not know that the money was in dispute. That was the first problem the district encountered in 2005 when they collector man showed up hoping to grab 2.3 million. Once that happened, the district started making cuts and also started to try and work with lawmakers to simply make it so that the district is entitled to actually be informed when money is being disputed.

    District 225 (The Glenbrook High Schools) was easily able to pay Allstate its refund. They have a gargantuan spending budget and are able to plan for even that large of a dispute. District 31 on the other hand, does not have that kind of an operating budget to begin with, so putting that sum of money aside is an impossibility. The district would not be able to function at all.

    As I said before (my name is Pam, but I keep posting anonymously because you have deleted my posts before anyway, so I didn't think you cared about my name one way or another) you have the right to your opinion about teacher salaries. And I recognize that this is YOUR blog therefore you run it how you see fit. I work my ass off every single day to try and educate the children in District 31 and it's a little tough to read your harsh criticisms of people you don't know. Yes, I choose to read your blog (though it does nothing for my already high blood pressure!) because I like to engage in meaningful dialogue, even with people in disagreement with me. I think trying to understand where "the other side" is coming from is sorely lacking everywhere in our world. That's why I'm here. Maybe you would get more people to understand your view and even see value in it if you didn't lump them all together into one "intellectually challenged" group. But I think that is how most people operate these days. It's a lot easier to demonize a group when you lump them all together.

  12. CL, "As for the apostrophe correction on the blog, I can't respect a commentor who ignores the serious arguments entirely and tries to undermine the source of the inconvenient truths by finding one little nit to pick."

    Not to mention, she incorrectly referred to it as a comma, as well. So, tit-for-tat.

  13. I did notice that. (the reference to the comma vs. the apostrophe) I still got a chuckle out of it, especially because CL did fix it!

    I'm curious. Do you dedicate any space or time to any other unionized groups and their salaries? Does anyone know (I'm asking this honestly, no snark) what our firefighters make? Our police? Our construction workers? Do you have a link so I can peruse their salaries and see if they are bloated? (snark)

    Snarkiness is allowed here, right?

  14. The Better Government Association has a database that has a more diverse array of public salaries listed. I know of abuses with cops and firemen from some suburbs pulling down large pensions at age 53 or so and then jumping right back out and getting on another government payroll as well.

    But the teachers unions deserve special attemtion, I think, because they wield vastly more political power than any of the others by a long shot.

    Around $6 million spent on IL elections over the past decade -- spent electing the very people who "negotiate" their wildly overgenerous employment arrangements. That really is the height of corruption and a perversion of the electoral process.

    Also, the almost neo-fascist behavior of the teachers unions in their losing battle in Wisconsin suggests something very dangerous to a free society in them.

  15. It is so sad to live in a country where the best and brightest are discouraged from entering a profession that is sorely in need of vision and support. What young person would want to dedicate his or her life to the field of public education in this day and age?

    There is very little hope for the future of the teaching profession. With a severely reduced pension plan, (and)ridiculously high retirement age (67-year-old.)

  16. The above was an abridgement of another lengthy, emotional diatribe, likely sent in by the paid teachers' union blog monitors.

    As usual it avoided any contamination with fact. Before you start weeping uncontrollably over the plight of the poor, abused teacher not being able to cash in 100% of his pension until 67, consider that according to US News, 50% of American workers have no pension whatever and no 401k.

    Consider the Department of Education's report on teacher salaries in the private v public sectors:

    In 2007–08, the average annual base salary of regular full-time public school teachers ($49,600) was higher than the average annual base salary of regular full-time private school teachers ($36,300).

    SOURCE: U.S. Department of Education, National Center for Education Statistics. (2009).

    The fact seems to be that there plenty of qualified people willing to work as teachers who don't demand the big salaries and pensions of the government union teachers.

    It looks to any reasonable observer that an awful lot of people on school boards are either bought and paid for by the unions or don't know how to drive a decent bargain for the taxpayers they are supposedly representing.

  17. I knew I heard violins coming from somewhere!

    I can't help but think of how well my kids are learning - all without the "benefit" of the public education system. :D

  18. Wondering how old your kids are, Darcs.

  19. Simply curiousity. I'd imagine home schooling gets more challenging as they get older.

  20. Nope, not "more," just different. :)

  21. This little exchange seems to sidestep the larger issue as to why teachers' unions nationally have been in the forefront of forces trying to thwart home schooling. They've regularly pushed for state laws to compel parents to adhere to more and more state requirements and have sought to exclude home schoolers from extracurriculars such as sports and band-- for which home schooling parents pay via their taxes.

    It seems to me that teachers' unions are fearful of anything that might undermine their monopoly status -- home schooling, vouchers, aid to private schools.

  22. "It seems to me that teachers' unions are fearful of anything that might undermine their monopoly status"

    They are. They're also afraid that we might find out that public education is not a Constitutionally protected right and that the Federal government has NO business being involved in it.

  23. From my end, the little "exchange" was nothing more than that. A few questions and a few answers. Nothing more, nothing less.

  24. A potential buyer of a home in district 31, after familiarizing what’s going on with the district we are turned off from buying a property here.

  25. The plural of anecdotal is not "data."

    How many seniors will be able to keep their homes, having avoided a hefty property tax hike?

  26. Another referendum March 20
    Supporters have a PAC
    Treasurer is a teacher
    87% of reported contributions are from the teachers union and a group including teachers


Comments invited, however anonymous commentors had better deal directly with the issues raised and avoid ad hominem drivel. As for Teachers' Union seminar writers -- forget about it.