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District 204 announces new teachers contract

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District 204's board and the Indian Prairie Educational Association have reached a tentative one-year agreement that will increase the average teacher's salary by 3.87 percent for the 2009-2010 school year.

Two percent of the increase is on base salaries. The rest is provided by the yearly step increases teachers normally receive, and for additional training or education.

Superintendent Stephen Daeschner said the contract helps the district stay competitive with its benchmark districts - the local school districts that 204 compares itself to. However, some critics on this blog have already criticized giving a nearly 4 percent raise when many other people are taking pay cuts or losing their jobs.

What do you think? Is this a fair contract?

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142 Comments

Jake,

If we can have school board members who we elect to lead the entire school district who have nothing more than a high school education then why in the world do we need a pay scale that pays a bonus for some kind of doctorate? And while we are on this topic, let's not forget that the taxpayers of SD 204 are paying for all of these teachers who complete graduate degrees.

Anyone who thinks a doctorate is needed at the K-8 level for anyone working in an elementary or middle school building is kidding themselves. If these educators have earned an advance degree they are clearly wasting their talent at this level. With the possible exception of some AP classes the same is mostly true of doctorates even at the high school level.

Fact is this is another game rigged by the teachers union to pay more for more education... note their pay gets bumped by number of classes/hours not when they actually earn a degree... and we foot the bill for the higher education. Mostly they are all counting the days until they can retire from their government job, collect a pension, and get a job using their degree and experience in the private sector.

Teachers should be real happy with that $1.20 per child per hour... which works out to $30 per hour by the way... considering you are all sowing seeds for the future and you know it... and with the days off, benefits, and working conditions you really would be hard pressed to find a softer job anywhere else. The next time you think you have it so tough try swapping jobs for a week or even a day with someone in the private sector. See how you enjoy a 2 hour commute each way downtown along with a 10 hour workday plus having to do the work or two or three other people because of cutbacks or layoffs not knowing when or if your job will get cut next. And be thankful these same kind of pressures don't enter your classroom because instead of 25 students you would be dealing with 50.

I have plenty to say on this topic, but I have time only for this line right now:

Two weeks into summer break this year...

-1

Anonymous | October 20, 2010 8:30 PM

Anonymous, your points are valid - often we don't value the good teacher and their contribution to kids development. You comment regarding the people at the pool, "other stay at home mothers" makes it seem that you have an axe to grind with someone? You complain about people's opinions of teachers, yet you use your own comment to complain about stay at home mothers. Maybe these "stay at home mothers" have decided not to let someone else raise their kids? Almost everyone who works spends extra time on their job. You say you come home from work every night to grade papers for 2 hours, well I come home from work and spend at least that doing proposals and e-mails. You spend Sunday night preparing for the week, I often spend Sunday night on a flight for a Monday meeting.

Teachers are extremely valuable and I appreciate their efforts, but I get frustrated when teachers believe that what they do is so much harder than anyone could appreciate. I think you have a tough job, but I believe you would also have a tough job doing what I do as well. It's nice that you can spend your summer going to the pool with your daughter, for me to do that I would have to take a vacation day.

Isn't it interesting that everybody has an opinion on the amount of money that teachers make, and the amount of days they have off, and the amount of work they may or may not do? Well, I was just wondering how many people who are just having a good time complaining about the raises in District 204 have ever bothered to spend a day in the classroom with other peoples' children. I want to know how many of you have come home from work every night only to have to spend another few hours grading papers; knowing that on Sunday nights you have to start preparing for the following week, spending your own money, the amount that seems to be so incredibly astronomical, on supplies and materials for the classrooms? Believe me, if you have never taught, you have no clue what you are talking about. I cannot count the amount of enthusiastic college graduates who come out of student teaching ready to make it and quit after the first year. It's not as easy as it sounds.

Two weeks into summer break this year, I was sitting at the pool with my daughter when I had the unfortunate experience overhearing a lovely Naperville resident complaining to her friends (other stay at home mothers) that school just ended and "...when the heck would these kids be going back to school?" Really? You can't stand your own children for more than two weeks, but you expect the school teachers to put up with them for 8 hours a day, 5 days a week?

When did we become a society where we utterly have lost all respect for teachers? If you don't like the increase in pay this year, then MOVE. Go live in another town where perhaps your taxes wont be affected by the cost of education in your town. I moved to Naperville, partly, because of the school district. Trust me, you get what you pay for.

They are linked on here
http://ipsdweb.ipsd.org/Subpage.aspx/NegotiatedAgreements

Where can one get a full copy of the Teacher's Contract on line?

I am a teacher, and I was sitting here thinking of what I make. I make $210.00 per day before taxes. I have 25 students in my classroom for 7 hours a day. That comes to $1.20 per hour for each child. Where in the world would you find a babysitter, or day care that charges you $1.20 per hour. Considering I do a heck of a lot more than babysit, how am I overpaid?

I just checked the newest pay scale for teachers in District 204. The highest you can earn is $100,000 and some odd dollars. This is if you have 23 years plus a PHD. I do not think that this is unreasonable. That is a lot of college, a lot of years, and a lot of debt. Teachers have a unions because teachers would get so screwed in their pay.

More from London Calling from other thread - regarding district 203 & 204 merger:

Merging the districts would be one way to bring savings. I would suggest that we do that plus allow vouchers for all private schools including Religious schools, to reduce student numbers further; That we then close and combine schools as needed to save operating costs (example, D204 has an entire HS worth of empty space in its elementary schools or about 3000 seats not occupied by students); Then we gut the highly overpaid admin staff to match the new district footprint; Then we rationalize the bus route logistics so we do not waste a single dime; etc.

The combined districts without religious school voucher program would be about 45,000 students and about $450 million in revenue. With the religious voucher program, we might lose about $30 million...and minimal students (say another 1000). So $420 million for 44,000 students with duplicate administrators.

Further cost cuts: We could eliminate 50% of the combined admin cost (maybe $50 million) through staff cuts. We could cut another $20 million in annual supply chain costs (food, bus costs, materials). We could cut another $30 million in teacher costs via performance based pay, program consolidations and attrition. This requires new thinking including the elimination of benchmarking with other bloated/corrupt/mismanaged districts. Note that while the new budget with cost cuts looks adequate, we should expect to lose another 10-20% in revenues over time due to depressed housing values and declining population. That means both districts have to make similar cuts anyway just to tread water. It is a new finncial reality so please wake up taxpayers and districts.

Here is part of a message from London Calling in the Dash leaving D204 thread that applies to teachers and admin contracts.

Our NEW SB must decide based on the facts. The facts are that Dash is looking elsewhere for work. Therefore, they should begin the process of replacing him. They should NOT negotiate with him. He has displayed poor ethics and therefore, is not promoting the values we SHOULD have.

The Benefits of looking beyond Stephen:

1. He is old and has demonstrated OLD THINKING in many actions (tin ear to advise and input, arrogance to teachers/staff/taxpayers). Normally age makes people wiser - wiser to the fact that you cannot succeed without LISTENING.

2. We can do better than a superintendent from bastions of education like Alaska and Kentucky! Hello?

3. Why not get a top EDUCATOR from a known top district with diversity (SB- that means a school dsitrict that has high marks in COLLEGE entrance exams where those exams must be taken by every student, and for lower grades, ranks high on national tests...not state tests - unless the state has top tier performance on college entrance exams and all students take those tests). Note here that state tests are rigged - yes RIGGED - to hide sub-par performance...recent example: Texas had no schools on the worst schools in America list - ha ha.

4. The top educator will be cutting edge NEW thinker with proovable track record of success. Obviously America is not doing K-12 education very well, not training our future workers very well, is weak in science and math - these are national security risks. Yes - meaning risks to our way of life. Do you think Dash even thinks about this when he is biking and looking for a new district to milk?

5. Get a real negotiator for teacher salary issues who will get corporate performance standards into the classroom - yes pay for performance.

6. Get a administrative wonderkind who can assure that the tax revenues are going mostly to one place - high performing experienced and INEXPERIENCED but talented young teachers with results...versus box tickers who mark time and do whatever is required to get more money - in D204 that's time plus degree plus training plus admin position.*

*Note in following link http://www.championnews.net/district.php?did=10043&year=2008&sort=salary (and this is before the up to 4% raises already agreed to and supported by your SB, and the fact that most of the teachers and many staff work only 9 months per year...so gross up those figures another 33.3%) that our district now pays over 1100 teachers/staff more than $60,000 or more, over 740 paid $70,000 or more, over 490 paid $80,000 or more, over 260 paid $90,000 or more, over 110 paid $100,000 or more. If that does not make you hair stand on end, then note that the top 260 admins/teachers get paid an average of $101,700 for less than a full year's work before the big 2009 raise and benefits!!!!

7. Get an economist type thinker who recognizes that we are on a collision course with declining enrollment, eroding tax base, corruption, waste, and inability to deliver quality education to our children, and makes the changes needed to avoid the oncoming train.

8. Get a pragmatist who recognizes that teacher pensions are a growing burden, and will take hard actions to address the issue, like gutting the pension plan to a level that is deliverable in the future - perhaps one that is similar to those of successful corporations - where most retireees after 25-35 years get $2000-3000 per month...not 3-10 times that number like teachers get.

9. Get a leader who has the credentials, is a leader by example, and a person taxpayers admire and respect.

10. Look for someone who is successful in the above - not someone who says what the SB WANTS TO HEAR. We are not a bunch of farmers anymore...this is a business and it needs to perform well. Not performing well could result in a disfunctional district where taxes are high and results poor.

11. Get someone who does not benchmark everything to surrounding districts that are corrupt, wasteful and stupid playing the benchmarking game. If supers and teachers and administrators only care about $$$ then let them go. We will be better off for it.

If teachers have it so great then become a teacher. Go back to school at rack up a $20,000+ debt! Go for it! The drop out rate of teachers is 50% in the first 5 years! Ummm maybe because they have a difficult job. Heck more people stick with the Marines than teaching! Most teachers that I know are doing well for themselves, but they also have many advanced degrees. With a masters degree in district 204 a new teacher starts at around 45-46 thousand if I am not mistaken. This is good, but this is with a masters that takes at least 6 years of schooling (including your BA/BS). Compare this with a friend of mine who has a Bachelor's degree and makes around
$110, 000 working at CAT. A teacher working in district 204 would have to have worked for around 30 years and have a masters degree plus 60 hours to make this. In the end the majority of the people complaining would gladly take a raise and not give it back. Stop complaining becuase someone was smart and chose a career with good benefits and a strong union.

Thomas,

I agree with you that there are some that I would like to see gone because they completely lost their whole attitude of caring about the kids. One of my kids has a couple this year that just take the cake. They are the exceptions rather than the rule, luckily.

To all the teachers out there who give so much of their time, energy and emotion towards our kids, THANK YOU. Decent folk understand you are underpaid for the job and service you provide to our kids.

__________________

OJ, Not sure if your reaction was directed at me, but I agree with your point and this is something I stated in my posting - the best teachers are definately underpaid for the work they perform.

I would add an additional comment though. "To the underperforming, poorly planned, and ill tempered teachers (thankfully a very small % in D204) I ask that you please stop hiding behind your union that is protecting your job. You are quick to point out how hard you have it and how easy it is to be in the business world - please join us and give it a try."

I come from a family of teachers (I'm not a teacher) and our childhood vacations consisted of camping because hotels were too expensive (at least on a teachers salary)so I know what I'm talking about with teacher pay. As a parent I have also been exposed to some "less than stellar" teachers and this thankfully small group is who I am addressing my points to. I know teaching is a hard profession and I acknowledge that - I sometimes get defensive, however, when "some" in the teaching profession proclaim how much harder and time consuming their job is compared to the rest of us!

A Redskin,

I agree with you that SD204 has not been spending money wisely. One only has to look at a shiny new school being built away from a population center for students that will never be here. 150 million plus bond interest plus premiums plus expedite costs over the next how many years, plus the cost to operate it and bus kids to it from over half way across the district ? ? ? One can also shift the burden of 100% taxpayer funded benefits for the Administration and make them pay their fair share, but they have not. We could probably write a book about the p!ssing away of money in this district. The Teacher's pay raise cost is a drop in the bucket compared to those costs.

Yeah, thanks Joe. But I'd rather thank my parents and relatives who worked with me at home after school, on week ends and the remaining six months every school year I was not in school. They too taught me to read, perform mathematical functions and english. But what I thank them the most for is PAYING for the extremely high cost of education that I did not understand until I graduated from college, landed my first job, bought my first house and supplemented the education of my children as my parents did for me. We want our hard earned money spent wisely. And given recent history, it is without debate that SD 204 does not spend our hard earned money wisely.

Winona, I agree with some of your points, but one thing to remember, we have a choice of what it is we want to do for a living. Anyone who goes into education knows from the beginning that it is not a high paying industry. So if you're OK with that then don't complain 10-15 years down the line thate you're not making what your friends/neighbors are making who chose another field. I think it's safe to say that most go into teaching for the joy of teaching children not for the big bucks.

If you can read this blog, thank a teacher.

To all the teachers out there who give so much of their time, energy and emotion towards our kids, THANK YOU. Decent folk understand you are underpaid for the job and service you provide to our kids.

To those that like to hide behind a handle and sling mud at a profession you obviously know nothing about.... Try being one. If you think it's so easy and cushy and such a shoe-in to get rich and have vacations all the time... go be one. I doubt you'd last 1 week.

To Parent of 204:

Re your comment, "They [teachers] are not paid by importance because it is, hands down, the most important job on this planet."

Sorry to differ, but PARENTING is the most important job on this planet, and that pays zero. Teachers run a close second, perhaps.

And as mentioned upteen times here before, it is not the teachers that folks resent, but the teachers union that holds a monopoly on public education. Teachers may have been underpaid for decades, but thanks to their union, that is rapidly becoming an outdated argument. And that's good for you guys. But since unions exist solely to advocate for their members and to consistently seek more and more for them regardless of the economic realities effecting taxpayers who foot the bill, this sets up an inevitable conflict. We support teachers, but not necessarily their union. Unfortunately, we can't have one without the other.

Bravo Winona!I stumbled to this page by accident and was amazed to see how many of our residents do not support the Teachers.Winona pointed out only one thing that I can see, that Teachers are underpaid.All of the negative responses to her blog were about unions and their place with Teachers and the pensions that they receive.
I did not see her argue that Teachers should not have accountability, or whether or not there are bad Teachers in the mix, or even if unions are necessary but I can see by this page that they are necessary because you have all hung these teachers out to dry!!.
We want accountability for Teachers but what about the banks? Tax payers are flitting that bailout bill too. There is NO accountability for all of those people who passed out bad loans for years and now we are all suffering.
For the anonymous blogger that referenced the preamble "we the people"....government has bailed out the failed banking system and the educated men that have run them, that hugely contributed to this recession, in case you have not been reading the current events. Also in the current events you can brush up on your knowledge about bonuses that AIG CEO's stole from the taxpayers and that money adds up to a whole lot more that our Teachers earn in a lifetime buddy!!!
While I have no doubt that there are bad teachers in District 204, that is not the majority. Simply stated, they are underpaid for the work they do, educating our children. You should not have to be a parent to recognize the value of their jobs. They are not paid by importance because it is, hands down, the most important job on this planet. Our children are our future and they need to be educated to solve the problems we face now and in future.
While they do receive a pension, they put funds into them as we do with social security that they are do not receive in retirement. They do not have a 401k, which was a wonderful benefit for everyone until the collapse of out stock market.Their time off is just one benefit to the trade as many of us have had profit sharing, cell phones,work cars, and Christmas bonuses with many jobs. The only difference between us and them is we all negotiate our own package before we take a job they have a union that negotiates on their behalf.
If all of you could think outside of the box for a moment you would see your anger has nothing to do with our Teachers and everything to do with the state of our economy.Nice job Winona, I agree 100%. I also love that you had the courage to sign your name unlike most of us!

The teacher salary debate is something that I fear will never reach an amicable conclusion. Both sides have dug in their heels and the result is always agree to disagree. The part I find interesting comes from the comment by Teacher 204 (Teacher 204 on March 24, 2009 9:03 AM). For some reason this person claiming to be a teacher (it is an anonymous blog by the way!) takes credit for everyone's achievements, which is a common theme for many teacher arguments - e.g. "If you can read this thank a teacher".

Here's the rub: Every positive educational achievement (reading, writing, achievement test scores, extracurricular, even the housing market?) is credited to the fine education system and unselfish work performed by our underpaid teachers. The argument changes quickly, however, when the discussion of underperforming kids is brought up. In these cases (some) teachers claim this is the fault of lazy, unmotivated, full time employed, SUV driving, soccer mom yuppies who neglect their kids. Comments like "undeserved 6 figure incomes" are thrown about in an attempt to show the lack of parental involvement and responsibility.

Needless to say I disagree with you Teacher 204. Good teachers are underpaid just like poor teachers are overpaid - this is the result of a strong union protecting their own. Teachers facilitate learning for sure, but many (most?) students either excel or fail due to parental / home involvement. Some students even excel on their own under incredibly tough home situations. But for you to take credit for everything good, while criticizing parents for everything bad, is the reason that many of your complaints fall on deaf ears.


"matching retirement pay " What does that mean? be careful.


Just wanted to point out, the "salaries" on that championnews site are actually loaded compensation, including matching retirement pay and things like coaching stipends. No job in the private sector I know of folds that in when reporting "salary". If they advertised the job that way, people would be outraged to find out they are being paid 10-15% less than they expected.

All the top paid people listed on that site are administrators, too, who work 12 months.

A 204 teacher: I know the teachers union locally and the NEA support politicians like for example, John Edwards who gain their power from division and class warfare but I thought the post was stupid under the other topic when I read it there. By the way, while the most militant, unionized, university trained idiots among you dislike big business and corporate america, I would like to remind you all that part of your livelihood is trickling down to you from all the things you and the party faithful hate. I pay my taxes from the money I earn at my corporate job. About 73% of my real estate tax bill in 203 goes to the benefit of those teachers and about 74.8% of my 204 property tax ends up benefiting your union. Some small percentage of that ends up at the DNC who then gives a little something to Edwards and others for the effort. Shame on me? GTH! If you so despise those who pay the ever increasing costs of the government, maybe you should seek alternative employement. Otherwise, you will just have to find a way to understand that the there is an increasing tide of resentment about the cost of government that has been acentuated by out of control spending by our Harvard trained, inexperienced wise cracking president. Having to live in this corrupt state for now is of no help in our attitudes either.

To:
Anonymous To Protect My Children From 203 Retaliation on March 23, 2009 9:17 PM

This is how monopolies behave.

They don't care what you think, they get your money either way.

If you like this, Nationalized Health Care will be even better with indifferent medical providers, rationed benefits and long lines.

Bubo

Interesting post. Sounds like another case FOR educational choice and vouchers. Of course, such thinking will crumble the monolithic giant we all know as public schools. The sad fact is when the schools fail individual children, no one cares. You have only one alternative: you remove children from schools that fail them and find alternatives.

Here is repost from another public blog on this topic. "SHAME ON YOU! That is what I have to say to all of the hypocritical Naperville residents. Funny how quick you all turn on the people responsible for all of your children while you go off to work earning your undeserved 6 figure incomes. I am sure the teachers in 204 are not aware of whether or not all of you have received pay cuts or raises or bonuses this year or any other. Perhaps they should have this information about your compensation and be allowed to blog their opinions as to your worth. Here's another scenario...maybe they should vote on whether or not they believe you deserve it or not. Please! How do you think this town got the reputation it has, "Best city to raise kids?" Well, the top rated public schools certainly play a part!!! For those of you who have reaped the rewards of the inflated housing market here in Naperville in the past need to also thank our teachers. Those top performing schools have put this city on the map and made your home values sky rocket to date! The fact is teachers have been severely underpaid since the beginning of time. These are the people we leave our most precious commodities in the safe hands of every day, our children. We give them the most important job in the world, educating their young minds. How dare all of you sit in judgment of their worth! If your upset that a neighbor lost a job blame AIG, the war, George W Bush, the greed on Wall Street, CEO bonuses, Cooperate America, NOT THE TEACHERS!!!!!! Reality check: a 15 year teacher with a masters degree here in 204 grosses $68,000 a year. For the record that won't buy you an average priced home here in Naperville & support a wife and a few kids. There has been a uneven distribution of wealth in this country for far too long and it is not in the pockets of our teachers. For all of you that have smeared these teachers on this blog ask yourself this question: "where would you be today without your education?" I would love to see every teacher across this country unite in one voice and make everyone see just how truly important they really are to all of us. They really need to band together and say NO MORE!!!! Most teachers teach knowing that they will never be compensated in $ for what they do but to make a difference in the life of a child. It bares repeating....SHAME ON YOU!!!!!!!"

I feel compelled to weigh in on this debate.

For the record (before I get to my beef), I do not begrudge teachers (in general) their salaries and increases, even in these tough economic times. I have family and friends who are teachers. They are conscientious, caring, hard working and highly qualified. I think a majority of teachers fit this profile. And some are the primary breadearner in their family (in some cases, their spouses are among those who have lost jobs).

Yes, it's true there are some teachers and administrators who are paid too much - they should have been fired long ago for incompetence - we've had to suffer through several. The issue is that both District 203 and 204 are lacking in the accountability that is inherent in most (not all) private enterprise. So as some of you have pointed out, there's little incentive to raise the bar/do a good job. A majority of teachers my daughter was fortunate to have did a great job because they had an internal calling to do their best and help every student grow. Unfortunately, this is not the case with some teachers/administrators, and there's basically NOTHING any of us can do about it under the current system. We as parents and taxpayers have NO say in ensuring good teachers get rewarded and bad teachers/administrators get fired. Frankly, in my experience, the rot stems from the leadership at the very top, and I've got to believe it's as frustrating to the teachers who give their all every day to see some counterparts getting by with the minimum with impunity.

My personal experience with 203 is that it has way too many administrators (and a few teachers) who are arrogant. That is not my word, that is the word used by at least 100 people in my immediate circle who are frustrated with an all-too-obvious anti-student/anti-parent proverbial chip on their shoulders displayed by too many administrators. Parents, teachers and administrators are supposed to be working as a team to help our children strive, thrive and achieve. Yet 203 seems to go out of its way to approach parents as enemies, keeping them in the dark and treating them like mushrooms, obstructing commonsense approaches to meet kids' needs, if you catch my drift.

Our case in point - we have 2 children, and we've felt 203 has done a horrible job with both of them. So I feel qualified to rip into the district. I am not the "uninvolved" nor "overzealous" parent they regularly complain about. We personally donated thousands of hours and thousands of dollars through the Home & School, earning the school tens of thousands of dollars every year for "extras". I had been a strong supporter of a public school education and the school administration.

That is, until a principal change occurred and someone was brought in that District 203 moves from school to school despite issues and until District 203 failed my older daughter to such an extent that it was hurting her cognitive, emotional and social development to such a point that we felt we had no choice but to complain. She was performing 3 grades ahead in a subject (per Northwestern's Center For Talent Development above grade level testing), yet the district refused to give her any form of enrichment. She was forced to suffer through a reading and spelling/vocabulary curriculum that bored her to tears. And don't even get me started on the math curriculum, which should be immediately trashed and the manager of it fired. After 4 months of basic tutoring at Sylvan Learning Center, my daughter jumped 47 percentile points on the CoGat into the top 3% in the nation.

These issues were not due to incompetent teachers, but rather a highly flawed curriculum and the poor approach to differentiated learning pushed by 203 administrators who don't seem to care that quite a few kids aren't getting the right challenge (some kids aren't being challenged enough and are forced to cope with curriculums way below their capability while others are forced to attempt curriculum that they can't possibly hope to keep up with). Yet when we attempted to get corrective action, we were told point blank by Dr. Leis that our daughter would have to wait 3 years until high school to be given the more challenging curriculum that even Northwestern's CTD program said she needed (backed up by a superintendant in another district, a gifted learning specialist, several gifted teachers in private programs, etc). How utterly irresponsible and arrogant of him.

If you're looking for a case of outrage about bonuses, we can start right here at home rather than complaining about AIG. Dr. Leis stated publicly that his goal was to "meet the need of every student". I'd go so far as to say some things about enrichment and special needs education posted on the Naperville 203 website could be considered fraud as they are gross exaggerations and outright fabrications about what's provided. So why should we be paying him a bonus with an attitude like he's displayed? In our experience, he doesn't give a hoot about meeting kids' needs, so good riddance, is all I can say!

Sadly, District 203 has blown it with our younger daughter too. We asked for an early childhood assessment several years ago, and they said everything was fine - "she's doing great", when in fact the assessment showed very clear signals of a disability that reared its ugly head in Kindergarten and that could have been mitigated in plenty of time to minimize learning difficulties if District 203 had done its job. And of course, the word so far is that District 203 is trying to avoid doing ANYTHING for her due to some "technicalities". Yet another example of trying to do the minimum or get away with doing nothing to help kids in need.

We are fortunate we could afford to pull out of District 203 in favor of a small private school in the area. The attitude of administrators and the dedication of the teachers there is phenomenal, and I can guarantee you that they do not make near the salary of District 203/204 teachers. While I don't begrudge Naperville teachers their salaries, there seems to be little correlation between devotion/capability/performance and salary level. The curriculum at the private school is about a year or two advanced vs. 203, so our older daughter is finally being challenged rather than bored to death like she was in 203. Caring teachers and administrators at the private school have been working with us with our younger daughter to send us to the right professionals to get a quality/qualified assessment. they have been working with us, rather than against us, in addressing her needs so she can learn with her peers. (And by the way, this private school costs less a year in tuition for TWO children than we are paying in taxes to District 203 annually. Frankly, I wish we could sue to get our money back, because District 203's curriculum and administrators certainly did not meet our children's needs, despite a few exceptional teachers we've been fortunate to have had there.)

The bottom line is that teachers can't do much about crappy curriculum or snotty, arrogant administrators that set negative, obstructionist, arrogant anti-parent/anti-student tones.

I have chosen to remain anonymous because I've been warned by 2 dozen parents now that if I make a stink about what's going on in 203, that my child will be unfairly targeted. These individuals have indicated that they directly know families that this has happened to. It happened to our daughter in elementary school, and she was one of the best behaved children there! Just another example of why change is desperately needed in the District 203 administration ranks! It is UNCONSCIONABLE that any administrator/teacher would target a child because a parent has legitimate concerns about curriculum issues, but we've experienced it ourselves. A sad commentary on a District that brags of being one of the best in the state/nation.

Actually Rep Randy Hultgren is going to save the day. Metea won't go empty.

He has a bill in Springfield that will allow Dupage County to GIVE county owned (our property) land to well connected developers.

The well connected Developers will then build "Affordable Housing Projects". As Mr. Hultgren states, "so our teachers, firemen and police can have a place to live in the county".

You can contact Sen Hultgren at: www.senatorhultgren.com


By Anonymous on March 23, 2009 5:04 PM

Maybe Metea can sit empty because of lower enrollment than anticipated to save operating costs. Talk to Oswego and Plainfield residents about just this issue, they've got the same thing going on--newly built, non-operational empty schools.

Maybe Metea can sit empty because of lower enrollment than anticipated to save operating costs. Talk to Oswego and Plainfield residents about just this issue, they've got the same thing going on--newly built, non-operational empty schools.

To Really ? on March 23, 2009 11:53 AM--Re:

"What I find amazing is that although I totally understand the 3.8% raise issue in an economy that has tanked...that so many people are up in arms over this yet as perfectly fine with 204 SD spending $12M to expedite an incomplete school there is no crisis to open."

On the contrary, no one's OK with this, except some in the north part of the district whose children will attend Metea and thus are very excited about having a new school. There's just nothing that 204 residents can do about it. Once we passed the referendum to give the school board the money to build Metea, they became a runaway train hell bent on building Metea anywhere and having it open by fall 2009 at any cost. They couldn't care less that many residents don't approve of the way they've used the ref money; once they had it, it was out of our control. That's a big lesson many residents will never forget. I know I won't.

Just wait until the school operating cost referendum comes up for a vote in 2010. With school enrollment tapering off and real estate values in the tank, that should be a real fun referendum for all of us!

Astrid,

If you believe that all decisions that are in favor of the teachers are good for the students, then having a child in the schools is never a liability. Otherwise, it is, in fact, a liability when voting on the largest item of the budget unless you think teachers are unlike all other humans and are capable of not feeling resentment and subtly acting on it. Fat Chance! In this case it would be the ill-feelings towards the child of a board member who voted against pay raises (or whatever) for the teachers.

I will also ask again -- Do you believe in taxation without representation?

What I find amazing is that although I totally understand the 3.8% raise issue in an economy that has tanked...that so many people are up in arms over this yet as perfectly fine with 204 SD spending $12M to expedite an incomplete school there is no crisis to open. Originally people were told there'd be 10,400 HS students in 204 right now- not there are only 8400 and MAX predictions for 8931 - ever-maybe. So let's rush to open this school at all costs - adding additional transportation costs due to some of the insane commutes created by boundaries to accomodate a school as far from the population center in 204 as possible- and add more operations costs to a district looking to be $50M - $75M in the red in less than 4 years.

I work for a major corporation that has had virtual salary freezes for a few years, withdrew traditional pensions - no bonuses etc. so yes I understand the concern of raises in these times.

But how far would the wasted $12M+ inneedless expedite costs ( with 4 months to go) and additional operating costs for an underutilized school and tell me which is the worst deal.
One maintains human capital for our children - the other pours money into a situation where ROI is zero- the commodity will not be worth 1 cent more in 2009 vs 2010.

Don't be conned into the latest ploy from the most non transparent administration ever - make them explain the $$ situation - not buy into elect our candidates and we'll put the screws to the next teacher contract. They negotiated this one- to believe they'll do anything different next time is silly. The record for truthfulness is very poor.

It's time 204 stopped spending like drunken sailors on shore leave with your checkbook --

LETS SPEND MORE AND INCREASE TAXES!

===================================

Daily Reckoning Investment Newsletter

Bill Bonner, lesser known, but unfortunately dead on for the last 24 months

http://clicks.dailyreckoning.com//t/AQ/DWc/ELA/DMQ/AQ/AmUG9A/1-yh


"One out of every five mortgaged houses in America is now underwater.
And a record 5.4 million Americans are either behind on their mortgage
payments or in foreclosure.

House prices are still going down. You have to be a Lloyd Bridges to
explore the U.S. housing market now.

This unprecedented drop in house prices has put millions of households
underwater too. Martin Feldstein estimates that U.S. households have
lost $12 trillion. It will take a decade of savings at a high rate to
replace this money, he says."
======================================
Investor Insight
Highly Regarded and well known John Muldin

http://www.investorsinsight.com/blogs/thoughts_from_the_frontline/archive/2009/03/21/solving-the-housing-crisis.aspx

"We believe that if nothing is done to eliminate surplus housing, prices will fall another 20% between now and the end of 2010 for a total peak-to-trough decline of 37% (Chart 1 below). The resulting further negative effects on the economy will be devastating. At that point, almost 25 million homeowners, or almost half the 51 million total with mortgages, will be underwater… That's also a third of the 75 million total homeowners, with the remaining 24 million owning their houses free and clear. It would take a little over $1 trillion to reduce their mortgages to the value of their houses, compared to $449 billion for the almost 14 million currently underwater."

By Add it Up...Day After Day on March 22, 2009 9:02 PM
Astrid brings up an interesting point which comes up again and again. Why should a school board member have children in the district? Isn't having a child in the district a liability when it comes to voting for or discussing the union contract, which is the single largest cost for most districts? Is taxation without representation really a great idea?

I must say I disagree with Astrid's comment from March 22, 2009 12:37 PM.
_______________________________________

To AiUDAD: I can vehemently say I would NOT want someone on the board who views having a child who attends our district's schools as a "liability".

Add it Up... Day After Day, Sadly enough, I have to credit you with my first chuckle of the day which quickly left me shaking my head at the irony of your comment.

Has it really come to this? Are things so messed up that a School Board member having a child attend schools in the district they serve would be a detriment to decisions that are supposedly made for the good of the community and, most importantly, for the good of the children? Seriously?

Astrid brings up an interesting point which comes up again and again. Why should a school board member have children in the district? Isn't having a child in the district a liability when it comes to voting for or discussing the union contract, which is the single largest cost for most districts? Is taxation without representation really a great idea?

I must say I disagree with Astrid's comment from March 22, 2009 12:37 PM.

To A Redskin on March 22, 2009 11:24 AM:

"In todays Sun: 204 SD candidate Crockett drops out but does not really say why?"

Yes he does, sort of:

"Here again, I feel Doug, Don, Jerry and Eric will challenge Mr. Metzger's failure in leadership. In short, I believe they are all prepared to stand up to Mr. Metzger's strong personality but I'm not certain the other candidates will; given the combination of qualities that I feel these four possess I FIND MYSELF REDUNDANT, UNNECESSARY AND EVEN AN IMPEDIMENT TO THIS PROCESS (all caps mine)."

It seems he is bowing out as to not dilute the votes for these other four candidates.

OF COURSE a tax referendum will be put before us in 2010. All of those who have had enough will vote no more regardless of how the school board tries to guilt us into a yes vote because it's "for the kids". We've all heard THAT one before.

But why a no vote for Vickers? She's is the only board member who has been consistently oppositional to MM and Dash's dominance of the board and the decisions they have made.

Is it true the four candidates endorsed by the D204 teachers' union (DiFusco, Hepburn, Huang, and Moscato) actually ran T.V. ads? For a bloody school board seat! Are you kidding me? The Sun has to look into where the money is coming from for T.V. ads? Is the Indian Prairie Ed Assoc funneling money to another organization? Is this legal?

Why would people vote for 4 candidates together? Each of them obviously believes there is strength in numbers. This most likely means each of them can't stand alone.

Thanks for the links posted@11:56 today. For candidates to say they "don't have enough information" is more than a red flag. The District budget is a matter of public record.

http://ipsdweb.ipsd.org/Documents/0809/BusinessOffice_FY09Budget.pdf

(Totally off topic, but curious, why do empty houses for sale have "4" signs in their yards? Realtor ethics of this?)

Do you feel the 204 Board Candidates should offer honest and total disclosure?
Should they have to disclose whether or not they have children attending 204 schools? Personally, I feel ALL candidates should have a vested interest in the state of the district, and having a child attend a district school is one way to ensure that interest.
Also, do you feel the fact that a candidate who has a spouse working for the district ought to be disclosed? They don't.

DiFusco, Jerry Huang, Moscato & Hepburn say they are the "Voice of the People". I beg to differ they are the "Voice of the Teachers Union". They proudly display the union endorsement like it is some trophy. In their Daily Herald profiles, Not One of Them spoke out against raises for the teachers considering the economic times. No surprise! DiFusco is married to a current 204 teacher who just stepped down for her union board seat right before her husband filed his school board candidacy papers and Huang used to work for Chicago Public Schools. Nuf said

http://www.dailyherald.com/news/politics/elections/2009/race/?id=707

Our area has more to worry about than incumbents. You better strongly research your Slate of 4 union supported candidates. The Daily Herald has all the 204 candidate profiles on their website now and now one of the Slate of 4 candidates said they were against raises! What a Surprise (Not!). Only three candidates would put in writing they are against raises. Figure it out, folks.
http://www.dailyherald.com/news/politics/elections/2009/race/?id=707

It is important to note and understand that the teachers union will be spending $42,000 in this economy to promote their slate of 4. $42,000 to date maybe more to come. Check it out this link:

http://www.elections.state.il.us/CampaignDisclosure/CommitteeDetail.aspx?id=21085

Indian Prairie Education Assn PAC for Education

Purpose: Support candidates and policies favorable to public education.

Committee is : Civil Coalition of Aurora and Naperville

Why the mystery "candidates"? No names to save faces?

Winona Snyder,

Where do I begin?

Don't you think the District 204 teachers are capable of reading a newspaper/watching the news/reading current events online? You'd have to be living under a rock not to be aware of the state of the economy and the job freezes/eliminations/pay cuts that go along with it. You certainly don't give the teachers you so vocally support enough credit to know what's going on in the world beyond their classrooms. Hopefully they are more knowledgeable and resourceful than you give them credit for... especially if they are teaching our children social studies or current events. The whole reason taxpayers are upset with this teacher’s union action is because of the economy. We are getting squeezed from all directions. If our jobs are being eliminated or our pay raises are non-existent and our financial investment have taken a serious hit, where do you think the money will come from? Why shouldn't the unions follow the economy? Can't you understand why people are disgusted?

Also, don't you know that a portion of your tax dollars go toward teachers salaries in your school district? Because of that, don't you feel the quality of teachers and the correlating salaries are important? When teachers or you or any other Joe has a vested financial interest in my job performance, then I will take heed as to their comments on my job performance. Until then, I only care what my employer has to say. And by the way, I do not earn one of the six figure incomes you seem to think everyone in Naperville working in the private sector earns. You sound like one of those disgruntled teachers who have a chip on their shoulders toward the people that pay their salaries.

While I agree that some of the teachers in District 204 are excellent, I also have to admit that some have left me shaking my head in disappointment. My children have been fortunate enough to be taught by some great teachers in the elementary, middle, and high school levels. We have also experienced great frustration when we have dealt with teachers or principals who are on the other end of the spectrum. We've had great years and wasted years, so don't tell me that each and every teacher in this district deserves to receive a pay increase. That, my friend, is impossible. Some are very fortunate to have the union behind them, because parents know that they wouldn't last a month in the private sector performing as they do. Another reason schools are receiving high scores is because you have diligent parents supporting their kids and their teachers, sitting at kitchen tables helping with homework every night. You have parents who monitor their kids' work and supplement it when they feel they are not adequately being taught. Believe me, I've been there and so have many, many of my friends.

There are MANY professions that are sadly underpaid. Teachers don't corner the market on that. What about police officers, firefighters, and the military, just to name a few? Everyone is taking a hit financially in this economy, except 204's teachers. And every single teacher... across the board... including those that don't deserve it, are getting increases directly funded by us! There is not a single sector of the entire job market where you can say that each and every single employee is deserving of a pay increase JUST because they hold a job in that sector. It is unfair to those who are conscientious and perform well. It's an insult to the valuable employees as well as the taxpayers whose pockets are being pulled inside out. I have every right to be upset and SHAME ON YOU for having the audacity to say otherwise! How dare you!

In todays Sun: 204 SD candidate Crockett drops out but does not really say why? Cites $17 Million shortfall in revenue for completion of MVHS as well as deficit growing for operating expenses the result of no growth in the SD 204 tax base. Mike: the deficit is growing because no one is checking SPENDING! Now that is truly What the ?. Something tells me the fall of 09' is going to be rough. Hopefully by then we will know the final $ results of the MM attack on the owners the the BB property. Any one think a tax referendum is greeting us in 2010 besides me? No to Piehl and No to Vickers. They are done, vote them out. And while we are at it, in 203 NO to Romberg, NO to Crotty. Did I miss incumbents?

What the ? is correct. It probably does not matter who is elected to the school board. The only time voting constituency has power is during referendum. The voters must simply shut the spigot of cash into government and these school districts if you ever hope to have affordable homes. However "NO" to incumbents and "NO" to referendum. Terms must be limited and the voters must control the revenue stream before they can control where the money is spent. The people associated with government must simply be taught an economics lesson by the voters. And the voters must accept that there will be more sensible services delivered by government in exchange for the economy forced upon it.

Frustrated:

If most of the board members plan to vote for the raises, then it appears this will happen no matter who we vote for!

Don't vote for most these board memebers. Vickers is against the raises, she posted this on her web page. In an email to me she stated that most of the board members will vote For the raises.

I say EVERY person needs to email the board, as I did, and tell them how irresponsible this is. Let them know you are angry.

In agreement with the excellent post: By what the? on March 20, 2009 10:13 PM

To state it a little differently:

The Public Schools have effectively become the State Monopoly supplier of education.

The Teachers Union has systematically used their monopoly status to raise funds for the purpose of influencing politicians through:

* campaign contributions

* foot soldiers for the campaigns

* and votes on elections day

What the Teacher's Unions have received in return is:

* Further State sponsored expansion of their monopoly

* Monopoly wages and benefits for their Union members

* Systematic elimination of competition by the State

The most recent incredibly disgusting example of the Illinois Politicians (Obama, Durbin and the weasel Burris) eliminating the competition is the cancellation of the DC school vouchers program that had allowed 1700 kids to escape a totally failed and murderous school system.

The result is the forced return of these kids to the failed hell hole schools where they will not be educated and may lose their lives.

Like the book "who killed Cock Robin", every union member teacher in Illinois has used their hand to murder the future of these children.

It's interesting to note that members of the Liberal Ruling Elite like the Obamas won't send their kids to public schools; just the little people who can't afford to pay twice or in the case of the 1700 can't afford to pay once.

Shame on you!

Winona, you do a disservice by lumping all teachers in your definition. Your explanation seems to indicate that all teachers are equally talented and responsible for educating all of our kids in this district. The best teachers in the district are underpaid for the work they do, but the poor to mediocre teachers should thank their lucky stars that they have a union that protects their interests - in the business world they would be gone.

As for your diatribe about compensation, I believe that teachers know exactly what to expect to make if they jump into the business world. We hear it quite frequently with comments like, "I should quit teaching and go into the business world where I can make twice the salary". The part some don't understand is that while teachers (on average) make less money, they have benefits not tied to compensation. And for those that jump into the business world they often find out the grass is not greener, and the additional pay doesn't make up for the additional time and travel required.

Winona S: I've been following this blog and finally feel a need to jump in. I don't think it's the salaries of teachers that most people object to (even though some do). I don't begrudge what teachers make in 204. After all, I voted for the referendum to boost their pay a couple years ago to make 204 salaries on par with surrounding areas.

And I've mentioned on other sites that, with few exceptions, I'm very pleased with the education my children are getting here. They have both excelled academically. My college bound daughter has already been accepted to four of the five colleges she has applied to and has received a really good scholarship offer from one. I'm not complaining.

What seems to gall a lot of folks is the teacher's union. I can believe that job security and wages were a real problem for teachers before they unionized, but since then, like so many other unions before them, they are abusing the power they now have. From what I've been reading, they receive yearly "step" increases just for staying employed. That's in addition to yearly increases negotiated by their union, continuing ed raises, etc. When there is a recession, like now, many workers in the private sector find themselves losing jobs or going without any kind of raises. Unions can be largely indifferent to these economic forces and thus are always in a position to push for more and more from a pool that contains less and less. People resent this. For example, my spouse has a Ph.D. and has worked for the same company for 23 years. He, like all his colleagues, is getting absolutely no raise this year because of the economic meltdown even though many of them have probably earned one, so I understand this resentment.

In addition, there's the pension system. That's what's really killing the taxpayers. Most private sector businesses don't even offer these anymore; and many of those that did converted their employee pensions to 401(k)s years ago. With lifespans now in the 70s and 80s, society can't afford to finance 30 year retirements. I believe police officers and firefighters are in the same category as teachers when it comes to those professions that are very important to our society but have been chronically underpaid for decades. You all deserve what you're earning in salary, maybe even more, but the pension systems are unsustainable. Many people in the private sector who earn the same amount as teachers are funding their own 401(k)s and taking responsibility for their own retirements. When the stock market tanks, so does their retirement funds. But not for teachers. And the same people taking the losses are required to pony up more to keep you whole. What in this picture do you expect folks to like?

The UAW had its heyday and now it's obsolete. Maybe time and economic forces will do the same to all unions eventually. But in the meantime they can really hold taxpayers hostage, and that's a lot of the anger you're seeing here.

Winona: thanks for reminding me that I must vote and adjust my schedule accordingly on election day. Your post incites the kind of anger at status quo-big government education that has changed little for generations while the whole world is changing and adapting in almost any measure you can think of. Its time to bring an end to the way we educate children in America and stop throwing good money away on inefficient, corrupt and politically motivated public education that as many understand places priorties and benefits the following groups in this order: 1) politicians 2) tearchers and teachers unions 3) administrators 4) parents 5) children. Its time to take on big government wherever you can find it and fight the beast that it is. The kind of government and government education that produces the Winona Snyders of the world who never understand the preamble is "we the people", not we the government that are in control. It is time to make government scramble for revenue just like many of us have to each day for our households. And the sooner there is competition for school revenue, the more bang for the buck we will get.

SHAME ON YOU! That is what I have to say to all of the hypocritical Naperville residents. Funny how quick you all turn on the people responsible for all of your children while you go off to work earning your undeserved 6 figure incomes. I am sure the teachers in 204 are not aware of whether or not all of you have received pay cuts or raises or bonuses this year or any other. Perhaps they should have this information about your compensation and be allowed to blog their opinions as to your worth. In fact, I am definitely in favor of a law that requires all companies to post what every employee and CEO makes all over this country. If everyone got a say in what we all earned then maybe teachers would be fair game.Here's another scenario...maybe they should vote on whether or not they believe you deserve it or not. That would never happen would it? I am sure teachers would be appalled to know what some of you make for the work you do. Now that some of you are not making the money you once did because personal greed destroyed this country you want to punish the teachers who had no fault in the demise of our economy. Naperville residents owe a bit of gratitude to the teachers here in our great city. How do you think this town got the reputation it has, "Best city to raise kids?" Well, the top rated public schools certainly play a part!!! For those of you who have reaped the rewards of the inflated housing market here in Naperville in the past need to also thank our teachers. Those top performing schools have put this city on the map and made your home values sky rocket to date! The fact is teachers have been severely underpaid since the beginning of time. These are the people we leave our most precious commodities in the safe hands of every day, our children. We give them the most important job in the world, educating their young minds. How dare all of you sit in judgment of their worth! If your upset that a neighbor lost a job blame AIG, the war, George W Bush, the greed on Wall Street, CEO bonuses, Cooperate America, NOT THE TEACHERS!!!!!! Reality check: a 15 year teacher with a masters degree here in 204 grosses $68,000 a year. For the record that won't buy you an average priced home here in Naperville & support a wife and a few kids. There has been a uneven distribution of wealth in this country for far too long and it is not in the pockets of our teachers.For all of you that have smeared these teachers on this blog ask yourself this question: "where would you be today without your education?" I would love to see every teacher across this country unite in one voice and make everyone see just how truly important they really are to all of us. They really need to band together and say NO MORE!!!! Most teachers teach knowing that they will never be compensated in $ for what they do but to make a difference in the life of a child. It bares repeating....SHAME ON YOU!!!!!!!

teacherin204, Were you trying to prove the case for the posters here who believe teachers should receive pay increases based on merit or was that unintentional? Raises should have direct correlation to ability and performance. Period.

By teacherin204 on March 19, 2009 6:44 PM

1. Do you try to show your students how what they learn may be applicible to their lives? Yes and we spell correctly too

2. Can you identify a child who appears bored and in need of a challenge? Certainly t hat is all our children in 204 right

3. Do you talk about values like respect, honestly, citizenship, fairness and the like? yes but shouldn't you be doing that at home?

4. And if so, do you deal with the issue or do you look the other way? No

5. I am also a teacher and agree 100% to all the idiots that are supposedly supporting us to our face and writing these lies on this blog. I welcome you any day to my class - you teach if you are all such no it alls.

6. And remember you have 28 different parents to try and appease as you teach their "gifted" child because they're all gifted, right?

__________________________________________________________

1. Good comeback. Of course a conscientious teacher would catch and correct all spelling and grammatical errors before hitting 'enter'.

2. I was asking a serious question. So, you feel there are no students in District 204 who deserve to be challenged?? You feel the need for a challenge is only in the mind of the taxpaying parent?? And, of course a conscientious teacher would catch and correct all spelling and grammatical errors before hitting 'enter'.

3. Yes. Of course it is done in my home... that's why I asked the question. It is important to me that my children behave and are treated respectfully, fairly, and that they exercise the values we teach them at home when they are not at home. I also realize that not all students behave the same and not all follow the rules. I was asking because I think it is important to echo what is taught in the home at school and vice versa. I also think your classroom probably runs better if there are rules and boundaries. Did you feel this was a ridiculous question?

4. No... what? No, you don't deal with them? No, you don't look the other way? Did you not understand the question?

5. You said, "... agree 100% TO all the idiots...".
Did you mean WITH in place of TO?

You said, "you teach if you are all such NO it alls".
Did you mean "know it alls"?

Good comeback. Of course a conscientious teacher would catch and correct all spelling and grammatical errors before hitting 'enter'.
Maybe we 'idiots' can help you with your 'verbage'. ;)

6. Your cynicism is endearing. It's exactly the quality concerned parents and hard-working taxpayers look for in a teacher... and cringe when we see it. This is the attitude that earns you your paycheck and you get out of it what you put into it.


We have/had 3 children in 204. We encountered excellent, average, and below average teachers in 204. Similarly, there are excellent, average and low performing employees in a private sector. This is why we have annual performance reviews and this is why we pay for performance. Improving one's skills and formal education is also recognized in a private sector, but ONLY in conjunction with performance and business results. Nobody is rewarded for simply getting another degree.

Merit-based pay must become standard in public education, just like it is in a private sector.

We have always been huge supporters of public education. Yet, I am finding myself offended by the automatic salary increases in SD 204 when most private employers in the area froze all increases in 2009. My employer did and so did many others. In addition, many 204 residents have lost their jobs or have had reductions in compensation this year or experienced financial losses. If parents and our school district are partners in educating our children, we should remain partners during the best of times and the worst of times. To me, this partnership seems to be missing at this time.

Regarding teacher compensation and after a brief review of the public web site - any arguments that teachers are not paid well compared to the private sector, are simply not true. This may have been true 20-30 years ago, but not any longer. Also, there is a huge disparity in benefits, as the private sector has been reducing benefits for some time now and employees have been picking up the extra costs. Pensions, of course, are no longer offered at most private employers.

http://www.championnews.net/salaries.php

Always a great website for salary info.

TM

iteachin204 wrote:

"I welcome you any day to my class - you teach if you are all such no [sic] it alls."

---------------------------

This has been an ongoing discussion about One Who Values You and his/her professed excellence with the teaching profession while having horrible writing and communication skills, and now we have a 204 teacher chiming in, calling residents "no it alls"?

I understand a mistake, however, If you are a teacher coming here to defend your position about automatic pay raises that are not based on merit or ability or knowledge of basic skills that you must teach in your classroom while vilifying those residents that pay your salary, don't you think you should do a quick proof-read before you submit? Or would you not catch the problem even after reviewing your own work?

What is it that you teach, iteachin204? Should we be more careful to review our kid's work, perhaps mark up your red-pen corrections in green ink and send them back to you for a final self-improvement review? A review by us parents in the private sector that are incapable of doing your work?

These people that trash our teachers are disgusting. Teachers deserve everything that they get and more. Obviously the public supports teachers. The bashers on this blog are in the minority. They probably think that the only people in their line of business should make decent $$$.

Anonymous:
Let me answer your questions -

If you have been teaching for 17 years and hav two Masters degrees, have YOU noticed a change in curriculum? Have you noticed a change in teaching to the ISATs? yes
Do you attend more meetings during "instructional time" than in the past? yes
Do you have more days off than in the past? No
Do you have a set curriculum you follow from year to year with little deviation? No
Or, do you constantly work to 'tweak' the curriculum based on your observations in class to identify the need for change? Yes
Do you look for ways to make topics interesting to your students? Yes
Do you try to show your students how what they learn may be applicible to their lives? Yes and we spell correctly too
Can you identify when a student is struggling with a topic?yes
And if so, do you take action to assist that child? Called support team and interventions!

Can you identify a child who appears bored and in need of a challenge? Certainly t hat is all our children in 204 right


And if so, do you take action to see that that child is given additional material or responsibilities so they have the challenge they need?yes
Do you talk about values like respect, honestly, citizenship, fairness and the like? yes but shouldn't you be doing that at home?

Do you model those traits for your students and do you discuss it with them when necessary? yes
Can you recognize when a child is being bullied or teased or is the aggressor? Of course
And if so, do you deal with the issue or do you look the other way? No
Do you promptly communicate with the parents of your students if they are struggling or exhibiting behavioral issues so the situation is quickly dealt with or remedied? Yes


Teachers that do the above most absolutely deserve to be financially compensated for their attitude and efforts, and I would advocate on their behalf.

So go ahead and advocate because most of us do this

To macj - thanks for standing up for teachers! I am also a teacher and agree 100% to all the idiots that are supposedly supporting us to our face and writing these lies on this blog. I welcome you any day to my class - you teach if you are all such no it alls. And remember you have 28 different parents to try and appease as you teach their "gifted" child because they're all gifted, right?

Teachers in 204 did NOT ask for the raise - this was given to them. They ARE just happy to have a job. You people are ridiculous.

Hey Ed ----

I know it is not the subject of this blog (though most 204 blogs get around to Metea eventually) but.....

when is the judge supposed to rule on the BB lawsuit?

"Sounds like a bunch of people that hate teachers on this blog. Most people know teachers are underpaid. They should make double what they make. Remember-they are educating our future."

Nice crutch, resident.

I don't think anyone here hates teachers. What people here "hate," is the fact that the money for this raise is going to come from pockets that are getting emptier by the minute in this economy. Teachers in 204 might just garner more or continued respect if, given this economy, they agreed to table negotiations for a year, and continued to work under their current contract, which isn't all that bad. Everyone in the country is being asked to make sacrifices, except for 204?

Quite frankly, if the schools in this district are "educating our future," get used to a bunch of dim bulbs in the workplace who expect a day/half-day off every other week and a late start once a week. Parents are the primary educators of their children. Teachers are assistants in the academic part of that education.

Anonymous March 18, 2009 8:06PM - Touche!

And macj - Maybe the reason you can't afford a home in Naperville is because you got your two Masters Degrees from the 800 number you saw on the screen during the Maury Povich Show on one of your numerous 'Building Articulation' days off. Try an accredited school next time.

Sounds like a bunch of people that hate teachers on this blog. Most people know teachers are underpaid. They should make double what they make. Remember-they are educating our future.

macj - I hope you aren't responsible for teaching persuasive speech or writing to your students! And I certainly hope the giant chip on your shoulder doesn't follow you into your classroom.

I don't know where you got the 'glorified babysitting' idea and I don't recall seeing a comment here about teachers who "only work 180 days a year and have to read out of a book to kids". You certainly sound like you are carrying around some heavy baggage. And it's nice to see that you are so appreciative of the gifts your students and their families spent their hard-earned money on for you.

I live in District 204 and my family has never gone on a vacation over winter or spring breaks. It sounds like you are resentful when the hard-working Naperville taxpayers who pay your salary spend their hard-earned dollars on a vacation for their family! How dare they, right?! They should be squirreling any excess funds away for the next referendum, right?

If you have been teaching for 17 years and hav two Masters degrees, have YOU noticed a change in curriculum? Have you noticed a change in teaching to the ISATs? Do you attend more meetings during "instructional time" than in the past? Do you have more days off than in the past? Do you have a set curriculum you follow from year to year with little deviation? Or, do you constantly work to 'tweak' the curriculum based on your observations in class to identify the need for change? Do you look for ways to make topics interesting to your students? Do you try to show your students how what they learn may be applicible to their lives? Can you identify when a student is struggling with a topic? And if so, do you take action to assist that child? Can you identify a child who appears bored and in need of a challenge? And if so, do you take action to see that that child is given additional material or responsibilities so they have the challenge they need? Do you talk about values like respect, honestly, citizenship, fairness and the like? Do you model those traits for your students and do you discuss it with them when necessary? Can you recognize when a child is being bullied or teased or is the aggressor? And if so, do you deal with the issue or do you look the other way? Do you promptly communicate with the parents of your students if they are struggling or exhibiting behavioral issues so the situation is quickly dealt with or remedied? Teachers that do the above most absolutely deserve to be financially compensated for their attitude and efforts, and I would advocate on their behalf. Taking additional courses does not automatically deem them worthy of a pay raise unless they are able to apply what they have learned. Someone can have 4 Masters Degrees, but if they do nothing different in the classroom, the Masters Degrees don't amount to a hill of beans. But then maybe you need us 'morons' in the private sector to explain that to you. By the way, what do you consider to be the 'verbal abuse' you have to suffer from 'morons' like us???

http://www.nea.org/home/30592.htm

and a link to the vacation article. Read the way the NEA creates and perpetuates the difficulty of being a teacher.

Pavlov had nothing on this.

macj

Answers to some questions

1) Real master's degrees AND associated additional output and responsibility might get raises in the real world. Might. With those raises come more and more hours and more expectation of even more work at home. And no guarantee of a job. But not increased vacation close to anything you have. Unfortunately, there is not a chance for additional output and responsibility in education.

2) Yes, many graduate degrees are worthless. Governor's State, National Checkbook University, whatever. For you, I assume one of them got you a 10% raise and more hours earned you more raise. Not really the case in the real world.

3) There is a really nice piece in the March/April NEA Today about how to plan your trip to Paris and London in the winter instead of the summer. The same rag that cries about teachers being underpaid has European and Caribbean travel advice. Nice.

macj -

We've all heard both sides of it. The fact that you had the time to post here makes you one of the morons, and suggests that you aren't taking that teaching job of yours very seriously. Really, if you have the time to read and post, those stacks of papers you have to grade each night aren't getting done, or the studying you're doing for your third Master's degree is suffering, or you don't have tomorrow's lesson plan designed. I'm sure your attitude comes across in your classroom. You won't have many gifts to return.

Merit pays raises for teachers? What if you get the class with the "slow kids"? What is your criteria for success? Is it the same for the teacher with the gifted kids? Who makes the call? What does one MERIT?

It is truly beyond disgusting the total disdain that most of you are showing teachers. In your minds, it is just glorified babysitting and doesn't deserve any amount of reward and ability to advance and improve one's own life. What would a Master's Degree and 18 years of experience net someone in finance, computer science or engineering? Yet, the perception out there is all about "they only work 180 days a year and they only have to read out of a book to kids".

I am a teacher. I've worked for over 17 years. I have two Master's degrees. And yet, I don't make enough to even live in most areas of #204 or #203. However, the money isn't all. It is the continual verbal abuse we suffer from people like those who post here. I don't get to go to Barbados every Christmas break like many of my students do with their families. But, you know, I used to think that's fine, that's what their parents earned, they can spend it how they want. I'm apparently NOT entitled to make any kind of decent wage because I was stupid enough to go into education, earned two seemingly worthless graduate degrees and wanted to help people.

Next "Teacher Appreciation Day" or if there are any end of school thank you gifts I do get, I'm sending them back with a note: "No thank you. Your warm regards and the glowing respect you show me and my fellow teachers are reward enough." Those who can't do teach. The rest of the morons just post to blogs!!

This is disgusting --------- People are loosing their jobs, taking pay cuts, worrying about their jobs and the like, but not the teachers or school administrators. It must be nice to be above everyone else !!!!!!!!!!!!!

You people make me sick. Oh, I forgot, it's all about the children!!

In my next life I want to come back first as an administrator with the golden parachutes and if those positions are filled then I want to be a teacher.

Just in case you forgot --------- it is the taxpayers that pay your salary. Maybe you should have AIG stamped on your heads!

Anonymous at 1:06 p.m. - I understand your point and believe the NCLB Act to be just a portion of the problem.

I AM one of the parents who has older children go through elementary school in the last 10 years and I can attest to the drastic change in education my children received at the very same school. While my older children went to elementary school under a different principal, the only thing that is the same is the building. The curriculums have drastically changed to a bare-bones skeleton of its former self - especially writing. When my older children were in 4th and 5th grade the writing curriculum was excellent. The various forms of writing were taught, performed, edited and critiqued, and revised. Now, there is nothing. It doesn't even resemble the old curriculum. At my child's conference last year in November, I had to ask when the writing curriculum was going to pick up. Sadly, it didn't. I, along with many other Patterson parents, felt the year was a waste and now feel the pressure is on the 5th grade teachers and the parents to play 'catch-up'. I have personally witnessed the change in the system from 'teaching' to 'tutoring to the ISAT'. My youngest child is getting nowhere NEAR the education that my older children recieved, yet I am now paying more in taxes. It's disgusting and shameful.

In addition to curriculum changes, the climate of attitude is significantly different. We used to have some excellent teachers who brought topics alive and taught with such enthusiasm that I wanted to sit in on their classes! Those teachers were 'redistributed' in the name of the almighty budget. Now, the climate is more of an, 'I've got my orders' attitude, and the minimum is the norm. How do you rally kids and peak their interest or fire their enthusiasm when the teachers don't seem to care? How do you maintain consistency when critical classes like accelerated math are interrupted on a weekly basis so teachers can have a meeting and the sub doesn't teach the same method as the regular classroom teacher? Please, let me know because I spent last year banging my head against the wall trying to supplement or unravel the problem of the week. Speaking to the regular classroom teacher and the principal proved futile as the discussions only resulted in lip service. They had a first year teacher teaching accelerated math! This particular teacher had no clue and the principal was made aware by MANY unhappy parents. Nothing was done. Nothing. What was taught in the schools 7 or 8 years ago is now just a distant memory. We didn't know how good we had it.

I am fed up about hearing how hard teachers have it. Those who are complaining need to step out into the private sector. When was the last time you or I received an annual raise 'just because'? When did we ever receive a raise that wasn't based on merit? When was the last time we received a raise ... period?! Give me a break!

I find it ironic that the contract is taking away from instructional time to "to participate in a weekly staff training session focused on school improvement before school each Wednesday." If the meetings take place before school, they should not interfere with the amount of instructional time, correct? You know it will.

Here's an idea: Instead of teachers working a 6 1/2 to 7 hour day every single day (which includes lunch), why not schedule meetings either before or after school so they do not interfere with the already minimized (think 'Power Hour') amount of "instructional time"?

As a taxpayer, I am disgusted to see more and more being taken away while disguised as "bettering the education of the children". You can't educate them if you're spending less and less time with them. Whether you use the new math or the old math, that equation is one you cannot argue.

Another Anonymous @9:59 -I don't disagree with many of your points. However, you need to realize that the No Child Left Behind initiative is in many ways responsible for districts across the nation dropping everything to teach to the tests. Creativity in the teaching/learning environment has left the classroom in part because of it. If you know people who have children spaced 6-8 years apart, talk to them about how little their children in school today learn compared with the older siblings. Students today are great at taking tests, that's for sure. There isn't much beyond that in terms of higher level thinking skills, though. Add to that, that 204 is famous for hiring "their own," and the recipe is complete. As products of the district, groomed for teaching positions, they (many, not all) too are great at test taking, but short on thinking or allowing their students to think outside the bubble, or beyond what the teacher thinks! Vicious circle. Maybe this is a reason the parents from outside Naperville find their children exceeding here. They come from districts that allow learning to happen. Money spent per student has nothing to do with it. JMO.

Less Instruction Time - Thank you! I know of NO district in this area, where the students are out of school so much!!! So the teachers can have meetings??? What about before and after school?? Does this mean that all the "articulation" half-days will be gone?

With all the announcements of neighboring districts giving notice to employees, I hope to hear that 204 will be doing the same, salary increase or not. I simply cannot fathom how a raise can be approved in this economic climate.

"The IPEA’s ratification vote will take place March 20. Pending the teachers’ approval, the board could vote on the deal during its next meeting, which is scheduled for 5 p.m. Monday at the Crouse Education Center, 780 Shoreline Drive in Aurora."

District residents should make a point of showing up at the upcoming board meeting (the 23rd) to express their disapproval, and send a message that taxpayers are fed up. Or at least, while on the computer for this blog, send a message: board-members@ipsd.org


I have no skin in this game other than the D203 teachers also trying to keep up with the Joneses.

The 204 contract is on the website. Go to 204 IPEA contract. If you go to page 62, you'll find the 2006-2007 schedule.

Each page, 62 63 64, is a new year of the salary schedule. From year to year, the base salary increases (usually upper left to upper left change).

If someone had, say, a BA+12 additional credit hours and in teaching year 5 on the 2006-2007 schedule, they would have earned $44347. The next year they would move down to year 6 of experience on the next page (2007-2008 schedule) to $46157 for a total 4.1% raise. The move from 5 years to 6 years is usually called a STEP increase. If they happened to finish enough extra hours that year to move from BA+12 to BA+24, they would also move over one column to $48926 for a (48926/44347 = 1.103) 10.3% raise. This is called a lane change. I think some of the above posters are using step for lane change, but everyone has their own terminology.

Hope this helps.

e^(i*pi)

I hear everyone complaining about the teacher's raise in these economic times. What everyone is conveniently forgetting is that when times are good and everyone else reaps the benefits (salary increases, bonuses, commissions, etc.), teachers keep creeping along with their 2% - 4 % (Chicagoland area) increases each year. Take a look at the big picture and see what a teacher actually makes. For all their education and all their years of service, it is a joke compared to the private sector. And now that people are feeling the brunt of the hard times, they feel that teachers should also. Guess what? Teachers always have felt it. My husband and I are both teachers (not in Naperville) and we live in a 1600 sf. house. Both of our cars are 9 years old. We have to follow a budget because I am staying home while our kids are small. And look at the result of the hard work of the teachers in Naperville. The education that the children are getting is top notch. Students have every tool they need to succeed in life. Teachers deserve every penny they are getting and then some. Thank you to all the teachers out there!

I am angry that the IPSD 204 Administration and Board want to play 'keeping up with the Joneses' with the taxpayer dollars. Evidently, they don't read the newspapers, watch television, or use the internet for news. They don't have a clue about the economy, and why should they? The don't have to worry about the economy because they have the Naperville and Aurora taxpayers as their safety net. We are ever present for the shake-down.

Personally, I think unions are useless, greedy, and self-serving. Look at the state of the auto industry. We have the UAW to thank for that. Same with the teacher's union. District 204 may produce high academic achievements, but examine the facts more closely and it is not all going to be a big pat on the back to the teachers and administrators. Our elementary school, Patterson, drops everything to prep for ISATs. They teach to-the-tests in advance of the tests. This takes away from 'real' instructional time, but it earns that pat on the back for teachers, administrators, and earns them additional funding. Some say it's cheating. Do you think they care? Why not just TEACH the students the topics so they will be adequately prepared when testing time comes? Too much work? Why would an elementary school wait until 5th grade to really concentrate on a writing curriculum?? Talk to middle school teachers. They are disgusted. Apparently, it is because ISATs don't include writing every year. The writing portion of the test takes place in 3rd and 5th grade. At Patterson, 4th grade writing was non-existent. The very poor excuse for a writing curriculum was something even the teachers seemed ashamed of, but it wasn't deemed important because it wasn't on the ISATs. Is that how we want our children to be taught??? Another reason District 204 scores are so high is because this district has a very large portion of parents who are hands-on, proactive, and dialed in to their childrens' education. I cannot begin to tell you the number of teacher mistakes I have caught at the elementary school level. I cannot begin to tell you how much I have had to advocate for my child to be challenged. I cannot begin to describe to you how frustrating it is to deal with teachers who only want to do the bare minimum and act like it's above and beyond to hand out a few extra worksheets! I don't know about you, but in MY job (and especially in this economy) if my employer ask me for something, I would not even entertain the idea of whining or dragging out a laundry list of duties I already have. In the private sector, if you don't do the job right, there are at least 5 people in line who are willing to give it their all. I am not saying there are no quality teachers in District 204... by any stretch of the imagination. I have been fortunate enough for each of my children to have a few quality teachers. What I am saying, though, is that is not the case across the board. I would much rather see a merit system when it comes to pay increases. That way, you get what you pay for and the teachers get what they earn.

Could the Naperville Sun help us out here with the facts?

Most of us don't really understand how teachers are really compensated. It sounds like there is a base salary based upon education level and the higher the education the higher the pay. It also sounds like there is something called step increases which sound like they are tied into the number of years tenure, but how often are these steps... every year, every five years, every ten years? Then there are all other kinds of additional pay for sponsoring clubs, coaching, etc. Since teachers are union employees there must be provisions for overtime under certain conditions... but we never hear about that do we?

Is the 3.87% the average across the board increase for all employees... recognizing some may do better or worse individually?

Or is the 3.87% the base increase with the actual increase a lot higher when step increases and other things like coaching are added in?

Would it be possible to show us what the actual salaries paid in 2008 turned out to be as opposed to these theoretical salaries for the coming year which may be misleading low or even deliberately misleadingly low as compared to the true compensation that will be paid.

Reality,

Do you have any facts to back this up?

I believe you based on the stories (gang fights at all of the 203 and 204 High Schools, car jacking at football games, weapons, now rape) I hear this from 203 and 204 students, but don't see too much in the way of coverage in the Sun. Maybe the Herald is better.

Perhaps they could add a Naperville Schools crime beat section. It would read something like: anonymous criminal A attacked anonymous victim B while school administrators wring their hands and say they are powerless to fix the problem.

Secondly, what do you propose to do about it if teachers are being used as punching bags?

*Would you support public floggings and explosions?

*Should the little criminals be stripped of their government protected criminal activity status and be charged as adults for all offenses on or near school property?

*Are the little criminals who are attacking the teachers the real victims?

Both the 203 and 204 Administrators stated recently that "security was not their job". Sounds like union members at a failing company.

Bubo


================================================

By Reality on March 17, 2009 12:16 PM

Before you start complaining about the state of the economy and what is fair/not fair: How many jobs do most of you have where you are assaulted? There have been numerous teachers in D #204 who have been physically attacked by students. When injured, they don't get the same type of workman's comp that other workers in different fields do.

Salaries are certainly a critical component in the new contract, but what everyone seems to be missing is that the school day will be shortened because teachers need "to participate in a weekly staff training session focused on school improvement before school each Wednesday."

While this sounds like a noble requirement, it also means that school will start up to 20 minutes later than normal every Wednesday to accommodate this training. Considering that the school year is approximately 40 weeks long, this adds up to over two lost days of instruction. Of course, one could debate that the training will make for more effective teachers. But my daughter's teacher already cut off students' questions because they don't have enough time to cover the curriculum. It's only going to get worse, and the extra load will be passed on to parents in the form of more homework for our children.

Compared to private schools in the area, our elementary schools start 20 minutes later and end 10 minutes earlier every day. That's 2 1/2 hours less instruction time per week. Add in School Improvement Planning, Parent Teacher Conference, and Institute Days that the public schools have that the private schools don't, and you loose approximately 135 hours per year. That's a disparity of 22 days instruction time. (Yes, the private schools have parent-teacher conferences and other planning time, but they don't sacrifice classroom time to do it.)

I'm reminded of going to the grocery store. Every product keeps shrinking, but the price keeps going up. Now, that mentality has infiltrated our education system. Based on the logic of this trend, the teachers should spend all their time in training so our kids don't have to go to school at all!

The Taxpayers are having there wages cut, taxes are being raised and the unemployment rate is huge. The School Board should be cutting expenses not raising teacher salaries. Everyone needs to make sacrifices in this economy.

The School Board should not be allowed to raise salaries more than the inflation rate, which as stated in the Naperville Sun was .1 percent.

The union agreed to a one year deal, due to the fact that their slate of 4 candidates, will give them even more when they get elected. DiFusco's wife was a vice pres of the teacher's union. She is still very involved. That's why they were endorsed by the unions, it is all a set up for the next contract. They will be a union rubber stamp.

Want to know what a teacher makes, go here:

http://www.championnews.net/salaries.php


OJ,

Let me state this differently:

Under the head of a pimple lies an infection.

The whole school board needs to be removed with one or two possible exceptions and replaced with people that won’t act as a rubber stamp for the unions.

Bubo
=====================================
By Original Joe on March 17, 2009 12:53 PM

To: By Bubo on March 17, 2009 8:37 AM
Did Metzger and the entire school board just flip-off the 204 residents by implementing a pay increase while the home owners are being ratcheted down in their salaries and benefits?
Mr. Metzger is not the problem; he is a symptom of what happens when a union controls their paymasters.

===========

Mark is the Victim in all of this? Thanks, I needed a good laugh today.

Lori Smith??? TAXPAYERS PAYING FOR TEACHER'S CONTINUING EDUCATION????? Where would you ever get an idea like that? Maybe other school districts help out, but NOT here in 204. My goodness, there is so much misinformation out there!!! Will it ever stop????

JJay

"Two percent of the increase is on base salaries. The rest is provided by the yearly step increases teachers normally receive, and for additional training or education."

So the Sun us lying (as is the Daily Herald and 204 website?) and 204 decided to NOT be consistent with its benchmark districts? Who is confused? Really? Teachers who do not actually know that they are getting a decent raise (even if it were 2%) or the newspapers and the website? Teachers who apparently think nobody else has to work at home? I am willing to change my tune if there is any evidence to the contrary, but the 2% is to the base pay - meaning the entire 2008-2009 schedule goes up 2%. THEN teachers move down one row since they have continued to breathe. So far I've said nothing about the extra classes, which you make out to be some heroic feat. They are not.

And your last sentence is incredibly wrong. Just because I might have some knowledge doesn't exclude me from having been in the classroom.

To Do the Math:

I am sticking with the facts. There is no wife. And, like I said, I will not speculate on where the $$ for 2 residences comes from. He has been a teacher for many years, maybe he does make $100,000 a year. I truly don't know. Is it possible he inherited some $$, sure. Is it possible that being a teacher for 15 years and not having any children he socked enough away to afford a condo and a second home? Possibly. That would be my bet.

But bottom line, with people losing jobs as well as pay cuts, I think the step increases would have been more than sufficient.

JJay, there is one very important incorrect fact in your list. The TAXPAYERS pay for the teachers continuing education costs. It's part of their contract. So not only are they getting a raise but they are advancing their education at the expense of the taxpayer receiving yet more money on top of that!

To "Add It Up"..........You are quite misinformed. According to your "fuzzy math", yes, the teachers with over ten years+ would get a half way decent raise next year, BUT THAT JUST ISN'T SO. I've just consulted with several Dist. 204 teachers, and you are definitely confused. Perhaps you should call a board member and they could fill you in on the correct details. It's a 2% raise next year for all teachers, unless they've earned a lane change (or step up) and spent hundreds and often times thousands of dollars and many hours going to continuing education classes, which the "average" teacher does not. (And yet, that is what the Naperville Sun led everyone to believe)

And one more thing>>>>>>>>>>You've OBVIOUSLY never worked a day in the life of a school teacher.

I find it unbelievable in this economy that the school board has agreed to this contract. What world do both the Board and the Teachers Union live in that negotiated this for both sides?

Not long ago the Sun published a section on the teaching profession, which advised there is something like 8,500 teachers on a waiting list to join the 204 or 203 school system. Why doesn't the Board take a stand and act responsibly, similar to their counterparts in the real world.

We already provide them with retirement benefits far richer than those in private industry, which is one of the major reasons for the soon to be enacted income tax increase in Illinois, and which is a ticking time bomb in terms of unfunded liabilities that will bankrupt the state at some point in the future.

In a district with outstanding facilities, involved parents, stable economic conditions. There aree lines of those who would welcome the opportunity to teach in our system at rates well below what is currently being paid before this new contract.

It would be a breath of fresh air to have a Board that acted like they had a grip on reality for a change, but that clearly is not likely to happen.

JJAY: I worked with a fellow who told me his wife finished up her PHD at Northern over a period of years. Much of the work was done during summers. She worked in the Schaumburg district and he told me that when you take her salary, divide it by the 180 days she is in school, she earns $409 gross dollars per schoold day in pay. Not a bad deal and not a bad thing to spend pocket money on. The district reimbursed her for some of her expenses. The point is teachers, many of us in private industry take course work for either advanced degrees, professional designations while traveling, working year round and in the case of my wife, spending countless hours tutoring and reviewing with my children their school work at the kitchen table after dinner and her full day at work to supplement what you did not accomplish, what my kids did not pick up for some reason or in the case of my daughter, delivered her to good old Mr. Christensen at the Nichols Library a number of times for intensive math tutoring when the high school math became most difficult. The kids were good students but did not excel and since the daughter in particular was not failing, very little public school assistance was available. Mr. Christensen by the way was worth every penny paid and my daughter even took his tutoring in college math classes at NCC. She earned high grades thanks in large part to him. A dedicated teacher who found a niche. We value good teachers but as most of us know, you are also successful because you live in Naperville and not a school district where you recieve little support.

I am happy to pay teachers a handsome salary for what they do. I think in 204 they receive that. They provide a fine education for my kids and I am greatful for that. I have absolutely no argument. None. Zero.

But......

Why should they get a raise THIS YEAR when so many companies are not giving them? I work for one of the largest companies in the world and one of the largest employers in the area. We are not getting raises this year -- for the first time in my 20+ years with the same employer. And I am not alone.

So tell me again why the teachers should get a raise this year?

JJay,

You mean difficult things like continuing to breathe for additional raises.

2% is the raise over last year's schedule. According to the old contract (available at 204 website)

"Indexed 1.015 Vertical through yr 4, at 5-9 yrs. 1.02, at 10 yr and beyond 1.0275
BA lanes 1.06, MA 1.08, MA+lanes 1.05, MA+60 1.03 and PHD 1.045"

In other words, forgetting change due to additional education, someone in years 1-4 gets a 3.5% raise = 2%+1.5% . Someone 5-9 gets a 4% raise and someone 10+ gets a 4.75% raise. By continuing to breathe.

Good luck with that.

And from the article:

“Yeah, we’re looking at an economy that is the worst it has been since the Great Depression,” Dranius (IPEA president) said. “So yeah, I’m happy.”

If the union chief is HAPPY, taxpayers must be sad.

Giving teachers another 4% raise is the most ridiculous thing I have ever heard. When they quote what a teacher makes - they should also indicate they only work part-time (9 mos.). Teachers realize they have a fantastic working situation - off at Christmas Time - Spring Break - Summer - and all their holidays which always make a 3-4 day weekend and they still cry because they work sooooo hard. Everyone is having a hard time right now and we are getting no help from anyone. Teachers and especially administrators who receive over $200,000.00 a year should be smart enough to live on a budget.

Are you all forgetting that this raise is ONLY 2%?????!!! And not the 3.87% like the Naperville Sun reported on their front page inaccurately!!! It takes many hours and lots of out of pocket money, sometimes thousands of dollars to pay for continuing education classes for a teacher to get a bit more than the tiny 2%. And it usually takes years to acquire this "step up" raise!! If you don't have all the facts, please stop making assumptions. Our teachers are top notch and should be commended and compensated for their hard work and kindness to our children. We should be applauding them, not degrading them.

OKKKKKKKKKKK....Who said anything about high execs? Teachers are starting at 40 grand plus a fantastic benefit package plus fantastic paid time off and going up to how much? A hundred? There are many management positions in business and manufacturing that are not much above 50, probably less now, that are salaried and require much more than 40 hours a week. Also with a good possibility of no employer paid pension or health insurance, as time goes by. People have to work up to the big bucks, also. I doubt any of those "high execs" started out making "big bucks."

Get out in the real world some, we aren't all making AIG salaries. Talk about living in a bubble.

I guess it isn't worth it for 204 teachers to take a pay cut to keep their 80 or so comrades from filing for unemployment, or God forbid...looking to teach in a different district! How many surrounding communities are laying off teachers? How many surrounding states are laying off teachers?

If the current contract doesn't expire for 5 months, can somebody please explain why there's such a rush to sign a new contract this week? Given the possibility that there be 4 out of 7 NEW school board members in a few weeks, it seems like it would be a common courtesy to wait to ensure that the new board endorses such a significant commitment on the largest line item of our district's budget!

Ok You high execs...you make triple what the teachers make. I am sure you do bring work home but don't make teachers jobs sound so easy. You execs make the big bucks!

When determining salaries for teachers, why can't we just look at the money the district has available for the next 1 to 3 years, decide what percentage to dedicate to payroll, then set the wages accordingly. I am so tired of "external" reasons for deciding salaries. "Keeping up with benchmark districts", "teachers are underpaid and overworked", these things shouldn't be the primary factors in the decisions made as to how a district's money is allocated. I am also tired of school district budgeting that appears to make allocations based on external, often emotional, reasons, then assumes that if the money runs out, they'll just ask for more.

Teachers are the only profession that takes their work home? Huh?

All of you salaried execs want to chime in here...how many of you worked over 40 hours per week the past few years without compensation? You guys get summer and Christmas/spring breaks? Every holiday off with pay? How about your sick days, what, 5 a year, maybe?

Pensions, anyone...Bueller?

Teachers are probably the only profession that thinks they are the only profession who has to take their work home.

You guys posting about teachers having the summers off and 2 weeks at Christmas obviously don't know a teacher. Teachers plan lessons, take classes. Teachers are probably the only profession who has to take their work home. Come on…report cards take many hours beyond the school day, lesson planning and grading papers. All done outside the school day. Get to know a teacher before you think the job is so cushy! It looks easy because these people LOVE their jobs and it shows! Proud to be in 204!

To: Diane G

Regarding:
We live in D204. My daughter's teacher is buying a summer place in Green Bay, Wisconsin. He also owns a condo to live in during the school year. I will not speculate on how he can afford 2 residences. I have neighbors that lost their jobs. Hopefully they will be able to keep their 1 townhouse. Since teachers already get "step" increases, these trying economic times would have warranted no additional increases.

Wow...He must have a wife who makes good money because do the math Diane, even if he made 100,000 he can not afford more than one house. Get real, stick with the facts. Or someone passed it on to him. A teacher on his salary alone can not afford two houses...come on......

What is the data that teachers (204s teachers in particular) are among the lowest paid of the workforce, besides constant tripe from the NEA?

Does anyone have an idea of what was asked for and what was offered? Or was this a first offer and the union is going to gobble it up because the board didn't negotiate stronger? 3.8% is pretty high right now. Not the moon, but certainly out of the Earth's atmosphere. The union better be able to come down close to zippo next year or there will be a serious cash flow problem.

While nobody should tolerate being injured at work, this info is from some trial lawyer website.

"However, teachers and other school employees are a special group. With lengthy summer vacations, they rarely work 52 weeks out of the year; an average work calendar is more likely to be around 42 weeks per year. The Illinois Supreme Court has established that an injured school employee should receive compensation based upon the number of weeks they actually work rather than the number of weeks in a calendar year."

"Consequently, rather than dividing the annual salary by 52, the employee's annual salary should be divided by 42 weeks (or the number of weeks in the school year). This results in a higher weekly average, which is then used as the basis for determining work comp benefits. Ultimately, this results in higher benefit payments for the school employee."

Is this the difference you are talking about? Increased worker's comp benefits? Ouch! Really bad news for teachers.

Raiding the retirement funds? That was done by the in the past by the union by accepting the 20-20-20 raises. Unless you can show that Springfield is going to stop paying the retirement benefits, then I am not sure if your gripe is with the union or what?

Historically, District #204 employees have been woefully undercompensated compared to their neighboring districts to the east and north. 3.8% is hardly asking for the moon! As several previous posters have stated, teachers are among the lowest paid of the workforce and are not always dealing with the best, the brightest or the most pleasant kids. My nephew was afraid to go the White Eagle School last year because of a violent student who did, in fact, injury staff. It's a one-year deal. See what the economy bears in 2010.

John Q. Public, because Higgins claimed 203 had such great surpluses they wouldn't need to lay off teachers! My guess is the 203 board is finding itself fast in a pickle. They said we wouldn't have deficit spending until 2017, then 2014, now I am seeing projections of 2010 and 2011. They need to do something fast or taxpayers will finally get fed up and throw them out.

My guess is the announcement to lay off 300 people is a simple PR tool to make it look like the 203 board is doing something to control salaries. It is typical slight of hand. Most likely they will hire most of them back this summer yet won't make any announcements about it. That's the way this usually works. I have seen this happen multiple times.

To: By Bubo on March 17, 2009 8:37 AM
Did Metzger and the entire school board just flip-off the 204 residents by implementing a pay increase while the home owners are being ratcheted down in their salaries and benefits?
Mr. Metzger is not the problem; he is a symptom of what happens when a union controls their paymasters.

===========

Mark is the Victim in all of this? Thanks, I needed a good laugh today.

Before you start complaining about the state of the economy and what is fair/not fair: How many jobs do most of you have where you are assaulted? There have been numerous teacher in D #204 who have been physically attacked by students. When injured, they don't get the same type of workman's comp that other workers in different fields do. There are a LOT of things going on in schools you aren't even aware of!! "They get 12 weeks off!" Really, most have to take classes in order to improve themselves on the payscale. There are no profit sharing, no Christmans bonuses and a retriement plan that is constantly raided as Springfield's personal piggy bank. You want to get mad at people ?? - IAG giving bonuses to staff of a FAILING company. #204 has a very high academic achievement rate. And yes, the salaries of other districts in the area are higher than 204. If you hate paying for it, think the staff of 204 are ungrateful, lazy wretches, then move. Go! NOW! You think you find better quality education elsewhere, then relocate. House are cheaper in lots of other areas within a fifty mile radius.

Casimir wrote:

Hey Thom:

Since you're a big advocate (or is it shill?) of D203, how do you feel about news that the district is laying of 300 employees...I believe about 80 plus of them are teachers....and didn't the district have a surplus?.

Why should Mr. Higgins need to address this? Isn't this an example of the kind of fiscal restraint that District 203's critics claim it doesn't do enough of?

-JQP

I'm okay with payraises for the teachers. But, how about including the Substitutes teachers, who haven't had a raise for years. Also, the Substitutes teachers aren't represented by a union. The Substitute teachers work very hard and deserve a raise too!

Instead of extending the contract or writing a new contract... how about we just walk away?

Tell them thanks but your services are no longer needed. We have outsourced your jobs to a private contractor.

This concept works fine in the private sector for saving money. It is long past due to start using these tactics in the public sector to break up all of these sweetheart deals.

Let's see, people everywhere are losing jobs or having their wages frozen. Teachers now receive 22 paid days off plus a 12 week summer vacation.
This new contract will take high school students out of class for an additional 13 hours with their late Wednesday start. The reason for this is, "So the teachers can work on improving student performance through improved instruction." Instruction they will be missing while teachers are meeting and talking about it.
One of the problems with the teachers is most of them have never worked in the real world and are filled with an entitlement mentality.

Call me old fashion but I believe the 204 teachers should not get any raise. I believe some of their pay scales are obscene. I have no problem with being "competitive" as Daeschner says they must be, but I wonder what he means by that? "Competitive" requires that other districts are escaping the bad economy and that is not realistic. If the teachers don't get a big raise from 204 where do you think they are going to get one? No where! The high wages are already complimented by job security and a better pension than the rest of us poor fools have with social secuity. Wake up Daeschner!

Those little angels in the schools are so easy to teach and they don't make any trouble all day and they're all honors students, it's so easy to be a teacher. And teachers are rich and they can afford to live in Naperville and your are so right, people are losing their jobs and why should ANYONE else get a raise if I lost my job, that's just un-American.

Hey Thom:

Since you're a big advocate (or is it shill?) of D203, how do you feel about news that the district is laying of 300 employees...I believe about 80 plus of them are teachers....and didn't the district have a surplus? And to the moderator: Wouldn't this be a better topic than the raises in D204? Wait til Money Magazine hears about this. Naperville probably won't even make the vaunted list of "best places to live" in America.

Come on these teachers make less than most people in the work force, they are educating your children. They have to put up with this abuse. Would you like your salary posted in the newspaper and on line?? I wish they got more!

This is exactly what taxpayers in D203 and D204 can continue to expect when school boards are controlled by board members endorsed, and campaigned for, by the teachers' union. Had enough yet from school boards controlled by the teachers' union, Naperville taxpayer? Then get off your butts and vote against the teachers' union candidates on April 7! The candidates endorsed by D204 this election are: DiFusco, Hepburn, Huang, and Moscato. The D203 candidates are: Crotty, Romberg, Dennison, and _______? As this outrageous 3.8%contract decision proves, when school boards are controlled by union-endorsed board members, they will cater to the wishes of the union rather than the limits of the taxpayer. Get an email chain going informing friends not to vote for the union-endorsed candidates.

Here we go again. District 204 Superintendent Stephen Daeschel hands over taxpayer money to the union with the usual excuse that we must remain competitive with the 4 benchmark districts that are providing increases between 3.8% and 4.2% for next year. This has been the usual verbage from our Naperville school boards for years now. It is a self fulfilling prophesy for all of the benchmark districts. I would love to play poker with either of the Naperville boards, you could bluff all night long and they wouldn't have a clue. Are the teachers going to leave if they don't get what they want? I say see ya, I'll provide the ride out of town. In this economic climate to give 3.8% raises is absolutely ridiculous. What would the raises have been if the economy was sound? I can't take this state anymore and the unions that steer the mothership. We are 1 of only 7 states that allows teachers to strike. When they do, they always wait for the Football season to start and threaten to destroy the season for the school. But remember they always say its all about the kids and that's what they care about. Hah!!!!

We live in D204. My daughter's teacher is buying a summer place in Green Bay, Wisconsin. He also owns a condo to live in during the school year. I will not speculate on how he can afford 2 residences. I have neighbors that lost their jobs. Hopefully they will be able to keep their 1 townhouse. Since teachers already get "step" increases, these trying economic times would have warranted no additional increases.

threatening kids to extort yet another un-deserved raise... classic
I've seen countless people lose their former jobs to incompetence, and then become teachers

nobody seems to discuss the excess at the top
I have to wonder why -

what's the ratio of 203 & 204 teachers to NON-teachers
that's more interesting

203 & 204 are certainly the AIG exec's of the Western Suburbs
no more pension for new hires; please

could somebody please administer ISAT/ACT/SAT tests to
the teachers & staff; and fire anybody who doesn't exceed
the student scores; on a random/no warning basis
now that's pay for performance

ARE YOU KIDDING ME? This is unbelievable! Where do they think that the money is coming from? An awful lot of people are just hanging on as best they can. This is a definate slap in the face to the taxpayers of District 204. I hope that the board has the courage to say NO! Let's watch and see.
Janey Wagner
630-202-3961

Forget all this stuff about the teachers and their raises. Lets talk about about what people are REALLY interested in.....The Metea decision and the new boundaries is all you people really care about.

C'mon.....you know this thread will get there eventually. So lets just get to it right away and skip all the preliminaries and pretending that your animosity is rooted in anything else.

Did Metzger and the entire school board just flip-off the 204 residents by implementing a pay increase while the home owners are being ratcheted down in their salaries and benefits?

Mr. Metzger is not the problem; he is a symptom of what happens when a union controls their paymasters.

Stock Market...down 50%
Housing...down (you pick the percent)
District 204...3.8% Raise...PRICELESS!!!!!!!!!

I am just curious if anyone on the 204 board or in the administative office has read a newspaper, watched a television or spent anytime on the internet over the past 12 months????? What color is the sky in their world? Voting for a 3.8% raise when nearly every worker in america is seeing their pay slashed, jobs lost and companies closed. Yet just another example of the endless money pit that Dr.D and the board raid on a regualr basis. When is enough, enough? So, given the economy a one year deal made sense???? LOL, LOL, nor reallt LOL!!! Given the economy, NO RAISES MAKE SENSE...get it 204? What are you thinking? Elections have their payback and yet here is another example of politics at its finest. May God help us all.

Anonymous

Call me crazy but I think not having to do arbitrary layoffs due to a deficit crisis is a good thing. But as far as raises, the teachers contract will expire after the next school year, 2009-2010. Do I expect the next contract to include raises, or would QE203.org support raises considering the economic environment we are in?

No.

Would we be OK with the step and lane increases? That I'd want to wait till next year to better understand where the economy is before I'd commit either way.


Thom Higgins
Qe203.org

That's right Thom, I remember now--you said that we don't have to worry about laying teachers off in 203 like many surrounding districts are currently doing, because we have enough money to keep from going into deficit for a few years yet, maybe.

I thought that was still sweet, keeping the union status quo as a district with surplus taxes collected won't be in deficit for a few more years, no layoffs...raises as usual, no worries about the communities current or future ability to pay and keep up once the over-collected tax funds are used up.

Is there a big difference between the two statements?

Keyboard.

You might want to go back to the Pick you own topic thread where we are discussing D203's issues. This is what I posted on March 14th:

It's for one year, and it's only 2% but it still looks awful when you consider how many people in the work force are loosing jobs, taking pay cuts, or getting nothing in raises. Also, anyone who follows teachers salaries understands that as long as they continue to receive step and lane increases in addition to the 2%, this is really just business as usual. D203's current contract (negotiated in 2007) is for 2% over the base and will expire in 2011. I wonder if that had an effect on 204's negotiation?

For the anonymous @ 8:16

You will look in vain for any comments such as you are implying I said regarding raises. If you can find anywhere I said we can use the surplus to give raises, please post it here.

Thom Higgins
QE203.org

I think my next career will be a teacher. Get your MBA and tenure and your safe. Summers off, 2 weeks at Christmas, 1 week in Spring and every paid holidy. Not a bad gig.

So far 204 teachers are the only people I know that are receiving increases this year. Maybe Obama should take a look at this as he is with AIG.

LMAO: Indian Prairie Teachers Association. HA HA. Just call it the union Steve. You are not kidding anyone and you look silly smearing lipstick on that Union piggy bank calling it something you suspect is more dignified. If it were 203, it would have been at least a 5.5% raise. That district rolls like a whino when it comes time to deal with their unions except the bus drivers who are screwed all the time. Funny, the most dangerous time the children are away from home is probably riding in a private car or on a school bus and those bus drivers, who have heavy responsibility are always treated like crap at raise time. Like others have commented, where I work commercial accounts are falling by the side because this is a poor state for business development. Top performers will get 3%, others less or nothing. Vacant positions are not being filled and work and duties distributed accordingly to others. At least no one has been laid off, yet. The only solace is the teachers, heavy democrat supporters and party contributors (with my tax money) may not really get 3.87%. Our current Governor wants to reward them and raise our state income tax rate from 3% to 4.5%. This will eat a significant sum of their increase too. So good for them and thank you for helping the government.

Oh, I guess you're right. It's not fair to the citizens of Naperville that we only have a shill for one of our school districts. The poor District 204 faculty and staff can't afford their own internet defense robot I guess. :(

Doesn't Thom strum for 203, not 204? You know, the district that will be fine for a few more years because of the surplus tax collected that was never returned that will float 203 through this tough patch without having to worry about money for another few years, or one year, anyway.

I thought that was a classic answer by him, up back a bit. We don't have to worry in 203 about giving our teachers raises at a rate far and above what the constituents are averaging this year, because we collected all this surplus.

AHAHAHAH!!! Almost a 4% raise when most people are taking pay cuts or going on unemployment. Absolutely unbelievable. I can't wait for district defense robot codename "Thom Higgins" to come to the defense of THIS!

Personally, I'd like to see more of the Administration staff foot some of the bill for their own benefits packages. I'd imagine that would be a huge cost savings for the taxpayers.

Giving money for raises to public servants when the residents are taking paycuts and losing their jobs sucks. It is not only unbelievable but unconscionable.

I just wrote another blog on You Pick the Topic about pensions, corruption and the 50% increase in state income taxes that our new idiotic governor wants so I am in no mood to write another long one.

Going out for some sunshine. Screw all the politicians who run the State of Illinois, the City of Naperville and all the School Districts.

I am moving out of this sick state where everyone is sleeping instead of fighting these tax increases. There should be a revolt and rebellion if not a violent riot. At least a tea party in Lake Michigan.......

Glad I don't live in 204!
Yet another shakedown of the taxpayers by a union. I'm thinking it is going to take a pitchfork and torch rally for our elected officials to stop caving in to unions. These unions WILL bankrupt us.

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This page contains a single entry by Naperville Sun editors published on March 16, 2009 4:40 PM.

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