Saturday, May 20, 2006
Did this school district actually get it right? Only time will tell. Time and time again we see that they may not give out raises but in exchange will hand out more sick time which ends up costing taxpayers more in the end. Read between the lines. They will only hold off raises until a referendum passes. Langon is full of hooey. "Langon recommended the pay raises amid an effort to keep the district competitive." Please this is nothing more than the ratchet game that the Illinois Association of School Administrators plays to ratchet up salaries across Illinois. The following article appeared in the Herald News newspaper.
Fairmont referendum, no raises
Increases for staff: Board rejects hikes in wake of deficit
By Tony Graf
LOCKPORT TOWNSHIP — Fairmont school leaders rejected pay raises for the superintendent, principal and numerous other employees this week.
The school district is facing a longstanding deficit around $700,000, and the board had to make tough decisions during
its Wednesday meeting, said board member Bradley Johnson.
Some want the board to tighten its belt, particularly because a November referendum is possible.
"What we did tonight, we did because we need to get a referendum passed," said board member Richard Myers.
The board rejected 5 percent pay increases for:
• Doris Langon, superintendent, to $133,755, along with a $400-per-month travel stipend;
• Stephanie Long, principal, to $92,495; and
• Teacher aides, secretaries, custodians and lunchroom hostesses.
Langon recommended the pay raises amid an effort to keep the district competitive.
"The district is making an effort to recruit highly qualified teachers and administrators, and to remain competitive to retain those individuals to improve the district," she said.
"You have to have highly qualified people — that's NCLB," she said, referring to the federal No Child Left Behind Act.
"I understand the dilemma the board is in, but we are showing improvement," Langon said.
Langon is asking for a special board meeting to determine the board's direction on salaries.
A possible November referendum, which the board will address next month, would follow voters' rejection of this spring's ballot proposal.
Fairmont leaders want voters' permission to transfer about $1.6 million in debt from one district fund to another. The move is not expected to increase the tax rate.
In 2001, the state had $4.6 million available for a construction project on the Fairmont campus. But in order to get that money, Fairmont had to come up with $1.6 million locally.
So Fairmont issued a bond, borrowing $1.6 million. The board didn't ask voters to issue that bond, so the money is being paid out of the district's education fund, which funds teacher salaries, supplies and other expenses for school operations.
This means Fairmont has about $140,000 less every year in the educational fund.
The plan is to move the debt from the education fund to the bond and interest fund.
This won't increase the tax rate, because another debt has been paid off in the bond and interest fund, Johnson said.
The move essentially would free up more money in the education fund for educational uses.