.

District 46 Residents Turn Out for Citizens' Strike Forum

The often outspoken, self-proclaimed education watchdog Lennie Jarratt hosted a town hall-style meeting Wednesday to talk about District 46's financial woes and the teacher strike.

About 30 residents attended an informal meeting Wednesday night at Grayslake's State Bank of the Lakes to hear Lennie Jarratt, founder of the citizens' group "For Our Children's Future," present his ideas for District 46's financial sustainability and to discuss the teacher strike, which is headed into a second day.

The goal of his organization, said Jarratt, is to find "out-of-the-box solutions" to school district finance problems.

Referring to the District 46 teacher strike, Jarratt presented slides detailing the contract proposals of the union and school board. He said he believed both sides were "at fault" for allowing negotiations to turn into a full-on strike.

"It's a power play to me," he said.

Jarratt, a one-time senate candidate and founder of the Lake County Tea Party, criticized the board for what he sees as a continual disregard for making wise financial decisions. He also chastised the union for refusing to recognize that the district has no money to give teachers the raises they seek.

While referencing several district-released documents, including one that detailed the dwindling fund balance, which is projected to drop to a dangerously low $1.9 million by May, Jarratt advised that tax anticipation warrants, referendum requests and a possible state takeover were not unrealistic consequences of making poor financial decisions.

Regarding teacher compensation, Jarratt suggested the district enter into a 5-year contract agreement with the union instead of two years to end the cycle of frequent negotiations.

He also proposed an end to salary schedules and the elimination of end-of-career salary increases for retiring teachers. Lane changes, suggested Jarratt, should become a one-time bonus, not a part of a teacher's regular salary structure. All of these would save the district money, he said.

Teacher perspective?

One resident in the audience said he wanted a teacher's perspective on Jarratt's suggestions, though no one in attendance indicated they were a teacher.

Another resident said he felt the strike was more about money than doing what was best for the students. Jarratt responded that like police officers and firefighters, teachers should not be allowed to go on strike.

D46: 'Fiscal Reality' Won't Allow for Teacher Raises

POLL: D46 Board and Union to Negotiate Again Sunday. What will be the Outcome?

Gallery: From the District 46 Picket Lines

District 46 Strike is On

UPDATED: No Agreement Reached in D46 to Avoid Strike

Few District 46 Students Attended Strike Camps on Day One

D46 Childcare Plans in Case of Teacher Strike

Agree? Disagree? Agree to disagree? Tell us in the comments.

tim spencer January 17, 2013 at 10:42 PM
Donny, Imagine what that would do to student learning. Obviously, you are not smart. Maybe you were raised in a school district that does not value education and pays their teachers poorly; therefore, you received a bad education because your district could not afford quality instructors. Kids on the northshore receive a quality education and grow up to be smart and successful because their teachers are high quality. They are also paid well. It's a fact. Teacher quality is the number one factor in student success. Google it. It is researched based. Please think before you respond with something so ignorant.
Angela Sykora (Editor) January 17, 2013 at 10:42 PM
I suppose there's also a chance that those in attendance felt more comfortable voicing certain opinions without a member of the media present, so the discussion after I left may have been altered by that fact alone, if that is what you're getting at.
BMF January 18, 2013 at 01:04 AM
I like the 5year plan. I think the teachers/union can set an example for their students by showing patience and compassion for the community members that are struggling to keep up their household and the those of the teachers/unions. We need to make Grayslake desirable to raise the community value, we cant do that with no money. I feel that if teachers/union cant understand this we have the wrong people teaching our children.
Lifetime Grayslake January 18, 2013 at 01:56 AM
Nice. More greedy public employees striking... my mother was a retired D46 teacher and would be ticked off at this 2013 strike... Hmmm.... what is the reason why Illinois is so behind in it's bills???? Let's look north to Wisconsin to see the answer.... public employee greed and pensions.... time to stand up and say no.
Lennie Jarratt January 18, 2013 at 02:50 AM
Strike Information Townhall Where State Bank of the Lakes 50 Commerce Dr, Grayslake, IL 60030 When January 19, 2013 Time 2:00 pm–5:00 pm
Lennie Jarratt January 18, 2013 at 02:54 AM
Not sure exactly what Northshore is getting at, but I think he just didn't understand that you were not able to stay for the entire meeting. I don't believe there was any hesitance to speak/or not speak due to your presence. I believe they wanted to stay anonymous, which is fine. It appears one of the questions and answers just hit a nerve and they decided to go ahead and speak anyway. Thank you for coming and sharing the information. The full presentation can be viewed at ForOurChildrensFuture.com.
Brad Faxton January 18, 2013 at 03:09 AM
Did you notify everyone of your background; the leader of the tea party in lake county?
Brad Faxton January 18, 2013 at 03:10 AM
Lannard... really?
Brad Faxton January 18, 2013 at 03:10 AM
You two live in the same 1 bedroom condo - talk to each other.
Brad Faxton January 18, 2013 at 03:13 AM
bullying? Really? Who threw sand in your eyes? Let me quote my idol in education, "I'll often yell at homeless people: 'Hey, how is that homelessness working out for you? Give not being homeless a try, huh?" -Sue Sylverter
Brad Faxton January 18, 2013 at 03:14 AM
"I just 2 more of the slides..." Wow - you make me sound smart.
Brad Faxton January 18, 2013 at 03:15 AM
Until they asked for an increase in the levy, things like this wouldn't happen.
Brad Faxton January 18, 2013 at 03:17 AM
"Those are what I call lazy-makers. They discourage our able-bodied students from getting their proper exercise by using the stairs!" -Sue Sylvester
BMF January 18, 2013 at 03:17 AM
Maybe its time to look at qualifications and new ideas instead of what party they are apart of. Obviously the party in power made this mess. This state is a laughing stock so who cares what party Lennie is apart of it cant be worst then what we have. We need new ideas!
Terri January 18, 2013 at 01:10 PM
Okay...watch him spin this... " I believe they wanted to stay anonymous, which is fine"
Charles Johnson January 18, 2013 at 05:46 PM
Lennie, Some good work on your presentation. I would take issue with the strategy of banking on increased GSA revenue due to freezing the levy and hoping that declining EAV drives a higher GSA revenue number. EVERY district's EAV is declining. The state has responded with prorating the GSA payment. This year that rate is at 89%. Nothing prevents the legislature from adjusting any of the factors in the GSA calculation formula, including the Foundation amount of $6,119/pupil, or adjusting for state-wide EAV erosion. The scuttlebutt right now is that the proration percentage for next year will be 80%. So, a strategy that is completely dependent upon a dramatic increase in state GSA funding driven by a levy freeze and declining EAV is a strategy doomed for failure.
Terri January 20, 2013 at 03:50 PM
So, let me get this strait. I should: "ask questions to make sure you (I) have the correct information instead of spinning and insinuating false information." But you post information where you "believe there is an error. Not sure if was a district error or an ISBE error at this point." and the only way to know that is to come to your meeting? You should be ashamed of posting data, with names, that you admittedly believe is erroneous...and the only disclaimer is a link that doesn't work that comes after you're called out? Some of the teachers in your slide don't even work in the district anymore. Why would the teachers want a link to misleading information on their Facebook page?
Lennie Jarratt January 20, 2013 at 03:59 PM
The data is from the ISBE as stated. The names DID work in the district in 2012 as shown by the data unless you are claiming the district of ISBE are now using false data on their websites. The salaries presented are correct, the year is what is in question for 2011. Again, unless you believe the district or the ISBE is reporting false data. I also pointed out other false data coming from both the district and union. Why don't they want the people to know the truth? Why is the union, knowing there will be RIFs, negotiating for higher classes (40 -50) is projected with their offer?
Lennie Jarratt January 20, 2013 at 04:03 PM
The data is from the ISBE as stated. The names DID work in the district in 2012 as shown by the data unless you are claiming the district and ISBE are now using false data on their websites. The salaries presented are correct, the year is what is in question for 2011. Again, unless you believe the district or the ISBE is reporting false data. I also pointed out other false data coming from both the district and union. Why don't they want the people to know the truth? Why is the union, knowing there will be RIFs, negotiating for higher classes (40 -50) is projected with their offer?
LMJ January 20, 2013 at 04:09 PM
Why aren't you getting this Terri? Why does Lennie have to constantly say the same thing over and over to you?
Terri January 20, 2013 at 04:11 PM
So, let me get this strait. I should: "ask questions to make sure you (I) have the correct information instead of spinning and insinuating false information." But you post information where you "believe there is an error. Not sure if was a district error or an ISBE error at this point." and the only way to know that is to come to your meeting? You should be ashamed of posting data, with names, that you admittedly believe is erroneous...and the only disclaimer is a link that doesn't work that comes after you're called out? Some of the teachers in your slide don't even work in the district anymore. Why would the teachers want a link to misleading information on their Facebook page?
Terri January 20, 2013 at 04:13 PM
Using the link on your website to the ISBE database, the teacher on the last line went from $91 in '09/'10 to $95 in '11/'12...3 years...and no longer works in the district. Where do you get the 40/50 class size data? It would be appropriate to answer the following directly, IMHO: So, let me get this strait. I should: "ask questions to make sure you (I) have the correct information instead of spinning and insinuating false information." But you post information where you "believe there is an error. Not sure if was a district error or an ISBE error at this point." and the only way to know that is to come to your meeting? You should be ashamed of posting data, with names, that you admittedly believe is erroneous...and the only disclaimer is a link that doesn't work that comes after you're called out? Some of the teachers in your slide don't even work in the district anymore. Why would the teachers want a link to misleading information on their Facebook page?
Lennie Jarratt January 20, 2013 at 06:58 PM
Using the link from ISBE that I provided still does not give you the 2010 data. Grayslake D46 is not available in the dropdown. The data posted is from 2011 and 2012. Again, still not 2013 like you keep falsely insinuating. Please provide the source link for the data you used since it is different than the data I have found from ISBE. Second you show year 10 - 12, that is still only 2 yrs of raises, not 3. The 40-50 number comes from the district being forced to RIF 37 teachers displacing 740- 962 children (based on current classroom size) and pushing them into other classes. The union's current offer adds up to another 12 teachers to that or 240 - 312 children displaced. That is a total of 980 - 1274 children. Dispersement of those into other classrooms will put you into the 40 - 50 range per class. If you are anyone else would like to setup a group meeting to go over my presentations, I will be happy to come speak with them. That way we can go into more detail. Openness, honesty and a dialogue is what is need to solve this issue not your continued distortions and insinuations.
Terri January 20, 2013 at 07:19 PM
I used the link on your website, right menu, to the ISBE database. Where in this comment or post have I referred to FY13? '09/'10, '10/'11 &'11/'12 (3 yrs) are all available for the high paid teacher on the last line. None of the ISBE data matches the data on your slide
Terri January 20, 2013 at 07:21 PM
If 40 teachers had 23 kids per class, and were not offset by attrition of highly paid teachers and decreased enrollment, there might be some convoluted math that would increase class size. You know the math is not that simple. Otherwise, the current 330 teachers & 4,000 students would create an average class size of 12.
Lennie Jarratt January 21, 2013 at 01:49 AM
I don't believe they will lower the foundation level. From what I am hearing there will be an attempt to raise taxes again instead. The EAV is adjusted by county, not state wide. An Assessor told me there will be another state factor put on again this year as well. The only issue is the percentage. If they raise taxes or shift the pension back there will be changes to accommodate the extra costs to a certain point. The board went with the best information they had at the time. They had these same projections for close to a year I believe if not longer.
Lennie Jarratt January 21, 2013 at 01:51 AM
You just stated earlier you went to Family Taxpayers, again that is not ISBE.
Terri January 21, 2013 at 02:39 AM
I followed the link on the right side of your page with the presentation...took me to the ISBE data base via Family Taxpayer
Lennie Jarratt January 21, 2013 at 02:44 AM
LOL, no you did not follow the link "Illinois State Board of Education".
Forethe Community January 23, 2013 at 06:56 PM
350 people showed up Sunday in the freezing cold to support the teachers of their district. That’s: • 10 times the number that showed up for either of the For Our Children’s Future town halls. • 10 times the number, on average, that shows up to BOE meetings. • 5 times the number that have ever shown up for a BOE meeting (in recent history). 30 local business showed their support for the teachers by supplying food, providing parking, providing warming shelters, allowing access to their bathrooms, and donating cash to help teachers that might need it in a prolonged strike. Residual benefits went to local food banks through excess donations. That’s: • 10 times the number of local business’s that spoke at any levy hearing. • Equal to the number of attendants at any For Our Children’s Future town Hall. • Equal to or greater than the average attendance at a BOE meeting. Actions speak louder than words. I applaud the board for listening to the public. I only wish the silent majority had been more vocal at the levy hearings. It’s too late to do what the public really wanted.

Boards

More »
Got a question? Something on your mind? Talk to your community, directly.
Note Article
Just a short thought to get the word out quickly about anything in your neighborhood.
Share something with your neighbors.What's on your mind?What's on your mind?Make an announcement, speak your mind, or sell somethingPost something