The Trib is also on the story of last night’s union meeting to decry the IEC contract:

District 211 teachers hit energy consortium.

HOFFMAN ESTATES — Angry over the decision by northwest suburban Township High School District 211 to purchase electricity from a statewide educational energy consortium without competitive bidding, teachers union representatives called on the school board Thursday to unplug the two-year contract.

“I want them to do what’s right for the taxpayers of this district and reverse their position on this energy commitment,” John Braglia, president of the District 211 teachers union, said before a school board meeting at Conant High School in Hoffman Estates.

Where it says “before a school board meeting” might be a little confusing–some people might think it means he said it at the school board meeting in front of the school board–whereas it was said at a press conference prior to the meeting.

The article goes on:

In May 2006 the district joined hundreds of districts statewide in the Illinois Energy Consortium, an 8-year-old non-profit company created by the Illinois Association of School Boards, the Illinois Association of School Business Officials and the Illinois Association of School Administrators to help schools get better rates for electricity and natural gas.

Allegedly, anyway.

The consortium has been criticized since it was revealed that about $4.5 million in fees unrelated to utility services was collected from school districts in the last three years. Concerned that most districts have hired the consortium without getting bids, real estate developer William Tarsitano sued District 211 alleging that the practice is illegal.

When you get right down to it, if they were so bent on helping school districts save money, why did they collect $4.5 million in fees? Wouldn’t they have wanted that money to stay with the districts? To go into the classrooms?