May 2007


When adjusted for cost of living, pension contribution, and experience, teacher compensation in Illinois ranks 3rd in the nation.

Lennie at Education Matters filed an “open records” request with some school districts to see if, like District 211, they also used a no-bid business model in their energy purchases.

A lot of school districts who are buying energy from the Illinois Energy Consortium, as he has learned through his Freedom of Information requests, did not use a competitive bid process.

One of those school districts is Round Lake, as Lennie reports.

He says:

You might be asking yourself why I am holding out Round Lake as different than other particpants in the IEC, IUPC, or other energy consortiums who did not competitively bid energy contracts. The answer is simple, Round Lake schools have been under State Finance Authority since 2002. In other words, while under State Control, the school district has been allowed to continue the practice of no-bid contracts.

The SFA fixed the glaring financial mismanagement that had been rampant in the district necessitating the State oversite. They allowed the no-bid practice to continue that has enabled other State organizations, the IASB, IASBO, and the IASA to collect millions of dollars at the expense of the taxpayers.

Lennie notes that the Illinois Senate and House are pushing through bills as fast as they can to legally exempt school districts from having to get competitive bids.

It’s urgent that you contact your senator and representative. Lennie shows you how to do that.

At the District 299 blog, Alexander Russo writes about the idea of putting checkbook registers online, with some topical updates and a question for Chicago Public Schools…a similar question  to one I asked of District 211 awhile back:

Why not post the District 211 checkbook online?

Who will win Tarsitano v. District 211?
Tarsitano
District 211
The taxpayers
  
pollcode.com free polls

Pensions.

But, really…it’s all about the kids.

Illinois pioneer of school district transparency.

Talk show host and blogger Bruno Behrend of Extreme Wisdom is floating a very intriquing draft of a proposal for school funding and educational reform in Illinois.

It has been awhile since I looked at District 211’s official website update about its dealings with the Illinois Energy Consortium. Looking at it this morning, the first few paragraphs seem new (although I may just have early onset senile dementia).

Here are the first few sentences of the update as it now reads with my comments:

On May 11, 2006, the District 211 Board of Education approved the best offer received in the District’s request for proposals for electric and natural gas.

It has been reported over and over again and even, I think, stipulated in the court filings, that there were no written requests for proposals issued by the District. At best, I believe that a District 211 employee made some phone calls. So I think it is a significant exaggeration to refer to “the District’s request for proposals”.

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