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CCSD 46 BOARD OF EDUCATION
QUESTIONS & ANSWERS

Updated 11/06/19

The following questions-and-answers were developed by the CCSD 46 Board of Education to provide information related to contract negotiations between the Board of Education and Grayslake Federation of Teachers and the Grayslake PSRP. It includes questions, as well as information the Board believes is important for the community to know as it relates to this matter. This Q&A will be updated on an ongoing basis. We invite you to check back for updates.

The District 46 Board of Education is committed to ensuring that negotiations proceed in a fair and productive manner and that teachers and support staff are fairly and competitively compensated. The next negotiation session is scheduled for Tuesday, November 5.

Click on the question to be taken directly to the answer.


SALARY RELATED QUESTIONS

UPDATED 11/6/19 - Question: What raises have teachers and PSRP staff received over the last 5 years?
Question: Do teachers in District 46 have a salary schedule?
Question: How have salary increases compared with inflation over the past 5 years?
Question: Who makes up the non-union members who received a 3% raise?
Question: What raises did the administrators and non-union employees receive?
Question: Is it true that the District pays employees below minimum wage?
Question: What is the average salary in District 46 and how does it compare to other school districts in the area?
Question: The School Report Card compares CCSD 46 teacher salaries with teacher salaries across Illinois. Are only elementary districts represented in that state average?


CURRENT OFFERS

Question: Where can I find the public posting of the current offers?
UPDATED 11/6/19 - Question: What are the costs of the current proposals?
UPDATED 11/6/19 - Question: How far apart are you?
UPDATED 11/6/19 - Question: How much would the teachers' and PSRP proposals cost the District?
UPDATED 11/6/19 - Question: What are the estimated impacts of the proposals on the future financial situation of the District?


TAX RELATED QUESTIONS

Question: Is it true that the Board of Education does not need to raise taxes in order to pay the teachers what they are seeking?
Question: What is the EAV, annual levy and tax rate for D46 compared to surrounding districts?


FUNDING SALARIES

Question: What are the major sources of revenue the Board has available to pay for salary/wage increases?
Question: Why can't the Board use part of its Educational Fund balance to pay for salary/wage raises?
Question: Can the Board fund teacher salary raises with the salary savings from retired teachers?


BENEFITS RELATED QUESTIONS

Question: What is the health insurance benefit provided to the teachers and PSRP?
Question: Is it true that the teachers and support staff are paying more for their health insurance this year?
Question: Did the Board attempt to negotiate any reductions or changes in benefits from the teachers and PSRP?


DISTRICT RELATED QUESTIONS

Question: Is it true that the Board increased its Educational Fund balance by $2 million dollars by the end of the 2017-18 school year?
Question: How many teachers left the district last year to take higher paying jobs in other districts?
Question: What is the teacher retention rate in District 46 and how does it compare to other school districts in the area?
Question: What has the Board done to control increasing costs in other areas of its budget?
Question: Why might the Unions and the Board of Education have differing data regarding where CCSD 46 average salaries and/or raises ranks in comparison to other comparable, nearby districts?
Question: What is the Board of Education paid for their service? Why don't they take a pay cut?


IF A STRIKE OCCURS

Question: Where can I find childcare for my children if a strike occurs?
Question: How can students who usually receive free or at a reduced fee breakfast and lunch access food during the strike?


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SALARY RELATED QUESTIONS

Question: What raises have teachers and PSRP staff received over the last 5 years?

Over the past five years, teachers and PSRP have received the following raises:

Tier 1 Teacher = 18 years of experience or less
Tier 2 Teacher = 19 + years of experience


Question: Do teachers in District 46 have a salary schedule?

The Board and the Teachers Union agreed to eliminate the salary schedules beginning in the 2015-2016 school year. As a result, there is no matrix that identifies salary raises. Annual salary raises are negotiated by the Board and the Union, and the percentage increase is consistent for all employees in a particular employee group, as per Article V(O) in the current contract. In addition, teachers receive salary increases through obtaining credit for graduate classes, as per Article V(J) in the current contract. During bargaining, the Board and Union negotiate starting salaries for newly hired teachers, in accordance with Articles V(L) of the current contract.

Question: How have salary increases compared with inflation over the past 5 years?

Over the last five years, salary increases have consistently exceeded inflation.

Question: Who makes up the non-union members who received a 3% raise?

There are several support staff members who cannot be in the union due to the nature of their work responsibilities. Some examples include Payroll Coordinator, Benefits Coordinator, Personnel Assistant and Executive Assistant to the Superintendent.

Question: What raises did the administrators and non-union employees receive?

All administrators except for one, and all non-union employees, received 3% raises for the 2019-2020 school year.

Question: Is it true that the District pays employees below minimum wage?

By law, the District cannot pay employees below minimum wage. The current minimum wage in Illinois is $8.25 per hour. The lowest starting hourly rate in District 46 is $12.20. Future changes in the minimum wage law can be addressed in future contracts with ample time to ensure compliance.

Question: What is the average salary in District 46 and how does it compare to other school districts in the area?

According to the Illinois School Report Card released on Wednesday, October 30, during the 2018-2019 school year, the average teacher salary in District 46 was $60,661. When comparing this data with other school districts, the Report Card explains that the average salary for a particular school district “varies greatly depending on location, years of experience, level of education, and financial resources of the district.” That said, District 46’s average salary data compares favorably to other elementary school districts which are near District 46 (within two school districts geographically) and/or one of the six Tier 1 Evidence Based Funding (EBF) Adequacy elementary school districts in Lake County.



Question: The School Report Card compares CCSD 46 teacher salaries with teacher salaries across Illinois. Are only elementary districts represented in that state average?

No, all public school districts are represented, including elementary districts, high school districts, and unit districts (districts that serve students K - 12). It is noted that teachers in high school districts and unit districts are typically paid more than teachers in elementary districts.


COST OF CURRENT OFFERS

Question: Where can I find the public posting of the current offers?

On October 16, the Board of Education and unions submitted to the Illinois Educational Labor Relations Board (IELRB) their most current contract offers for public posting. Click here to view the public positing.

Question: What are the costs of the current proposals?

Over the next two years, the current Board proposal will cost the District an estimated $2,592,294. The current Union proposal will cost the District an estimated $3,159,829. The difference is an estimated $567,535.

* Tier 1 Teacher = 18 years of experience or less. Tier 2 Teacher = 19 + years of experience

**The total cost of a proposal is calculated by taking the cost of the first year of the agreement, and adding it to the sum of the first and second years. The reason for this is that any cost associated with the first year of the proposal becomes the base on which the next year's raise is added. See formula below:
Total Cost = Cost of the First Year + (Cost of the First Year + Cost of the Second Year)


Question: How far apart are you?

The difference between the Board of Education's proposal and the unions' proposal is more than $567,535 over two years.

When the posting process began, the difference was over $950,000. Since the posting process began, the Board has moved 0.6% to the unions' 0.1%.

Question: How much would the teachers' and PSRP proposals cost the District?

The current proposal by the teachers and PSRP would cost the District an estimated $3,159,829 over the next two years. The first year alone could cost $1,060,448, which is every new dollar received from the tax levy on existing property, every dollar saved from retirees, plus an additional $471,524. This would result in deficit spending in the current and next fiscal years, unless other cost-saving measures are enacted.

Question: What are the estimated impacts of the proposals on the future financial situation of the District?




TAX RELATED QUESTIONS

Question: Is it true that the Board of Education does not need to raise taxes in order to pay the teachers what they are seeking?

Our revenue that is used for operations, including salaries, comes from the local tax base. Every year, we levy taxes at the maximum rate allowed by law, which is based on the Consumer Price Index – All Urban Consumers; thus we cannot raise taxes to pay for salary increases. This year the maximum tax levy on existing property is 1.9%.

Providing teachers and support staff with a raise above the 1.9% we are allowed to levy means that we have to carefully evaluate other District expenses. Our current offer, which is above CPI, outpaces our revenue growth for the next year. Yet, we believe this offer balances the Board's goal of providing teachers and support staff with the raises they deserve while continuing with ongoing improvements to the teaching and learning environment for teachers, staff and students.

Question: What is the EAV, annual levy and tax rate for D46 compared to surrounding districts?

The Equalized Assessed Value (EAV) is the taxable value of all property in the School District, and upon which tax revenue is generated, sometimes referred to as the “tax base.”

Below is a table showing how District 46’s EAV compares with other Lake County elementary school districts. As can be viewed, District 46’s overall EAV ranks 11th out of 29 elementary school districts in Lake County. However, when District 46’s tax base is viewed in terms of how many students it has to support, District 46’s rank, is significantly lower than other districts, falling to 27th out of 29 school districts.



Below is a chart showing the most recently available (2018) tax rates for each of the 29 Lake County elementary school districts.




FUNDING SALARIES

Question: What are the major sources of revenue the Board has available to pay for salary/wage increases?

The District has two main resources to pay for salary increases: the tax levy and funding from the State in the form of Evidence Based Funding.

The tax levy must increase each year at the rate of Inflation (CPI). The levy on existing property increased 2.1% this year and will increase 1.9% next year. That means that the District's revenue from the tax levy on existing property is increasing at a rate lower than the salaries the Board is offering.

The second major source of revenue is referred to as Evidence Based Funding from the State. To calculate the amount the District receives, the State looks at what it considers the 27 elements that comprise an adequate education, what resources the District needs to fully satisfy those 27 elements, and what the District has available locally to meet those needs.

District 46 is classified as one most in need of additional funding, and therefore the State increased its funding amount to help address some of the areas where additional investment was needed to provide an adequate education. Due to those investments, the District has been able to hire additional staff, purchase new curriculum materials, offer full day Kindergarten to all students, and implement a 1:1 Technology Initiative.

As the State helps the District close the gap between available resources and a fully-funded, adequate education, the amount of additional money the State provides will decrease. As it stands now, the District anticipates it will receive considerably less additional State funding next fiscal year, as it will likely no longer be classified amongst those districts most in need. That means the District would have less additional resources in future years to address any of the 27 elements in which the District needs additional investment.

Allocating all or even a large portion of the State's Evidence Based Funding increase to raise salaries would prevent the District from addressing areas the State has identified as needing investment, including hiring additional staff, providing new programming, or improving services to students.

The Board's current proposal factors in all of these resources. While the last offer the Board made exceeds the amount received from the tax levy and deficit spends in the education fund, the Board believes it still gives the District flexibility to consider other needs the State has marked as requiring additional investment. However, further deficit spending may jeopardize these additional investments.


Question: Why can't the Board use part of its Educational Fund balance to pay for salary/wage raises?

Any money left in the Education Fund balance at the end of a fiscal year is a one-time savings and does not compound year-to-year, unlike a salary expense which is recurring and compounding.


Question: Can the Board fund teacher salary raises with the salary savings from retired teachers?

Two teachers and five support staff retired at the end of the 2018-19 school year. After hiring replacements for those positions, the difference in the retiree and replacement salaries amounted to $133,144. These savings are incorporated in the District’s current contract proposal and overall budget estimates.


BENEFITS RELATED QUESTIONS

Question: What is the health insurance benefit provided to the teachers and PSRP?

All teachers and support staff have the opportunity to select from different available health insurance plans based on what best meets their personal needs. The District offers an HMO, PPO, and High-Deductible Health Plan (HDHP) with both single and family coverage options.

  • The District pays 100% of the HMO or High-Deductible Health Plan (HDHP) single premium
  • The District pays 95% of the PPO single premium
  • If a staff member chooses coverage beyond HMO or HDHP Single, (e.g., HMO, PPO or HDHP family plan), the employee pays the difference in the premium
Question: Is it true that the teachers and support staff are paying more for their health insurance this year?

The majority of staff are not paying more. In fact, 3 out of 4 teachers and support staff enrolled in a District health plan saw no increase or even saw a reduction in their insurance costs.

The 141 teachers and support staff currently enrolled in the District’s HMO plan saw their monthly costs go down, resulting in more money back in their paychecks. The 108 teachers and support staff enrolled in the PPO single premium plan saw an increase of between $1.72 and $2.06 per paycheck, depending on their yearly number of paychecks. The District covered the increased cost for the HDHP single coverage as part of the current negotiated contract.

The cost to the District based on what it covers for each plan also increased at the same rate teachers and support staff saw increases.

Employees can opt to reduce their own costs by switching from the PPO or HDHP to the less expensive HMO option, which still ensures excellent coverage.


Question: Did the Board attempt to negotiate any reductions or changes in benefits from the teachers and PSRP?

No. While the terms of the contract would have allowed the Board to re-negotiate items in addition to salary and wages, the Board did not seek any reductions or changes to previously agreed-upon benefits.


DISTRICT RELATED QUESTIONS

Question: Is it true that the Board increased its Educational Fund balance by $2 million dollars by the end of the 2017-18 school year?

The Education Fund Balance increased in the 2017-18 school year. However, this was a one-time increase due to:
  • Evidence Based Funding from the State. The State regularly delays notifying districts of the amount of additional money allocated to them. Based on State calculations, the District has 64% of the funding necessary to provide an adequate education. Therefore, the District has received additional funding to help address the areas that the State believes need additional investment. Those opportunities are defined as part of the 27 elements that make up an adequate education for students. As the District receives this funding, its funding gap decreases, which decreases the additional funding from the State.

    Because of the delay in notification, the District frequently must make decisions on allocating funds in the middle of a budget year. Those decisions are wholly tied to the areas where the District is marked as needing additional investment by the State. This process of allocating funds to the areas in need of investment takes time, and often expenses are not fully realized within the same year in which the money is initially received.

  • Changes in Accounting. Every year, the District is required by law to have independent, external auditors review financial information and fiscal policies. The auditors changed how the District accounts for salaries in summer payrolls. These changes resulted in a one-time balance increase in the 2017-2018 school year, but those funds were then used to pay staff members in July and August.

  • State Payments. With the change in the State funding formula, the State committed to catching up in its backlog of payments to districts. This meant that in Fiscal Year 2018, the District received funds it was due from previous fiscal years.

  • Early Taxes. In Fiscal Year 2018, the Lake County Treasurer's Office provided residents the opportunity to pay their taxes earlier than normal. This helped residents take advantage of the tax credits they received on property taxes anticipated to be reduced in new national tax law. This prepayment had the effect of infusing districts with revenue earlier than usual.


Question: How many teachers left the district last year to take higher paying jobs in other districts?

Of the 306 teachers employed during the 2018-2019 school year, 29 teachers did not return for the 2019-2020 school year. Teachers left for a range of reasons, including accepting other teaching positions, resignation in lieu of non-renewal of their employment contract, retirement and leaving the teaching profession for family or other personal reasons. Only 6 teachers who were offered employment contract renewals with CCSD 46 chose to leave for teaching positions in local public elementary school districts, and CCSD 46 is not aware of the salaries that were offered to those teachers.

Of the 29 teachers who did not return to CCSD 46, 12 indicated that they were electing to take positions in other local school districts. Of those 12 teachers, 1 took an administrative position and 2 accepted positions in private schools. Of the 9 teachers who took teaching positions in local public school districts, 3 moved into positions in high schools, which across the state are typically higher paid positions than in elementary districts.


Question: What is the teacher retention rate in District 46 and how does it compare to other school districts in the area?

According to the 2018-2019 Illinois School Report Card released on Wednesday, October 30, District 46’s teacher retention rate was 85%, which is similar to most of the elementary school districts in Lake County, as well as the overall Lake County average for elementary school districts.




Question: What has the Board done to control increasing costs in other areas of its budget?

The Board has undertaken a variety of steps to control costs, including:

  • Constructing solar panels at four sites to reduce electricity costs

  • Installing LED lighting for additional energy savings

  • Upgrading current Heating, Ventilation, and Air Conditioning (HVAC) systems to save an estimated $370,000

  • Extending the life of existing parking lots to save on repaving

  • Redesigning bus routes to save on transportation costs

  • Leasing space for a cell phone tower to generate revenue

  • Restructuring District debt to reduce the tax burden on the community

  • Regularly analyzing District expenses and contracts to find cost efficiencies



Question: Why might the Unions and the Board of Education have differing data regarding where CCSD 46 average salaries and/or raises rank in comparison to other comparable, nearby districts?

The Board has compared data to other Lake County public elementary school districts, focusing on those that are nearby and/or similar in terms of overall adequacy of funding as determined by the State. The Union has chosen to also compare data from large unit (K-12) school districts, special education cooperatives, and charter schools.


Question: What is the Board of Education paid for their service? Why don't they take a pay cut?

Board service is an elected, unpaid position.


IF A STRIKE OCCURS

Question: Where can I find childcare for my children if a strike occurs?

We have researched local childcare options that may be available to families should a strike occur. Right at School, which regularly provides childcare at five of our schools, will not be open. A list of childcare providers that may have openings can be found here.

Question: How can students who usually receive free or at a reduced fee breakfast and lunch access food during the strike?

A list of food banks can be found here.



Download the information: Español

POSTED 10/24/19, UPDATED 11/01/19, UPDATED 11/06/19

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Dr. Lynn Glickman, Superintendent
Paul Louis, Assistant Superintendent of Teaching, Learning & Assessment
John Herrin, Chief School Business Official
District Office: 565 Frederick Road, Grayslake, IL 60030 (847) 543-5322
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