Poll Results on Teacher Pay Split

Readers show differing views on negotiations between Lake Forest Education Association and District 115 Board.

A slim majority of Patch readers responding to our latest poll about the level of pay for teachers at do not think the District 115 Board of Education should keep the educators at the top of the North Shore pay scale.

Of the 30 people responding to the unscientific survey, 13 want the local high school teaches to be at or near the top rung of the ladder while 17 do not think it is necessary.

The Lake Forest Education Association (LFEA) teachers’ union and the Board have been locked in negotiations over a new contract for the faculty. Everyone in the community will know the position of both sides no later than August 24 .

By law, once an impasse is declared, both sides must make their best offer public within 14 days. There can be no work stoppage for another 14 days. However no strike can take place unless the LFEA issues a notice of intent to strike. No such action has been taken.

One reader, Caryllon Huggins, was happy to see the pay rates in neighboring communities and realizes both sides have a point. “The nation is in an education crisis in my view, however we are also in financial reorganization and all facts must be revealed and community needs to be informed,” she writes.

Another reader, Roger Billings, takes the teachers to task for their demands even though the educators have not yet made their position public.

“Feeling a wee bit petulant those naughty Board members wouldn't let you union members take another huge bite of flesh out of the taxpayers,” Billings writes. “You would probably call them statesmen if they gave in to your obscene demands.”

Linda Biondi, who writes she is a teacher, defends the hard work she and others do while taking critics to task.

“We teachers work unbelievably hard (and work all summer at it!) to get our children to achieve at high levels, and become productive, contributing members of society,” Biondi writes. “Teachers are not the bad guys. Not sure when the need to attack them began.”

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Ted August 17, 2012 at 12:40 PM
Not sure how teachers work incredibly hard all summer to get the children to achieve at top levels? Without the children, what is it that you do during your three months of vacation to make children achieve at top levels? Enlighten me.
Joe August 17, 2012 at 01:20 PM
One can only hope that the LF teachers union gets their heads out of the clouds and make their demands more realistic. They are embarrassing themselves. We respect our teachers for all they do for our children. We do not however respect them for asking for outsized raises etc. in the current economic environment. We do not respect them for using our children as hostages by threatening to strike.
Me August 17, 2012 at 01:47 PM
I am heading off tho the office now. Perhaps I will walk into the CEO's office and even though our profits will be flat or declining, I will demand a guaranteed raise for the next five years or else I will just not do any work. Lets see how that works out for me.
Me August 17, 2012 at 03:51 PM
Well that was an epic fail. I'm home from work and out of work. What to do now......maybe I can become a teacher.
waste August 17, 2012 at 06:58 PM
@Me It appears you enjoy listening to yourself. Wow, that was really a productive response and so professional. Clearly you must be a very important person. Boy oh boy, you really showed them and the other 30 people who really care about reading this stuff.
Lisa Hammoudeh August 18, 2012 at 04:13 AM
I must respond to Ted's comment. Being from the Lake Forest and Lake Bluff region originally...I have lived in Arizona since 1976. I have been in Special Education 15+ years here in Phoenix Arizona. Teachers do not all have a full three months of every summer. I can tell you first hand there are workshops to attend as well as classroom prep. In addition as new requirements arise to continue to be "highly qualified" to meet the requirements we have additional classes etc. Every two years our district requires all of its employees to renew their CPR and First Aid certification. The state of Arizona has also changed its curriculum in math and science. Tougher graduation requirements and a larger amounts of credits are required from our high school students. I personally think these requirements are long overdue. But most teachers I know never have a full three months off of ANY summer. The majority of teachers work extremely hard and earn every bit of salary they receive.
RationalTht August 18, 2012 at 12:28 PM
The argument goes that during the summer the teachers go for additional education. The crux is it may or may not be truly useful for teaching the students, but it does lead to increased salaries.
RationalTht August 18, 2012 at 12:30 PM
Ok, 2 months off during the summer and a month+ off during the school year itself. Still not the number of hours that people in the private sector put in.
Ted August 18, 2012 at 10:59 PM
Hi Lisa, I am an accountant. Every year the tax laws change. My clients don't pay me extra to know the new rules and regulations. They just expect me to know the latest tax laws. I also am CPR and First Aid certified. I know the ABC's as everyone should--Airways, bleeding, etc...I expect teachers to be up to date just like any professional is expected to remain on top of their profession. It is interesting to note the highest paid teacher at Deerpath Elementary is a librarian that refused to allow children to check out books during the last 30 days of the school year because she didn't want to be bothered trying to track them down. By the way, her salary is $168K per year. I don't feel for the teachers when their demands border upon the ridiculous!
Life is Good August 19, 2012 at 12:51 AM
Go ask the teachers that teach in private schools about their salaries and benefits. The teachers in Catholic schools don't make a fraction of what the publics make. They don't whine about either. Put up of shut up. You are all over paid and the property taxes in this area prove it. Do the job because you want to teach not because you want to be the highest paid teacher on the North Shore.
Terry Desmond August 19, 2012 at 02:59 PM
Not to take any side on this matter but just to remind those residents who reside in Lake Forest that they can (should) appreciate that their property tax rate is one half of that of almost every North Shore and even State District. If taxes seem higher than you might wish it's because the homes assessed value is higher than most (you have an expensive home). Move your home to Highland Park and your property taxes would double, Here our schools are not pressured by high student demand (most homeowners no longer have children in schools) an we benefit from many alternative choices-St Marys,Country Day, Carmel HS, Loyola Ac, Woodlands, Lake Forest Ac etc. Appreciate that we have one of the lowest tax RATES in Illinois. It's Assessed value times the rate divided by 100 that determines one's property tax.
Interested August 20, 2012 at 03:50 PM
How about having comparable tax rates with neighboring towns? http://countyclerk.lakecountyil.gov/TaxInfo/Tax-Rate-Sheets/Documents/2011/2011-PredominantRates.pdf And http://countyclerk.lakecountyil.gov/TaxInfo/Tax-Rate-Sheets/Pages/default.aspx


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