District 113A to Consider Support Staffing Plan, Board Spokesperson
The board will also discuss Tuesday an intergovernmental agreement with the village of Lemont for the use of Central School and the impact a proposed pension shift would have on the district.
The Lemont-Bromberek Combined School District 113A Board of Education will consider Tuesday its 2012-13 support staffing plan, as well as an intergovernmental agreement with the Village of Lemont for the use of Central School.
According to the meeting agenda, District 113A administrators are recommending that the board maintain current staffing levels for all educational support personnel, including building/ground and transportation staff.
Last month, board members voted unanimously to approve a certified staffing plan that also included no additional hires for the 2012-13 school year.
The board will also consider an intergovernmental agreement between the district and the Village of Lemont, which is seeking to move its offices to the currently vacant Central School this summer as Village Hall undergoes scheduled renovations.
The project is expected to begin in late June and continue through late November, creating the need for temporary office space.
Under the agreement, the village is responsible for all utility costs, as well as telephone and Internet. District 113A is not charging the village for using the building.
During a special meeting May 2, school board officials delayed voting on the agreement after Board Member Kevin Doherty expressed concern that the district could incur costs or liabilities. The board directed Business Manager Barbara Germany to consult with the district's attorney on the language of the contract.
The village board approved the agreement during its meeting Monday night. Mayor Brian Reaves said the deal is a "win-win" for both parties, and stressed that District 113A would not incur any costs.
Also on the agenda
President Dave Molitor will lead the board in a discussion on the board's official spokesperson.
In August 2011, the board voted 4-3 to remove former Board President Mike Aurelio as the district's spokesperson to the media—a duty enumerated under District 113A Policy 2:110—and give the position to Board Member Lisa Wright.
Molitor, Wright, Cindy Kelly and Kevin Doherty voted in favor of the motion, while Aurelio, Al Malley and Karen Siston voted against.
The board later changed its policy to reflect the vote.
Proposed Pension Shift
Interim Superintendent Robert Madonia will update the board Tuesday on the financial impact a proposed pension shift could have on District 113A.
Illinois currently has an $83 billion unfunded pension liability—$44 billion of which is from the Teachers’ Retirement System (TRS).
One of the most talked about scenarios involves the state putting its agreed upon contribution to TRS back on local school districts, which administrators and board members believe will inevitably end up on the backs of taxpayers.
Officials in Lemont High School District 210 and District 113A publicly expressed their opposition to the plan in April, claiming the shift would have devastating effects on the quality of education in Lemont.
According to District 210 officials, taking on the responsibility of teacher pension payments would cost an estimated $730,000 each year. The cost is equivalent to the salaries and benefits of 11 Lemont High School teachers—or more than 10 percent of the school’s faculty—and represents more than 60 percent of the school’s annual budget for extracurricular activities and athletics, officials said.
Last month, Madonia said the proposed pension plan “would completely negate” the financial progress District 113A has made over the past three years.
“If this plan were to pass, it would be detrimental not only for schools in Lemont, but for almost all schools across the state,” he said. “District 113A and many other school districts have already made dramatic cuts. We simply cannot afford this; it would destroy public education.”
The school board meeting will be held at 7 p.m. in the Old Quarry Middle School LRC, 16100 W. 127th St.
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