By Ulysses Arn -
On Tuesday "For The Good Of Illinois" released a detailed spending report for 928 Illinois school districts.
Among the findings where the facts that 5,930 Illinois educators are making $100,000 pensions, $11.1 million was spent by schools for taxis, $40 million was spent on unions, and $4 million was spent on high end hotels.
An examination of the vendor spending by Northern Illinois schools revealed several questionable expenditures made in 2013.
My alma mater and hometown of Byron, for some reason, paid $65,967 to Comcast. That is one heck of a cable bill. Another questionable use of school district resources occurred at the Princeton High School district where they spent $35,750 for Pizza Hut. That's a lot of cheese and pepperoni.
The LaSalle Elementary School district spent $190,703 on Apple computer products and/or software.
Not to be outdone, the Ottawa Elementary School district paid Windstream, a communications company, $668,399. That wasn't the only odd bit of spending at Ottawa elementary, they also spent $113,910 for Waste Management. Of the 50 or so school district whose vendor spending I examined, no other district had garbage services among their top 25 vendors.
Things are not much better at Ottawa Township High school where the district is paying two law firms a combined $228,737; Justice Law Firm received $133,450 while Sraga Hauser got $95,287. Ottawa High is also paying two environmental companies an additional $230,314: M & O Environmental Company got $133,450, while AMEC Environmental and Infrastructure was paid $101,514.
Part of that $40 million in payments to unions can be attributed to the whopping $406,952 the Harlem School district in Loves Park/Machesney Park paid to the Illinois Federation of Teachers. The LaSalle-Peru Township High School district chipped in $71,616 to the American Federation of Teachers. And the Princeton Elementary School district sent $54,037 to the Illinois Federation of Teachers.
The teachers in many districts could see noticeable bumps in their take home pay if they where not forced to pay union dues, ala Scott Walker in Wisconsin.
Teachers in Belvidere just in 2013 would have had $411,570 to divide amongst themselves if not for forced unionization.
In other nearby districts, the union dues' numbers were as follows:
- Genoa-Kingston $121,483
- Bureau Valley $59,642
- Hononegah(Rockton/Roscoe) $79,842
- Mendota township high school $25,604
- Oregon $53,110
- Putnam County $52,965