Director of Government Reform
Since 2010, the Illinois Policy Institute has been working hard to ensure local government transparency and accountability to taxpayers. With our Local Transparency Project, weíve been pushing school districts to post employee compensation online.
Employee compensation transparency is especially important when it comes time to negotiate collective bargaining agreements. Without transparency, itís hard for citizens to understand what they are being asked to pay for.
With the spate of public school teachers union strikes and strike authorization votes across Illinois in recent months, this issue has even greater importance now.
Unfortunately, most school districts do not post teacher salaries and benefits online.
Thankfully, the Illinois Interactive Report Card Website provides some transparency on a number of key statistics for every public school district in Illinois, including average teacher salary. While IIRC doesnít include other high-cost compensation items, such as health care and pension benefits, itís a starting point for understanding teacher compensation costs that must be borne by local taxpayers.
Using the IIRC database, we compiled the average salary for teachers in districts that experienced recent labor unrest:
|School district||Average teacher salary|
|Lake Forest CHSD 115 (went on strike)||$107172|
|Barrington District 220 (strike authorized)||$80451|
|Geneva CUSD 304 (strike authorized)||$75078|
|City of Chicago SD 299 (went on strike)||$74990|
|Highland Park: North Shore SD 112 (went on strike)||$73506|
|Evergreen Park ESD 124 (went on strike)||$64095|
|Prairie Grove CSD 46 (went on strike)||$61980|
|Carpentersville USD 300 (strike authorized)||$61714|
|Grayslake CCSD 46 (strike authorized)||$57358|
|Algonquin Consolidated SD 158 (strike authorized)||$56532|
|Champaign CUSD 4 (strike authorized)||$55185|
For comparisonís sake, in 2011 the average household income in Illinois dropped 2.6 percent to $53,234
When teacher salaries and benefits go up, so do state pension obligations. This affects the whole state. Taxpayers all over the state are paying the pensions for teachers in Lake Forest.
How much more do union leaders expect taxpayers to sustain?