Pension costs for state government workers reached an all-time high in 2016, consuming 25 percent of the state’s general budget.1 Today, more than $8 billion of the state’s yearly $32 billion budget goes to pay for pension costs, sapping tremendous amounts of money from social services for the developmentally disabled, grants for low-income college students, and aid to home...View Report
Negotiations between government-worker unions and governing bodies are conducted behind closed doors, away from public scrutiny. And yet taxpayers are required to pay for whatever extravagant benefits the unions obtain. Recently a bill in the General Assembly would have brought more transparency – and accountability – to the process, but it failed to make it out of committee.
Uncertainty about skyrocketing tuition costs, rising taxes, and other factors are the likeliest culprits of Illinois’ student out-migration crisis.
Top school district superintendents have used the sick-leave perk to boost their pensions by $350,000 or more over the course of their retirements.
Gov. Bruce Rauner has suggested funding CPS with tax increment financing, or TIF, funds; this would temporarily bail out the district, but more needs to be done to address serious concerns about Chicago’s TIF program.
On average, Illinois schools spend $13,077 per student.
Lawmakers should address wasteful spending in higher education, which is hurting students, their families, instructors and taxpayers.
Lawmakers are proposing a range of new tax hikes as a “compromise” solution to the state’s budget woes. But simple reforms to Illinois’ teacher pension system are a better way to fix the state’s finances without hurting taxpayers.
As lawmakers consider massive tax hikes on Illinoisans, they should look to consolidate nearly 7,000 units of local government and to cut their high administrative costs.
Palatine-area Community Consolidated School District 15 is once again a hotbed of debate, as the school board that recently tied taxpayers to a 10-year union contract has now approved a $130 million building referendum to be placed on the November ballot. Before voting, residents need to take into consideration the school board’s history of closed-door decision-making, as well as the substantial economic impact the referendum could have on local taxpayers.
Many educators are wary of a strike’s hardships and long-term consequences for students, their families and the educators themselves. These teachers can remove themselves from CTU authority and the conflict between union priorities and students’ needs.