Board agenda tonight and Coffee with the Superintendent (not tonight)

For the Coffee with the Superintendent – from the Champaign County Chamber of Commerce:

Date: 9/30/2014
Time: 8:00 AM TO 9:00 AM

Champaign County Chamber of Commerce
303 W. Kirby Ave.
Champaign, IL 61820

Event Description:
The Champaign Unit 4 School Board recently voted to ask voters for $149 million to remodel Centennial High School and build a new Central High School. As part of our efforts to provide the most up-to-date information to our members about issues in the community, the Champaign County Chamber of Commerce is hosting a coffee with Unit 4 School Superintendent Judy Wiegand. This is your chance to have your questions about building a new Central High School and remodeling Centennial High School answered.

This event is complimentary to all Chamber members.

Please contact Caryn Isenhower at or call 217.359.1791 to register.


I mention this because I had a great (but brief) email chat with President & CEO Laura Weis; I was very impressed with the approach the Chamber is taking towards collecting data/information about the upcoming November referendum and their strident desire to listen to the concerns of Chamber members. If you are a Chamber member, I encourage you to take advantage of this opportunity.


Slightly interesting round up of topics for tonight’s board meeting – under New Topics:
A. Enterprise Zone Recertification: Tom Lockman
B. Presentation of Tentative FY15 Budget: Matt Foster
C. Administrator & Teacher Salaries Reporting: Ken Kleber
D. April 2015 School Board Election – Calendar of Events: Tom Lockman
E. Master Facility Plan: Matt Foster


Only item #C has an attachment, and about 15 pages to flip through. I recompiled the attachment into a one-sheet spreadsheet which is much more friendly. I’ll post that tomorrow.


This morning I seent a note to the board and administration about item #A – from what I have read and researched of Enterprise Zones and Tax Increment Financining, there is an absurd lack of accountability in these programs. Even the US Government’s own Office of Accountability is unable to conclude if these programs are truly effective at spurring growth ( My email urged the board and administration to be very careful and if they decide to move forward with this partnership, to do so with the insistence on proof of economic growth, and with a long (20-year) view in mind.


I have looked over the budget (item #B) from previous board meetings, and I am still trying to wrap my head around it. Mr. Foster suggested I read “Essentials of School Finance“, which I am trying to work my way through. In the back of my mind, I still wonder how we are going to work in the CFT-negotiated salaries from last year, not to mention the “in kind” administrator raises. I am also trying to understand our Debt obligation – the most recent FAQ mentions the Debt Service and how the district can sustain a bit more debt with no worries. But…. is that wise? I just do not yet grasp the bigger picture in this context.


I don’t have my spreadsheet in front of me (#C), but I believe the average teacher salary was about $47k and the average administrator salary was about $85k. Plus, I was surprised to see that we have over 20 “Assistant Principals”, but only 18 schools (counting IP and Novak).


Who is running for the board in April? (#D) 🙂


For #E, I am looking to see if the Master Facility Plan has changed much from the last time they presented it (July 28th). Strange that they did not put it (the new one) up on boarddocs by now.


In the Consent Agenda, one and only one item. 🙂 David Hohman has attached a zip file with an Application for Recognition – for all elementary schools. Two apparently do not have paraprofessionals, but that was the only difference I could find. Not sure what that means, either.


UPDATE: Here is the spreadsheet of salaries:

2014 EIS Salary Benefits Report 09-16-14

9 Responses to “Board agenda tonight and Coffee with the Superintendent (not tonight)”

  1. pattsi Says:

    Thank you for this useful summary and heads up on some items.

  2. charlesdschultz Says:

    UPDATE: Here is the spreadsheet of salaries:

    2014 EIS Salary Benefits Report 09-16-14

  3. Rebecca Patterson Says:

    I remembered reading this story when it came out and it made an impact. I don’t know why I didn’t save it then so I had to find it. At least I remembered it! I don’t think all tif’s are bad, or good, just that they need very careful planning and guarantees. Maybe someone should make a database of all the local uses, who, how much, terms, etc. Could really be interesting what comes out of the woodwork.

    • pattsi Says:

      I wrote my masters thesis on TIF. When first established this concept was intended to help areas within communities that were undevelopable without incentives of some sort. The intent was lost not many years into the program. It is very rare that a community gets back what is lost in taxes whether EZ or TIF, especially this because of how the tax increment is calculated. Chicago is the biggest sinner of all with 176 TIF’s. This causes all of the rest of the state to pay into support for the Chicago schools due to the PTELL formula and tax caps. And last but not least there are other incentive means for redevelopment or development that do not give away the “store.” I always refer people to take a look at Greg Leroy’s book, The Great American Jobs Scam.

  4. Rebecca Patterson Says:

    Not only did they not show any info but this came up as a dead link: (

  5. Rebecca Patterson Says:

    I’m back! Somethings wrong with the salary report. I’ve just looked at 3 names so far that look wrong on the teachers side. First Lam, no salary, it could happen but this is listed as a full time teacher; second Luna lists salary as less than benefits. Again, it could happen but it’s a red flag that something isn’t right. Third, Prosapio has salary listed as $212.34 for the year.

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