Wednesday, February 13, 2013
Daily Herald Report: Superintendent Jack Barshinger ponies up district funds for hotels and a $2,000 dinner for 16 at Morton's Steakhouse. A Geneva board member characterizes the spending as "just ridiculous."
Batavia School District 101 was the poster child for a front-page Daily Herald report Wednesday that reveals some excessive hotel and travel spending at the November statewide school leadership conference in November. Daily Herald suburban tax watchdog Jake Griffin did the legwork, filling out Freedom of Information Act requests to districts throughout the suburbs and hitting the jackpot when he saw the $1,929.75 tab Batavia School Board members rung up at Morton's Steakhouse. The article reports that the Morton's bill usually is picked up by "one of our vendors," according to Batavia Superintendent Jack Barshinger—a practice that is a little eyebrow-raising in and of itself. Sixteen guests enjoyed entrees including New York strip steak …
Wednesday, August 8, 2012
The National Retail Federation expects back-to-school spending to jump this year, largely because children likely have outgrown what they made do with last year, when spending was lighter.
And the number is ... $688.62. That is the amount the average person with children in grades kindergarten to 12th grade is expected to spend this year on back-to-school shopping, according to the National Retail Federation's annual back-to-school spending survey. Last year, the survey predicted families would spend $603.63. "With more children entering elementary and middle school this fall and after cutting back their spending last year, parents with growing children will hit the stores this summer to replace and replenish what their children might have had to “make-do” with last school season," according to a NRF press release. Parents surveyed said they would spend the most on clothing, accessories, and electronics this summer as the…
Monday, June 25, 2012
TaxFACTS member Sandy Ellis challenges Geneva School District 304 to form a more aggressive policy to reduce debt, tax impact.
Monday, June 25, 2012
District 304 property taxpayers are burdened with paying off a heavy but legally binding bond indebtedness to build additional facilities. The actual change in enrollment did not justify construction of new facilities. Incurring that level of debt was a serious mistake. The Board of Education was elected to serve as the taxpayers' representative. The board must insure their management of the School District does not impose an "eviction-by-property-tax" condition on the community, particularly those on fixed incomes. As the process of adopting a new budget begins, the board must find ways to offset the cost of the mistake when budgeting variable expenses for the upcoming fiscal years. It’s a matter of fairness. An examination of district …
Thursday, January 19, 2012
Everyone (myself included) dislikes taxes. But they're how services are funded. When it comes to the public schools, what cuts would YOU make, to reduce costs? And are you then willing to forego the services?
What would you cut from our Geneva schools? The idea to write this column, and issue a bit of a challenge, has been occupying space in my head for months now. On a blog on which I used to comment frequently, the topic of cutting the federal budget had come up; the writer had posed the question, and when I responded with about 10 items off the top of my head, he sniffed that those were small potatoes. But small potatoes add up to big enchiladas. And you have to start somewhere. It’s not just the federal level. People are tired of taxes at all levels. I’d hazard a guess that people are probably most tired of local property taxes, because the amount is presented all at once, and you have to actively pay them, versus passively just not ever …
Wednesday, June 29, 2011
School Board President Tim Moran sheds some light on the subject of cuts.
When I read that Kane County Chronicle headline, I thought my head was gonna explode. “District 304 struggles to reduce spending in new budget.” And after all my inspired input on the subject. The last time we tackled this topic, with board member Bill Wilson leading the charge, our School Board had tabled its budgetary process in the hope of providing more taxpayer relief. And since hope springs eternal, I’ve been holding my breath in giddy anticipation. But when the Chronicle’s Brenda Schory reported the cuts they’d come up with amounted to meager $65,000—that’s .07 percent out of an $87 million budget—I began to climb the tower with a high-powered rifle in my mind. Now, I want to be clear that I’m not picking on Assistant Superintendent…