To the Editor:
The purpose of the Oswego School District 308 referendum was to reinstate the following cuts to help the children: reduce class size; continuation of junior high sports, summer school transportation, expanded gifted education programming, updated technology and curriculum and completion of delayed maintenance on many aging buildings and grounds.
The sd308.org website states, “The district’s current reserves would only allow a few weeks of operation without outside funding. Our Board of Education Policy along with recommendations by the Illinois State Board of Education indicate we should have reserves equivalent to 20% of our budget expenses.”
Let’s look at some facts. In July 2019, administrators got a pay raise, as did the superintendent. This past February, teachers won an 8% raise over the next four years. And the children? They got a raise, too, in the form of student fee increases. When D-308 had a choice between the children and themselves, they chose themselves. Administrators and teachers are fed first and the children – they get the leftovers.
Why did the D-308 citizens vote the referendum down? The true purpose of the referendum was clear once D-308 voted to raise teachers’ pay – to guarantee teachers a raise before the vote was taken. It wouldn’t make sense to give them a raise after the referendum failed, so they took the calculated risk of giving them a raise first, guaranteeing money in their pocket instead of the children.
As Paul Harvey use to say, “And now you know the rest of the story.”
Stephan C. Moen