Carroll County School Teachers Thrive as Private Sector Struggles to Survive

LAKE CARROLL–A study by the Illinois Taxpayer Education Foundation (ITEF) of public school salaries and benefits in Carroll County, Illinois, reveals that Carroll County has a 10.5% unemployment rate with an average full time wage of $30,420 per year, but that in Eastland School District 308, every teacher makes more than the average Carroll county worker. Fifty-nine percent of Dist. 308 teachers make more than twice the average salary of local residents.


Bob Hurka introduces Jim Tobin at our Lake Carroll meeting on August 14.

“Carroll County needs to have teacher and administrator salaries reflect wages local taxpayers earn,” said Jim Tobin, ITEF President. “How can the average worker making $30,420 afford the property, income, sales and utility taxes needed to support high teacher salaries and outrageous pensions? Public salaries, pensions and benefits need to be brought back to earth. There is a huge disconnect between public employees’ compensation and the everyday private sector worker who pays the taxes to enrich these government employees.”

“The average salary of the Top 20 salaries is over $8,500/mo. in a county where the average worker makes $2,500/mo. — assuming he or she has a job at all. So to taxpayers in Carroll County, I say: this is why your property taxes keep going up.”

Examining the overly-generous teachers’ contract Tobin noted:

1.    School days cannot be more than 7hrs and 50 minutes, and on Fridays and the day before holidays, staff may leave at 2:40 PM. During those grueling 7hr and 50 minute days teachers are expected to teach 5 periods, have 1 study hall period and 2 free periods to “prepare.”

2.    All teachers receive automatic 6% raises every year for the last four years before retirement, whereas private sector workers in Carroll County have seen stagnant wage rates for the last decade along with higher unemployment.

3.    After 5 years, teachers get a “grant” of 185 paid sick days. With 170 sick days a teacher can retire a year early on full pension and still enjoy other early retirement incentives. Up to 340 sick days can be used to retire two years early. No one in the private sector is given a gift of 185 paid sick days. These outrageous sick day allotments are used to pad pensions at great expense to local taxpayers.

“While Carroll County taxpayers struggle to make ends meet, teachers work in a privileged environment of high-paying guaranteed jobs, three months off each year, short work-days and early retirement, all at a extremely high cost to the hardworking taxpayers of Carroll County. Public school teachers, as well as all government employees, need to live and work in the same employment environment as the taxpayer: No guarantees, no short work years, no short workdays and retirement at 65 just like the rest of us. The days of special deals for teachers must end.”

Download the print copy of this ITEF Comment

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