Letter: Make sure tax dollars are helping our kids

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While I am retired from School District 27J, I continue to advocate for quality education for all children. In a recent conversation with another resident, I was told that an administrator was instrumental in securing a $6,000 raise for a secretary who worked in the district’s central office. The raise increases over a three-year period.

Not believing this, I requested district budget expenditures for the past five years at the March school board meeting. I was required to pay $150 for public record retrieval.

I was shocked to learn that raises were approved for central administrators and staff. The report doesn’t reflect all employees at administrator. For example, general counsel earned $108,735.38 in 2012 and, just two years later, was earning $138,906.36, a 27-percent increase.

In 2012, a secretary earned $61,481.03. Two years later, this same individual earned $72,589.39, an increase of 18 percent. During this same period, certified staff salaries were frozen. As a tax-paying citizen, I am appalled that administrators and their staff are earning salary increases while teachers and support staff earned no pay increases.

I later read that certified staff salaries are no longer frozen, and that this year classified staff in the district will be provided an experience-based increase plus a 1.59-percent increase. It seems to me that an oversight committee needs to be formed to oversee spending.

As a citizen and community advocate, I believe it’s my responsibility to share this information. For those interested in viewing the five-year budget, visit sites.google.com/site/havearighttoknow/home.

I ask my fellow citizens to keep their eyes on the prize. Our children matter and it is our responsibility to see that tax dollars are directly benefitting the children of SD27J.

Magdalena “Nena” DelVillar