Mokena 159 does not pass

Mokena 159 does not pass

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Educational Supporter

Joliet, IL

#1 Nov 2, 2010
Thank you to everyone who voted "Yes" on the referendum. For those of you who voted "no", I am very disappointed. You have put the district in an extremely difficult position. In a district that has provided a very high level of education at a very low price for years and years, it looks like things are only going to go downhill. Class sizes are going to increase dramatically. Excellent teachers are going to have to be let go. Extra curriculars will no longer be an option and school spirit will suffer because of it. For those of you who were worried about saving the $290 a year (on a $300K house), you've managed to do so for the immediate future. However, when Mokena 159 has to consolidate with 157 or 161, whose tax rates are MUCH higher than the $0.29 raise that Mokena was looking for, you're really going to be feeling the pinch then. In district 161, the curent rate is $0.90 higher, more than THREE TIMES the rate of the referendum. So if you were worried about the small increase they were looking for this November, you're going to be kicking yourself when you have to pay THREE TIMES that increase in a few short years from now. In the mean time, test scores are likely going to go down, making Mokena a less desirable place to move to since the school system is going to be in trouble, thus hurting your property value. So now you've managed to hurt the children's education, basically put a school district out of business that has performed on an incredible level for years and years, DECREASED your property value, and INCREASED your FUTURE taxes THREEFOLD over the raise you could have locked in today. Congratulations on saving a couple of hundred dollars a year for the next three years or so! You're going to need it once that much larger tax rate kicks in after the consolidation occurs!
Sick and Tired

Batavia, IL

#2 Nov 2, 2010
waahhh waaaahhh waaah we need more money for education we can't make do......make do. The public doesn't have any more money to give you.
Educational Supporter

Joliet, IL

#3 Nov 2, 2010
Sick and Tired wrote:
waahhh waaaahhh waaah we need more money for education we can't make do......make do. The public doesn't have any more money to give you.
You just don't get it, do you? You voted down a $0.29 referendum this time, but by doing so, you've likely raised the tax rate at least $0.90 once the district is forced to consolidate in a few years from now. So you're immediately saving some money (and decreasing your property value by devaluing education), but once the district consolidates, you're going to be spending more than THREE TIMES as much of a raise every year. So for the next three years (give or take) may you save about $290 per year on a $300K house, but you're then going to be paying closer to $900 more a year from that point forward. So if you don't have the money to spend, like you so elequently stated, then you've basically just made a terrible economic decision for your future taxes and your property value. Way to be so short sighted!

Glenview, IL

#4 Nov 2, 2010
It's a sad day in Mokena. Shame on you who didn't do your homework. The kids really needed you to vote "yes". Evidently those who voted "no" don't care about the future.
Very unfortunate

Frankfort, IL

#5 Nov 2, 2010
It's a very sad day for Mokena. The housing recovery will be delayed in this District for years to come because of this vote. Class sizes will increase, a school will close, fees will increase, transportation will likely cease or be fee based. Why exactly would someone with children want to move here? Common sense has taken a hiatus in Mokena.

Chicago, IL

#6 Nov 2, 2010
It's time for reform, not referendums. The residents are sick and tired of the "status quo"..
Maybe if we stop paying 3rd grade gym teachers 95k a year (one of many examples), we would have enough $$ to stand behind the "where children come first" motto. The Board and community need to take this opportunity to reduce the amount of monies being paid to many individuals in district 159. 36 weeks of work, raises based on tenure (not performatnce!!), 15 sick days per year and rediculous pension practices are a few, of many, common practices that need to be reviewed before we move forward. Let's see how hard the teachers union fights when it comes time to negotiate a new contract. The "Children first" motto will be quickly forgotten..

Chicago, IL

#7 Nov 2, 2010
I apologize, the quote is " Where children are the first priority"..

United States

#8 Nov 2, 2010
It's hard for me to understand how any Mokena residents would vote against the referendum, since the amount of money requested was relatively low, and it was needed so badly. You've decided that extracurricular activities have no benefit for the youth of your community, while countless studies show the opposite is true. I'm also disgusted by this guy saying "waaah waaah". It demonstrates a lack of class, complete ignorance of the situation, and utter disregard for the well-being of the community.

Chicago, IL

#9 Nov 2, 2010
With all due respect, it's hard for me to understand when an individual holding a civil service position expects a raise every year. The Teachers association might have voted to not take a raise in the 10-11 school year, but let's see how much will be demanded towards the end of a proposed contract to make up for it. Every sector has adjusted, housing, auto, banking, airline, health (ongoing of course), etc. Time for the education sector to adjust. When more than half of your budget goes to pay salaries, pensions and benefits, the system will fail. Asking residents for more money to enable a failing system is not the answer. Reform, change, adjust..

Batavia, IL

#10 Nov 3, 2010
Move On! The People have spoken... Everywhere! Abolish the Department of Education and reform back to the day of fiscal responsibilty... I have to.
Get the Facts

Warrenville, IL

#11 Nov 3, 2010
To Educational Supporter:
I voted yes for the referendum (both times) and like you, I am just sick about it not passing. However, I know people connected with Springfield and had a discussion with them about this alleged state take-over. Please stop spreading this rumor. We will not be forced to consolidate. This is a very remote possibility and it would have to be voted on by the people. Do you think they will let that pass???? The very real possibility IF the state takes over is that the state will disband the board because they are not running the district properly. SO, please do not worry about your taxes tripling. Those same citizens who voted no to the referendum this time will vote no to the consolidation too.
TEA -Taxed Enough Already

Chesterfield, MO

#12 Nov 3, 2010
Steve, you hit it dead on. For all you people that don't think teachers make enought for the 8 months out of the year they work, check out their salary on the following website:
You never hear any professional that switches careers into teaching complaining about the pay (and all the time off). It's a joke and a scam. The rest of the work force has to deal with this economy and it's time the (teacher) unions are forced to as well.

Batavia, IL

#13 Nov 3, 2010
How about Bradbury's $204,437 for 2009, the year he retired. Now we can pay his pension based on that.
Very unfortunate

Frankfort, IL

#14 Nov 3, 2010
Steve, TEA, Constitutionist, you and your ilk are the problem, you take your frustration of your lot in life out on the teachers and subsequently the children. Children are being held hostage by neanderthals. They won't vote for a tax increase and they will fight any attempt to consolidate with another District. Most of these people kids have already been through the school system and have the mindset "I got mine, to heck with you." A very sad day for Mokena, now sit back and watch the dismantling of our school system. Congradulations No voters, you won, you decimated a school system. Common sense took a hiatus is Mokena!

United States

#15 Nov 3, 2010
I voted no. Yes it is a shame that the students will be the ones to suffer. I have students in the school system. I also think that the majority of the teachers are paid fairly. However, there are those people in the school system that are way over paid as mentioned by Constitutionist. The system is definitely broken. I wish I could have voted yes for the sake of the children but I truly cant afford to pay an extra $300.00. Then two years from now you will want another $300.00 and so on. Almost half of my salary goes to taxes. Maybe I would be able to pay more in taxes if I too was making $204,437 per year. That is just a ridiculous salary for such a position. Salary should be half that. It is definitely time for reform.

And as for Frankfort. I work in the real estate profession. Frankfort has taken such a large hit in property values. More of a hit than Mokena. With all the research I do, I feel that it is primarily due to the large amount of taxes paid. There are a large of amount of houses on the market currently in the $300K-$400K paying $12,000?$14,000? and even more. Honestly there are many instances where you could give the house away and the AVERAGE homeowner would not be able to keep it because the taxes are so high. I definately fall into that category. So as for the real estate recovery time will tell who recovers more quickly.

Someone needs to start budgeting the school system funds. I am sure there is waste. Reform is the answer. It needs to be done now for the sake of our children.

Chicago, IL

#16 Nov 3, 2010
Why are we whining about an average of $290 a year? I am sure you could have figured out how to budget this for the kids in this school district.

I moved my family here because of the great schools. I am now very sorry I did. I can not sell my house now because of the economy and the school problem. Who in their right mind would move to a community where the kids have no extra activities when they can move a couple blocks away and not have this issue.

I have 2 left of 5 in 159. They will NOT get the same opportunity as my older 3 had within this school district. Sad day for my little ones.

$290 a year =$25 per month - less than I pay for 1 dinner at McDonalds for my family! Astonishing!

Batavia, IL

#17 Nov 3, 2010
Very Unfortunate - quit laying the blame on the taxpayers who continue to do the right thing. We need less taxes and less government. The department of education takes 1 billion dollars a year from taxpayers and gives the states back 810 million. Tier 1 money is distributed to the richest school districts, same as the poorest. And with todays technology, good teachers shpuld be able to teach more students... get rid of the bad teachers and pay the good. And no principal is worth a quarter of a million dollars a year in wages and benefits, they do not need to get rich on the backs of the taxpayers.
Educational Supporter

Carpentersville, IL

#18 Nov 3, 2010
"Get the Facts"~~I should have done more research, that was my fault.(The rest is not meant for you)

It is still a shame that people are thinking with their wallets only. Obviously many of these people have no idea how important a good education is or flat out don't care. For all of these people who are complaining about how much teachers make, can you please tell me a more important job? Doctor? Lawyer? You know what they both have in common? They both had to be well educated in order to make it in their professions. Educated by whom? Teachers, that's who! Keep on complaining about spending less than a dollar a day extra. Keep on trying to make teachers the enemy (which makes ZERO sense). A poorly educated society is one that is doomed for failure. I certainly hope something is done to further support the children of Mokena.

Mokena, IL

#19 Nov 3, 2010
Here is a district that has many teachers being paid over 70k per year. They have summers off and never have to worry about losing their jobs regardless of performance. Tenure needs to be the first thing addressed. Why do you need any assistant principals? Lose the assistant principal and assistant superintendent positions. The pensions are out of sight. This is why unions only protect the poor performing workers. If you do your job right you do not need to have a union. Everybody protecting their own again. I feel bad for the kids and the young competent teachers without tenure that will lose their jobs. If the teachers really wanted to help by the pay freeze they would have agreed to a pay cut like a lot of the private sector has gone thru. A lot of people have not had a raise in 3 to four years.

Chicago, IL

#20 Nov 3, 2010
I understand the fact that people voted no to higher taxes, but at what expense. As I canvased the community to help pass the referendum all I found was people complaining about rising taxes. None of them could tell me what they are doing about it. People voted no beacuse it is an easy for them to push back against higher taxes. These are the same voters that re-elected the governer that has bankrupted our state. The reason the school district needs money is because the taxes you paid are not being allocated to the taxing bodies as it states on your tax bill!! That is the problem!! Instead of sitting home taking your frustration out on the schools DO SOMETHING ABOUT THE FACT THAT THE STATE IS STEALING YOUR MONEY, NOT THE MOKENA SCHOOLS!

I urge you to contact your representatives and tell them!! Nobody is on here complaining about what our state Representatives make or their pension!!

No voters have taken the easy way out by stealing from our children and they should be ashamed. Get some courage and fight the real issues.

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