Lawyer to State: ‘Shifting the Cost Isn’t Pension Reform’ (Live Blog Transcript)
Community Consolidated School District 146 held a summit for school board members and administrators from districts across south suburban Cook County, to make sure taxpayers know what is at stake when Illinois government pushes for pension reform.
Update, 5:58 a.m. Thursday, April 12
Superintendents, attorneys and school district advocates offered a simple suggestion to school board members from around south suburban Cook County Wednesday night.
“We're suggesting to board members to reach out to the tax payers and simply say these are the implications for change,” said Peg Agnos, Legislative Director for the South Cooperative Organization for Public Education. “We do have to have pension reform and someone has to pay for it, but at what cost and to whom?”
With murmurs from Springfield that the state will be looking to shed its agreed-upon financial obligation to the Teacher’s Retirement System, school officials gathered at Central Middle School in Tinley Park Wednesday night to learn more about how the state came to have $43 billion in unfunded pension obligations. The summit was held to encourage district officials to build awareness among taxpayers, and to let legislators know their opinions on the matter.
“Shifting the cost is not pension reform. If you're going to reform pensions you have to do other things,” said attorney Ares Dalianis, who spoke during the summit. “But people need to know what this could mean, as far as possible programs cut and other forms of cutting back.”
Dalianis complimented Consolidated High School District 230 for their Call to Action message listed on their website, which includes contact information for local state legislators.
Original Post, 5:55 a.m. Wednesday, April 11
District 146 is hosting a “Joint Educational Summit” at 6:30 p.m. tonight at Central Middle School, 18146 S. Oak Park Ave. in Tinley Park, to talk about expected legislation that will put part of the state’s financial obligations to educators back on the local school districts.
The following six speakers are scheduled to offer their input on the matter.
- Dean Casper, D146 Board Member
- Peg Agnos, SCOPE Legislative Director
- Ares Dalianis, Attorney from Franczek Radelet
- Scott Uhler, Attorney from Klein, Thorpe and Jenkins, Ltd.
- Dr. Margaret W. Longo, Forest Ridge Elementary School District 142 Superintendent
- Dr. Jeff Stawick, D146 Superintendent
Agnos will be offering an update on the pending legislation, as much as is known by SCOPE. Dalianis and Uhler will be speaking on the legal and financial impact, and the superintendents will present advocacy options.
After the speakers, attendees will be invited to ask questions about the situation.
Join our live blog for real time updates from the meeting.
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