Jul 29 2014
Imagine a top teaching candidate with a masters degree and seven years experience interviewing for a position at Hinsdale 86 and neighboring Lyons Township. How would the employment offers of each district compare?
In Hinsdale, the Board will tell such a candidate that her experience doesn’t matter, divide her seven years experience in half and round down to three years of experience credit. This candidate would earn $68,160. Because she will not earn more money for experience or advanced coursework, she will earn around $68,000 in inflation adjusted dollars, for the rest of her career because, unlike every other high school district in Illinois, step and lane will no longer exist in Hinsdale 86.
At Lyons Township the same top candidate would receive credit for all their seven years experience, and start on Step 8 of the salary schedule at $82,283. She will be able to see the salary schedule in use, and plan for her financial future earning step and earned lane advancement throughout her career.
If she does her due diligence, as all top candidates do, she will look beyond the first year salary and examine her earnings potential. Her research will show that a salary schedule like LT’s enables her to earn thousands of dollars a year more than Hinsdale. In Hinsdale 86 there will be no salary schedule, essentially freezing her salary in inflation adjusted dollars.
Finally as a top candidate, she’ll do a quick Google search to see how the Board of Education refers to the teachers in their district in public discourse.
Ultimately when this top teaching candidate makes the decision of which school district they want to be a part of they will quickly realize that if they accept a position in Hinsdale 86 they will:
- Work for a Board that doesn’t value experience or advanced education.
- Earn thousands less every year.
- Earn a salary that never increases in real inflation adjusted dollars.
- Never earn more money for having advanced degrees.
- Have no salary schedule she can plan on.
- Have much lower long-term earnings potential.
- Work for a Board that is openly hostile to its teachers.
So when it comes to attracting and retaining high quality teachers, do you think this candidate will consider the Hinsdale 86 offer as “more than fair”? And this doesn’t even begin to touch on the health insurance cost increases of up to 229% in the Skoda/Corcoran offer.
So the question is: Does the Board’s offer make District 86 less competitive?
With the board’s latest offer, the four-year earnings for a new teacher in District 86 will be the lowest in the area – from Proviso to Downers, from Highland Park to New Lenox. Teachers in other districts will be earning thousands of dollars more per year and over their career. The best candidates will undoubtedly choose other districts. Teachers still in the early stages of their careers will leave for better paying opportunities elsewhere.
Is District 86 already losing high quality teachers?
Yes. Several candidates in several departments have not accepted offers from District 86 and the district has seen record number of resignations of existing staff members. At least a half dozen candidates have seen job offers rescinded by the Board.
Skoda keeps saying there are hundreds of good candidates available. But why are Department chairs still struggling to fill teaching positions in late July? It’s important to remember that candidates in the current pool have not been hired by any other school district so how is it that they are suddenly so qualified to teach in this district? Since when has “good enough” been acceptable for Hinsdale 86? There is a long tradition of “best of the best” as the hiring standard in District 86. Unfortunately that standard appears to be in danger due to the actions of board members like Skoda and Corcoran.