New Lenox School Board opposes pension shift
By Erin Gallagher For The Herald-News May 18, 2012 7:54AM
Updated: July 1, 2012 11:57AM
NEW LENOX — The New Lenox School Board urged lawmakers to oppose a measure that could put the responsibility of funding teacher pensions onto individual school districts.
If the state legislators approve a cost shift, that could add a nearly $2 million expense to the district’s already shrinking budget, board President Nick DiSandro said.
The board announced on May 16 it formally requested Rep. Renee Kosel and Sen. Christine Radogno to oppose the measure.
“The senator does not support the cost shift until there can be a more thorough discussion of the proposal,” said Patty Schuh, a spokeswoman for Radogno.
Kosel did not respond to requests for comment.
Chicago politicians are supporting such a shift because the city already funds its pensions, Schuh said.
In downstate and suburban communities, the measure would force large property tax increases and education budget cuts.
Statewide, districts would absorb about $700 million in pension funding, according to district Business Manager Harold Huang. Although some reforms may reduce that cost, Schuh said that number could be as high as $1 billion.