Lake Forest teachers continue strike while paid $30k more than average

September 18, 2012

Thorner: Lake Forest teachers continue strike while paid $30k more than average

Published at Illinois Review on Tuesday, Sept. 18, 2o12

As a resident of Lake Bluff and a taxpayer, part of my property taxes go to fund Lake Forest School District 115, where high school teachers are now on strike and can be seen picketing in front of their state-of-the-art Lake Forest High School facility along McKinley Road in Lake Forest. Teachers from other school districts joined the picket line on Monday, Sept. 17 to show their union solidarity.

My concern lies with how the board is handling replacements. I assumed that the board was hiring replacements last week when Lake Forest High School students had three days off from school.

Now it appears that school is in session today (9/17) but not with the usual class instruction. The board said they will be providing “quality offerings” and giving passports rather than simply attending their scheduled classes.

If District 115 does not hire replacement teachers, then it will have no choice but to cave, as it stands to reason that kids simply cannot keep missing normal instruction.  I hope the board is presently lining up teachers for jobs and that they are being hired.

News of the LFHS District 115 teacher strike was discussed at WLS-AM 890 yesterday morning (9/17) with Dan Proft and John Kass of the Tribune.  Kass was a substitute host at WLS-AM during the 9:00-11:00 a.m. time slot.

Charles Greiss, head of the LF teacher union was interviewed by Dan Proft during his 8:00 a.m. morning gig at WLS-890.  According to Charles Greiss, Lake Forest has plenty of money in reserve to pay teachers more.  Furthermore, since the board hired the teachers that are now on strike the district can afford to honor what the union is requesting.

When Dan asked if the teachers at LFHS are worth $30,000 more than what is the average high school teacher salary in IL, Charles Greiss, whose base salary was almost $150,000 during the 2011-2012 school year, would only say that he had come from business to teach at LFHS and how teachers at LFHS must be paid more so the very best teachers can be hired for our kids.

Lisa Black, a reporter at the Chicago Tribune, must be complimented for her excellent followup articles, in collaboration with other Tribune reporters, in covering the latest strike activity in the almost daily Tribune accounts.

The Chicago and the Lake Forest Teacher strike went national on Sunday (9/16) at the American Thinker, a prestigious website with Thomas Lifson as editor.  Now Lake Forest is know throughout this nation for the absurd nature of its strike. No longer is the Chicago strike taking all the wind out of the sails.  The Lake Forest situation now is getting the attention that it deserves.

The heat must be kept on for LF Board #115 to toe the line.  The powerful influence of the IEA (NEA) must be confronted for who it is or else education in the state of IL will remain controlled by an organization that has become too powerful — doing little to advance educational standards here in Illinois — with a platform that vehemently opposes school vouchers and home schooling.

Education should be in control of local school districts, not vested in the IEA, of which LFHS teachers are members.


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