Rep. Morthland and Area Superintendents Talk Pension Shift PDF Print E-mail
News Releases - Business & Economy
Written by Rep. Rich Morthland   
Monday, 02 July 2012 14:40
July 2, 2012                                                            

Moline, IL… Representative Rich Morthland (R-Cordova) partnered with
Riverdale Superintendent Ron Jacobs, Silvis Schools Superintendent Ray
Bergles, United Township High School Superintendent Jay Morrow, Rock
Ridge Superintendent Chester Lien, Whiteside County Regional
Superintendent Bob Sondgeroth, and Rock Island Regional Superintendent
Tammy Muerhoff, today to dispute claims from the Quinn administration
that schools can afford a pension shift. The data released in June by
the Illinois State Board of Education affirms that the proposed shift
would devastate already struggling school districts.

“This is an attack by the Governor’s Office on downstate and suburban
tax payers. There is no reason to do this. This shift will either lead
to a $20 billion property tax increase or more cuts in the classroom,”
said Morthland. “Our schools have already been forced to make cuts to
athletic and music programs, close buildings, and pass on filling
vacant positions. They have little left to cut and we cannot afford to
shift more of a burden to our community and once again the plan asks
nothing of Chicago. How much more of this do they think we can take?”

As of July 1st, every school district in Illinois will be owed money
by the state that totals $800-$900 million.

“The Governor’s end of the year fund balance numbers falsely suggest
that schools have millions in reserve. It is extremely misleading to
include early property taxes and restricted funds that cannot be used
to pay for pensions. The truth is that many school districts are
running deficits. What reserves they had are quickly being devoured as
they are forced to bail-out the state budget. School districts cannot
afford to prop up the state’s pension system as well. Quinn and other
Chicago politicians are using this as a tactic to stall making any
meaningful pension stabilization reforms until after the November
election. This pension crisis in Illinois has been created over many
years; it is time we take responsibility and fix this mess. We need to
head back to Springfield and clean this up."
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