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School administrators: “We are working in concert with all the parties.”

January 10, 2014

From Glen Brown’s blog.

Pension Reform Message to Illinois Association of School Administrators Members (from Executive Director Dr. Brent Clark).

I’m paraphrasing, but Judge DiVito believes that the courts would have to ignore years of applicable case law and the intent of the pension protection language that was approved during the 1970 Constitutional Convention.

In the next few days we will be sitting down with other stakeholders in the pension fight to map out a coordinated strategy. We won’t be able to reveal in advance that strategy for tactical reasons. I am sure you understand. But rest assured that we will be working in concert with other interested parties and following the advice of some of the best legal experts in the area of pension and constitutional law.

How long the court fight will take is anyone’s guess, though most legal observers think it could be a year or even two to get a final resolution given the landmark importance of this case.

Nothing in Springfield is ever as simple as the legislators’ rhetoric would have you believe. Does the state have fiscal problems? Yes, though much of it is self-inflicted. Was gutting the pension benefits of public workers, teachers and administrators the only answer? Obviously, it was not and Senator Kwame Raoul, who chaired the pension conference committee, admitted as much during the debate on the Senate floor Tuesday afternoon. It was, he said, what the “political climate” would allow, meaning that things like a tax increase or even adopting Ralph Martire’s idea of a revised pension ramp were not politically feasible at this time.

As I stated during a panel discussion during the Triple-I Conference in Chicago a couple weeks ago, I believe the action orchestrated by the legislative leaders had everything to do with the upcoming elections, a future tax increase and perhaps even a cost shift to local school districts.

Read the entire post here.

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