Jack Roeser Blog

Thoughts, views, and observations forged during a long, active life, 83 years, by Jack Roeser- inventor, engineer, manufacturer, soldier, racing sailor, pilot, entrepreneur, classical liberal (conservative) activist, father and husband, and proud American.

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Jack Roeser is Chairman and founder of Otto Engineering Inc. a manufacturer of electronic control and communication switches for aerospace, medical and industrial uses. Otto’s success is marked by the high precision and quality of its products. Jack has received over 50 patents in Electrical, Mechanical, Machinery and Marine products. In 1994, he ran for Governor in the Republican primary, receiving 26% of the primary vote. For over 25 years, Jack has been an advocate of education reform through the application of free market principles and of school choice. Jack's sport is sailing; he has won the Chicago - Mackinac race among many others.

Thursday, March 08, 2007

More Money Is a Roadblock to Real Solutions

In the face of Governor Blagojevich's call for huge tax increases, we at The Champion Foundation announce a far better solution based on defining the financial situation as "a spending problem, not a revenue problem."

A financial investigation at the school district level reveals the careless, self serving, and incompetent nature of school administrations all across the state. The Champion Foundation is currently analyzing a few hundred Illinois school districts in greater depth. The findings are startling. Visit our "Champion School Accountability" project on our website to view the list of school districts analyzed to date.

The Champion Foundation is committed to requiring all Illinois government-run school districts to fully disclose all financial information to the public. Currently, school districts resist efforts to report revenues and expenditures in an understandable, standardized format. This is unacceptable, since there is no accountability without transparency.

The Teacher & Administrator Salary Database on our website posts all salaries for public school teachers and administrators going back to 1999. This data (obtained from the Illinois State Board of Education) tells an important story. Compensation for teachers and administrators across Illinois ranges from adequate to highly excessive without rationality. The extremely high pensions have resulted in an enormous burden on taxpayers.

Every year Illinois taxpayers increase funding to the government-run school system at an average of 6 percent. Nevertheless, there is a never-ending effort underway to get ever more dollars by both raising property taxes through local referenda and by increasing the income tax via the Illinois General Assembly.

The fact is that Illinois taxpayers are currently spending over $20 BILLION to educate 2 million public school students. Taxpayer funding for education in Illinois has doubled in the last fifteen years.

There is a great injustice in increasing the taxes of the working class to pay outrageous pensions of $80,000 to $200,000 for educators at age 56. The Governor should call for limitation on education pay and pensions.

Throwing more money at public education is not the answer. Instead, Illinois desperately needs independent legislative leaders willing to stand up and tell the public the truth about out-of-control spending.

Until honest leadership emerges and until there has been a thorough accounting and disclosure of how our tax dollars are being spent - the selfish quest for more largess should cease.

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