On January 29th I posted about a Facebook page that I didn’t want to name directly because it was all “garbage” meant to miss-lead the readers, and I didn’t want to give it any more viewers (Found here), but I take all that back. I want people to go look at it. I want people to see what lies the small few holdouts have to say in order to get anyone to listen to them. I want everyone to see the page that has taken miss-information to a new level. I want everyone to see exactly what a smear campaign looks like.
It is truly a smear campaign, but not a new one to be sure. I have posted many times about the attempts of a few people who in my opinion have been trying for years to undermine all the work the teachers and staff of School District 81 have been trying to do. How many of us remember the SchillerParkBlog? How about the fake wordpress page trying to be me? These are just two examples of smear tactics perpetrated by the same people. The same people that are now attempting to do the same thing through their new (Heavily followed in India) Facebook Page.
The Facebook page I want to spend a little time going over is STOP “Excessive Taxation” by Schiller Park School District 81
Before we get started I want to add that not everything on this page is fake or made up, in actuality it is mostly filled with real documents or factual posts from other media sources. The problem appears when the documents or posts shared are miss-represented to miss-lead the reader to an inaccurate conclusion. The creator/s of the page are taking advantage of the fact that most people will read what is said at face value. Most wont get further then the negative comments added to the image.
I also want to document the Facebook page in all of its incorrect glory. I want to highlight how little the author of the page actually knows, and how disrespectful they are being to anyone who happens to read it.
Lets start with the November 8th 2015 post.
Let me start by saying that the page’s quote is actually a quote from the 2012 FY Audit. (Found here) The problem starts when the page’s authors incorrectly refer to the fund balance as a “Savings account”. This is an inaccurate description of what a fund balance truly is, and simply perpetuates a misconception that works against what the members of the administration and school board are trying to do.
People tend to think of a fund balance as a savings account. It is not, nor is it a “rainy day fund.” A fund balance is the amount of assets in excess of liabilities. These assets could include investments, delinquent taxes, accounts receivable and inventories. Further, the amount within a fund balance could fluctuate considerably throughout the year. When a district reports a fund balance, it is a snapshot in time that will change as assets are collected and financial obligations are met.
Another misconception is that the entire amount of a fund balance can be spent on any item that a school board sees fit. In reality, out of the five reported categories of fund balances, only one, unassigned fund balances, may be spent at the discretion of the school board. The other four categories are nonspendable, restricted, committed and assigned fund balances.
Our school district also maintains an appropriate fund balance for the following purposes:
• To demonstrate financial stability in the District.
• To avoid excessive short-term borrowing that opens the District to losses from differences in investment and borrowing rates.
• To avoid spending operation funds for interest on short-term loans.
• To stabilize both the budget and tax rate.
• To preserve a high bond rating (bond rating companies will routinely downgrade districts with an inadequate fund balance, because it gives the appearance of instability
So although that post has facts in it the author of the post uses those facts in such a manner that with carefully chosen words tries to mislead its readers into thinking the District has excessive amounts of extra cash just sitting in savings. This is simply not true, and in actuality maintaining an appropriate Fund Balance is a sign of a quality Administration, and School Board.
On November 8th 2015 the Facebook Page posted the following.
A link to an alternate media source. (Found here) Also not a lie, but when taken out of context and read at face value one might think this is terrible. Lets look for a moment at the rest of the information. According to the article the increases reported by the author is middle of the road almost exactly when compared to the rankings of all the other School Districts. There is 69 school districts with higher increases like the top of the list School district 300 with a 692.90% increase, now that’s “whooping”. The next one below that is 174.05%, and there is 80 school districts with a lower percent increase then Schiller Park School District 81, the lowest being Riverdale with a 14.13% increase.
The author of the Facebook page in question chooses to present the information in such a manner that it makes the School District look to be out of control and incapable of being trusted with our taxes when in fact the opposite is true.
I could just as easily say “Between 2000-2010, The village of Schiller Park increased the tax dollars collected annually by a “whooping” 83.36% from the village taxpayers !” and I wouldn’t be lying by any means. At least according to the web site linked in the Facebook page being discussed, but do we take into consideration all the other factors in this information when we read it? Do we sit back and dig in to find more information? Not usually, and the authors are counting on that. The authors are masters of taking things out of context, and twisting that information for their own gains. Taking advantage of most peoples willingness to trust what we read at face value.
Another from November 8th
Same misleading message but new words “repository of the “over taxation””.
See the comments at the top of the page about the reality of a good fund balance.
November 8th again.
November 8th was a busy day for the McToxics. This one accusing the Board of Eduction of giving excessive salary increases to the teachers of the school district because the SPEA bought them? This sounds just a touch slanderous to me. (definition found here)
I’m not joking, the authors of this page openly accused the Schiller Park School District 81 Board of Education of increasing teachers salaries because the SPEA “Bought” their election. If this isn’t the action or crime of making a false spoken statement damaging to a person’s reputation.
That’s only after you might notice the outright lie in the first paragraph of the post. “Why is the District 81 Board of Education negotiating a new teacher’s contract with the SPEA over a year before it expires”. Now please as usual someone correct me if I am wrong, or verify for yourself, but if I am not mistaken the contract for the teachers of School District 81 ended at the end of June of 2015.
Let us also look at another aspect of the second paragraph. The author of the page said they believe the salary increases are “excessive salary increases”. I want to share some easy to find averages with everyone before I go further.
The above images were taken from a source for teacher salaries found here
So looking at three other surrounding School Districts I feel I can safely say that almost any salary increase in a new contract given to Schiller Park School District 81 teachers is by no means “Excessive”. Taking into consideration all the amazing things these teachers do while being paid under the state average, and less then the three immediately surrounding districts.
I only touched on a few of the posts on that Facebook page, and not because the rest are accurate representations of the truth, but because I can only spend so much time debunking the authors who have made it a life long mission to throw dirt on people and a system who do not deserve it. It is my opinion that this page was created by a McCampbell, and is maintained by a McCampbell. I can no longer prove that as the permissions of the page have been changed to not allow that information to be seen. Because of this it will remain my opinion, and nothing more. Normally in the past I would also say that It is my opinion that David C Stachura is also involved, but he has not attended a meeting since June, and basically has no information to share.
I could pick this page apart for days and I will, but I had to start at the beginning. More to come soon.
When you read things posted on the internet please take a moment to consider your source. If the person with the information is not willing to share with you how they came to the conclusions they have, maybe there should be some questions of the validity of their information. If the person sharing their version of the truth is not wiling to have an open dialogue they may not be sharing the truth at all.