District 210

Lincoln-Way District 210- How can it be so bad?

Will Co. (ECWd) –

It is becoming ever so clear the only thing that wakes people up in this state is a crisis.  Some would argue the same for the country.  When reading any history of tragic events it becomes clear there were in fact indicators of a growing problem long before the actual crisis.

Clearly Lincoln-Way School District 210 is in the middle of a major crisis of which many in the district may not even be aware of.

District 210 is comprised of 4 high schools with approximately 7,700 students.  A seven member Board of Education is in charge of this small operation that currently is in excess of $500,000,000.00 [500 Million Dollars] in Bond debt.

Yes, half a billion in bond debt!

Every public body we have ever looked into that has financial troubles has pointed to one common denominator, Leadership, or lack there of!  The School Board members are the ones that are suppose to be representing the taxpayers and ensuring their tax dollars are in fact being spent within the legal parameters outlined by the School Code.  Before we get into the illegal and questionable spending, which will be a multi-part series on the crippling debt of District 210, let’s simply take a moment and look at its leadership.

Kevin Molloy is the current Board of Education (BOE) President and has been a board member for approximately 10 years.  More often than not, looking at those in charge tells us a lot about why we have a financial crisis in our local government.  Looking at these people should be the very first thing voters do before casting a ballot as their personal financial management can be an indicator of what to expect when they get to manage your tax dollars.

The last 5 years of financial information for this school district indicates they have deficit spent $37,407,227.00 Million, which averages $7.48 Million a year since 2010.  That should have been the first indicator any competent BOE member could recognize. (See aggregate history here)

A quick broker’s check on Mr. Molloy, as he is a State Farm Insurance broker, points to three judgements/liens in his name.  With over $180,000.00 in IRS judgements/liens and another $8,000.00 plus with Will County, we believe this is one of the first indicators you may have a problem in your local government if he has anything to do with it.  (See page 9 and 10)

Other red flags pertaining to Mr. Molloy that the taxpayers of the district may have an interest in knowing.

When those in charge of our tax dollars can’t manage their own financial affairs, we must ask the question, do we trust them with our children and our tax dollars?

Stay tuned for more to come on the exposure of how a small school district gets itself into half a billion dollars in bond debt!

Presentation1
.

25 replies »

  1. As all brokers are state licensed, a code of ethics applies and is part of the continuing education required for license continuation. State Farm specifically maintained a Broker also in that same area, Orland/Tinley Park who had violated many laws. I still have the file. My issue, for which I just happened to be more astute than the cheating broker, went to the top of State Farm in Bloomington, the President Bernard Rust. Nothing happened to this broker. My advise, stay away from State Farm.

  2. How about some research into the lack of promised funding from the State of Illinois? My understanding is that district 210 (and probably many others) were told they would receive “X” dollars. The school board would plan a budget based on that information. Then, the State promised dollars would be cut, forcing the BOE to use reserves at the end of the fiscal year. Additionally, while there is no arguement that 210 needed an additional school, LWN parents would not vote for a LWW to be built on their tax dollars (the reverse is also applicable) so the compromise was to build 2 smaller schools (based on student capacity). Did anyone predict the complete and utter collapse of the housing/mortgage industry when these building decisions were already made? Where were all the taxpayers when these issues first started when the building plans were announced? Where was the taxpayer outrage when the initial spending decisions were made? When reserve funds were used to fill the gap that lack of promised State funding created? While I don’t disagree that if a BOE menber can not handle his/her own finances, I probably don’t want them controlling my tax dollars, where was this information about Mr. Malloy before his last election?

    • J. Bird, The information on him was there but no one vetted him, just like has happen with so many other elected official. At least now people understand the importance of exposing EVERYTHING on people asking for their vote.

    • There was NO “compromise” to build two schools. The Superintendent cut a deal with the builder to have a mansion built for himself if 2 schools were built. He proceeded to invent subdivisions (that were never built) to increase the “enrollment” numbers and thus LIED to the public and persuaded them that LWW was needed. LWN was planned for YEARS before it was built, because REAL subdivisions were being erected and impact fees were collected for the school district. Meaning that, the homeowners in Summit Hill were promised and owed LWN high school. The builders were allowed to sell more homes than what Lincoln Way East could accommodate, thereby overcrowding that school. LW NORTH should have been erected long before it ever was. LW West was built on land purchased with STOLEN funds. The district paid $5 MILLION dollars for land that was valued at $260,000……..to accommodate FICTITIOUS students. The high school that was NEVER needed in the first place should be the one that is closed.

    • Did anyone predict the complete and utter collapse of the housing industry? YES! Will County was the fastest growing county in the state, and yet Lincoln Way is the ONLY district in the county that is on the state’s Financial Watch List. NO other school administration in Will County erected new schools BEFORE the houses were ever built.

  3. There is a gentleman named Harold Haung who worked in the district during the Wiley era. He was hired to be Wiley’s assistant. The “story”goes, Haung was hired, was given a nice office and told to go read the paper. According to my records he was employed for about 18 months. Rumors, say find Haung and you will find the truth. I have his address, phone and email, however, Mr. Haung does not want to speak with me. Maybe he will speak with you!

    I am on the email list!

    • I had the displeasure of dealing with Huang…from Sass, another high paid a**wipe. Took buses away in Grade school & forced my daughter to walk 1 mile in the snow & rain with no sidewalks. Really nice jerk.

  4. I have been to board meetings. ….as they sit there looking down and saying nothing as they have fact after fact told to them…what I meant is there something that can happen before they close a state of the art school

    • Attend meetings, ask questions, demand accountability, RUN FOR SCHOOL BOARD and elect people who will stand up to this Administration and let them know they are NOT IN CHARGE!

      • These people are on the Board for the next three years. We are attending meetings, pleading to them, and there are many people who are very vocal but they just role their eyes and go to the next topic. They don’t answer questions or listen to us. It’s very discouraging.

  5. Here’s one more red flag. The Will County Circuit Court records show that this “man” was ticketed in August 2009 for operating an UNINSURED motor vehicle. Like a good neighbor, State Farm should have been there for Molloy. He probably could’ve gotten a nice discount on his own policy, but this character truly believes that he is exempt from following any legal parameters.

  6. What about Ron Sawin – the district’s assistant superintendent of business?? He was part of the Wyllie regime. Anyone who was involved when this district started having problems needs to go. Remember the board was making decisions based on what was presented to them by district management. We need a new board and new management. You can’t just look the other way because its easier.

      • You need to read the law suit filed by the tax payers of District 210 which has concrete evidence of Ron’s “faults”. All of his involvement in the demise of the school district has been documented and proven. Nothing funny about it, either.

  7. Yes District 210 is a huge mess.

    You are spot on! The District is only as good as it leaders and we have lacked in that department for many years.

    Although Dr. Wylie has retired with his very large pension the new Superintendent was hand picked by Wylie and has the full support of the BOE. Comments made in the press by Mr. Molloy stated they did not want an outsider to come in and tear down anything Wylie did during his time.

    This is a clear sign that this BOE wanted to go along with business as usual. In addition I am sure part of their motivation in hiring the current Superintendent was so that the many mis-steps and skeletons remain hidden.

    I look forward to the next part of your series.

    The citizens of the district thank you for bringing your findings to the public.

  8. It is difficult for me to understand how any school district can afford to pay a retired superintendent $330,000 per year. LET’S GET REAL.

  9. Although this article points to Mr, Molloy, I don’t believe you are seeing the true picture. Unfortunately, we had a former superintendant (Larry Willie) that strongarmed the district for years. He did whatever he chose to do and anybody that questioned has judgement was chastised. He did many things against the boards wishes and couldn’t be stopped. There should have been an inquiry into Dr. Willies actions, but the board wasn’t allowed to pursue any action. Although you find many faults with Mr. Molloy, I don’t think he had any leverage in the districts day to day spending. All of that was controlled by Dr. Willie and he wouldn.t allow anyone to question his judgement. My understanding is that Dr. Willie is the highest paid pensioneer in the Illinois school pension system. Think thats by coincidence?

    • You pointed to most of the problems. The board did not oversee the school properly. There is no such thing as the board not being able to pursue any action or not being allowed to question the superintendent. If that is the case, the board failed the public, and failed themselves.

    • It’s a shame none of the current and past board members had the balls to speak up. They are elected to look out for out best interest as well as the children. When they are silent and rubber stamp things this is what happens. Seriously, afraid of being chastised? Are they not adults?

  10. Why has the state of Illinois allowed this? This man ran the district into the ground, and never even got his hand slapped. So, why wouldn’t he continue to just wing it and make things up as he goes along? It works for him! Year after year after year, and no one has stopped him. The tax payers and residents are helpless victims. Every single higher up (except Obama) has been contacted and pleaded with for help. Nothing changes. The district continues to operate in the manner in which they are accustomed. What’s the point in even writing this article, if there is no solution?

    • Unfortunately the whole notion of school boards made up of leople who do not have to have any qualifications other than being 18 & living in the district is in need of help. You never know what your going to get. If the superintendent is a good salesman they just agree to whatever he says! And superintendents shmooz the school board members so they get what they want. The whole system is inefficient.

      • Apalling to me as well is the fact that the teachers union president publicly stated they are in favor of closing a school. What kind of union leader would want to see members out of a job? Also, I hope Edgar County looks into how the coach from the school that is closing was shafted out of a position.

        • In my
          Opinion, when teacher’s union was offered the three year contract, they were told by administration they would have to close a school. If you look there are very few teaching positions that will be lost. Of the 20 positions, about half will be paraprofessionals and other non certified staff. They still have over 7000 students to teach. I don’t want any teacher to lose their job, but it doesn’t seem like there is much cost savings. Aren’t Teacher’s salaries the lion’s share of a budget? It’s just another example, of so many things that don’t make sense in this entire fissco.

          • Ann, the cost of administration, clerical help, common area staff like librarians, custodial staff, energy costs and maintenance staff typically comes to about 20% of operating expenses. that’s a lot of money for 1400 kids each costing about $12K in operating expenses per year. the percentage of the budget going to these things is provided in the school and district report cards at http://www.isbe.net. They give the percentage of the budget going to various “buckets” there. One thing to be aware of. Don’t believe the section on “administrative costs”. That only includes the principals, deans, etc costs. They exclude most of their staff. Look at the “non-instructional operating costs” to get a better idea of the real “overhead” in the district.

Leave a witty comment