Schoolboard denies that teachers will be paid in scrip

Schoolboard denies that teachers will be paid in scrip

By Joe Baker

By Joe Baker

Senior Editor

Rockford school board members denied Tuesday there are any plans to pay teachers with scrip next month. The rumor has been circulating for several days.

“That’s a scare tactic,” said Patti Delugas, former school board president. “If we could not sell (tax anticipation) warrants, we would not be able to pay the payroll past February.” She said the claim is coming from the teachers’ union and is “designed to raise the fear level and put pressure on the board.”

Ted Biondo said: “The only thing I know is we’re doing TAWs (tax anticipation warrants) right now. If, for some reason, they don’t go through, then we will have difficulty with the next payroll. We’re going to be borrowing $40 million in February. If it doesn’t come through, I believe the only thing we’re allowed to do is to issue IOUs.

Gloria Cardenas Cudia, president of the board, said she is unaware of any plans to issue scrip. “I haven’t been notified. I don’t know,” she said. “It’s still in discussion.”

Board member David Strommer said the issuance of scrip was mentioned, “but I don’t think that’s going to happen. I hadn’t heard anything like that.”

In an action filed in federal district court by Chicago attorney Bob Howard, and signed by the Rockford Education Association, Rockford Building Maintenance Association and the Office Personnel Association, it was stated: “The Rockford School District is in a state of financial collapse. Unless RSD is able to miraculously convince lenders to ‘buy’ its Tax Anticipation Warrants in the immediate days ahead, it will run out of cash and be unable to pay its bills by as early as mid-February. For intervenors-defendants, that means not only that public education in Rockford would come to a standstill, but that employees of the RSD they represent would not be able to be paid. That means those employees do not work.”

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