Bellwood, IL school board enables superintendent’s wild spending — despite deep debt | EAGnews.org:
BELLWOOD, Ill. – Illinois’ Bellwood School District 88 has some really serious financial problems.
As the Chicago Tribune put it, “the district is steeped in debt, and many of the students come from low-income homes.
...Most people would assume that means the Bellwood district lacks resources.
But as it turns out, the management of resources may be at the root of the problem.
Last summer a Tribune report revealed a very worrisome spending pattern in the district involving Superintendent Rosemary Hendricks and other top officials.
For instance, the school board voted to “replenish” a $105,103 retirement account that Hendricks had cashed out a long time ago, the news report said.
But getting that money back could be a problem.
“District 88’s attorney said previously that Hendricks is required to repay the money to the district,” the Tribune reported.
“But documents obtained by the Tribune last week show Hendricks is six months behind on the repayment agreement, which was adopted in September 2015 when District 88 paid the Illinois Teachers Retirement System on her behalf. As of May, Hendricks had repaid $7,300.
...The added pension contribution from the school district will increase Hendricks’ annual retirement benefit from about $14,000 per year to about $77,000 under the state formula, the news report said.
...“Hendricks, 66, is now eligible to retire with the pension benefits of someone who has paid into the system for 25 years, though, as of last year, she had paid into it for only 4 1/2 years,” the Tribune wrote. “Taxpayers across the state will pick up the tab, potentially for years to come.”