By: Brittany Flaherty Theis
There are three separate requirements that apply to the reporting and posting requirements for the salary and compensation of school district employees.
Public Act 97-256 (Section 10-20.47 of the School Code) requires that by October 1 of each school year (previously July 1) the base salary and benefits of the district Superintendent and all administrators and teachers employed by the district be reported to the Illinois State Board of Education (“ISBE”). ISBE has created a form for this purpose. Within the ISBE form, the district should report the actual amount paid to the employee in the previous fiscal year. For purposes of this report, benefits include vacation days, sick days, bonuses, annuities, and retirement enhancements. Prior to October 1 of each year, this report must be presented at a regular board meeting and then posted in the District’s website.
Public Act 96-434 previously required that school districts create a Salary Compensation Report for every employee holding an administrative certificate and working in that capacity. This Act was repealed. Districts are no longer required to complete these Salary Compensation Reports. The ISBE form mandated by Section 10-20.47 of the School Code, discussed above, replaced the Salary Compensation Form.
Public Act 97-0609 amends Section 7.3 of the Open Meetings Act and includes two separate and distinct reporting requirements as it relates to salaries and benefits of employees working for IMRF-participating employers. First, within six business days of approving a budget, the district must post “the total compensation package” for each employee having a “total compensation package” that exceeds $75,000 per year. Second, at least six days before approving an employee’s “total compensation package” that is equal to or in excess of $150,000 per year, the district must post the “total compensation package” for that employee. Both IMRF and the Illinois Attorney General have advised that the above posting requirements apply to all employees, not just IMRF employees.
Additionally, the “total compensation package,” for purposes of this requirement includes payment “by the employer to the employee” for only the following items: salary, health insurance, a housing allowance, a vehicle allowance, a clothing allowance, bonuses, loans, the number of vacation days granted and the number of sick days granted. If there is a buy-back provision of those days, the value of the days that the employee buys back should be included in the “total compensation package.” Only the “total compensation package” is required to be posted, not a detailed breakdown. However, the Illinois Municipal Retirement Fund (“IMRF”) provides a sample spreadsheet for employers to use that does break down each of the categories. The spreadsheet can be found on the IMRF website in the Employer Forms section of its Publications tab or here.
The statute is silent as to what time period should be covered for the “total compensation package” for each employee having a “total compensation package” exceeding $75,000 per year. Given that the statute ties the approval of the budget for the upcoming year to the reporting requirement, it seems logical that the intent was that the reporting of the “total compensation package” for each employee with a salary in excess of $75,000 be linked to the same time period that the budget covers. However, in some cases (i.e., where a collective bargaining agreement has not yet been reached), the district may not know what the upcoming years’ salaries will be for certain employees. Additionally, the ISBE report discussed above covers salaries and benefits from the previous school year. Because the statute is silent, salaries may be unknown and in order to be consistent with the ISBE report, some districts are simply reporting the previous school year’s total compensation. To be conservative, a district could post two reports- one covering total compensation for employees for the current school year and one covering the previous year.
School districts with a website will need to fulfill these posting requirements by either: 1) posting the required information on the district’s website; or 2) posting a physical copy of the information in the district’s main office and only posting directions on the district’s website of how to access the posted information at the district’s main office.
For more information or advice regarding these reporting and posting requirements, please contact Whitt Law Attorney Sarah Miller.
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