$8,500 for a Hard Day's Work
Following up on a request from a reader
One of my readers was curious for the cost to the District for the keynote speaker that District 65 had at their full-day equity professional development session last Monday. Here is a snapshot from the District’s email on the subject:
The District responded to this FOIA request quite quickly, you can read it at this link. The cost:
Keynote Fee: $8,500 + Travel/Expenses
For reference; when I worked at GrubHub, years ago, we got a rate sheet for various bands to play our Christmas party. The Reel Big Fish (a 90s ska band) were about $10,000 + Travel/Expenses and this was ten years ago.That’s my point of reference anytime I think about a keynote speaker or live event costs; are they charging more or less than a 1990s ska band? Given my framework, the cost here is within reason and probably on the low end of the keynote-speaker-pricing scale.
With that said, District 65 is a public entity that belongs to all of us, and not a private company. This was a professional development session for District teachers (as opposed to fundraising, etc). Given the District just requested a 5.5% maximum allowable tax levy, I have to wonder if this has sufficient (if any) return on investment. Certainly not one that would be measurable.
Edit: Removed some arguments I make about turning these PD events into a revenue generating event after getting some good feedback.
Instead our CEO hired a Neil Diamond cover band. It was the worst.
I've gotten some great feedback on this article and if you're coming to the comment section to dunk on me.. Fire away :)
D202 has been paying Calvin Terrell far more ($12,500 per visit) on an annual basis for years now. Last year, a few parents showed up to challenge his narrative and he called us "evil" and the "devil" the following day on Facebook - simply because we dared to disagree with him. My tax dollars paying for an outsider to come to Evanston and insult me instead of engaging in a constructive debate. Don't get me wrong - I approve a lot of what D202 does. But paying for Calvin Terrell to come here for annual indoctrination sessions is plain wrong.