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July 24, 2024

UPDATE – District 95: Video of 5-7-2012 Board Meeting

By John Kraft & Kirk Allen

On May 20, 2012

PARIS, IL –  Here it is, and once again the local paper prints only what the board wants them to print. This has become their standard reporting practice . So if you want to see what ACTUALLY occured at the meeting watch the video. You can also read the Watchdog report from a couple days ago.

There were plenty of things that happened after the meeting, but that will have to be in another posting.

 Thanks to District 95 for the video.

Chuck’s comments are below:

I think I probably blew my chance at having President Tom appoint me to fill the school board position that was created by the resignation of board member Sue Furnish (watch the video). Oh well, I am used to rejection, so I will recover quickly.

It was interesting to hear Tom read his prepared statement attempting to justify the rehiring of Connie Sutton as superintendent. I don’t know if that was a statement from him or from the whole board. I do know that the matter of continuing to explore consolidation was never discussed in any open meeting I attended. I cannot see why it would have been done in executive session. Since Unit 4 would also be involved, did District 95 have any discussion with them? These are just a few of the questions that probably can be answered. I, now, on 5/16/2012, think I have the answers.

However, another question was answered. We now know that the district can be run by someone employed for 100 days a year. Yet the tax payers have been paying big dollars for a 12 month contract. Maybe that job is not as time consuming as we have been led to believe. After talking with several people, other questions arose. Who keeps the records of the days worked by the retired administrators who have been rehired? Are their schedules fixed and posted, so everyone will know when they are to be on the job? What constitutes a work day? Can they go in at 5:00 AM, work a couple of hours, go home, and call it a day? Do weekend days count? Can “working from home” be considered a work day? Are they allowed to work in the summer or during vacations when no students are present? Since they are being paid from $360-$500 a day, is there any accountability? I believe custodians, secretaries, teachers, aides, and cooks have set days and times they are to be on the job.

Mel Ogle will be retiring as principal of Mayo Middle School sometime this summer. Will the board find a job for her also? As I have said MANY times in the past, those at the top certainly know how to take care of themselves – with the board’s assistance.

I listened to the presentation by the representative of the Illinois School Board Association concerning the search for a new superintendent. I believe he said that their fee would be $5,000.00. They would screen the candidates and present the board with a list of their top candidates to interview. I remember past District 95 school boards going through the same process and hiring some superintendents who didn’t work out well. The ISBA representative said there would probably be only 12-22 candidates. I can’t see why the district would need the ISBA to screen so few candidates. I think in some districts there is a committee comprised of board members, administrators, teachers, support staff representatives, and community members. They would screen the applicants and make non-binding recommendations to the board. I believe that the more people who are involved in decision making, the better the decisions might be. And NO, I would NOT want to be on the committee!   

As I have read through the past District 95 board meeting minutes, I noticed that questions or comments during the audience to visitors section are noted.  However, there is never any mention of answers from the board. For accuracy’s sake, maybe this could be remedied in the future. Of course, the Beacon ignores this completely at most public meetings! I do understand that Sam is extremely busy and that the Beacon tries to stay away from anything controversial.



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