Comment of the Day:
Advanced learning opportunities are the hallmark of successful school districts. We need all children to be met at their instructional needs. Those children in the top 1/3 of their class deserve enrichment and advanced learning. Those children at the top 2 to 3 percent are on their own trajectory and deserve something else. Why can't we meet the needs of our learners?
It is clear that the DOL does not hear from enough parents interested in change. Please consider writing a letter, however short or long summarizing your feelings about the district criteria, the math trajectory, and what is happening in our curriculum. We have to rally the troops to write letters and make comments. Otherwise, it will be more of the same. Parents with older children who are now raising their 2nd or 3rd child will not enjoy the same opportunities for advancement if the current DOL initiatives take hold and are approved. Support our BOE members Gray, Burns and Garg who continually question and challenge. Demand accountability. Please take the moment to write a letter, have a meeting or attend public BOE meetings for public comment. Thank you.
Dr. Schneider is currently on a one year contract, however, if his contract is renewed, he will have tenure in D181. (Click to open Schneider contract.)** Under Section 10 of his contract, "a decision on this contract's extension, revision or non-renewal will be made by the BOARD no later than April 1 of each contract year. Failure to so act on this contract's extension or revision or to provide a notice of non-renewal shall automatically renew this contract for one (1) additional year under the same terms and conditions of employment at the time." Last year, the BOARD did not take formal public action under the terms of this contract, rather it FAILED TO SO ACT, with the result being that Dr. Schneider's contract was automatically renewed. We were shocked at the time that each board member was not given an opportunity to vote publicly on extending the contract. We expect more from our elected officials and hope that this year, they will hold a public vote so that the community will see how each of the seven board members votes on this particular administrator's continued employment in D181.
Dr. Benaitis is currently on a three year contract which will end on June 30, 2017. (Click to open Benaitis contract.) Under the terms of her contract, the Board has the option of unilaterally terminating her contract (with or without cause) and it's only obligation to her would be to pay her salary through the end of the current contract year. If the Board informed her that it was terminating her contract on or before June 30, 2016, it would only need to pay her salary through that date. If the BOE fails to terminate her contract before June 30, 2016, but chooses to at a later date, it will be required to pay her salary through June 30, 2017. We hope the BOE makes a responsible decision that will cost the D181 the least amount of money!
We are not going to elaborate on all the myriad of reasons why it is our opinion that Dr. Schneider's contract not be renewed and he not be granted tenure, or why Dr. Benaitis' contract should be terminated. Previous posts have laid out the reasons. Because the Board approach has been to look to the superintendent to make recommendations on all administrators (other than, of course the superintendent), Dr. White should soon be bringing his recommendations on these two employees to the BOE. In our opinion, the recommendation Dr. White makes should give the BOE a very clear direction on whether or not to extend Dr. White's contract -- a step no doubt they will begin to consider as Dr. White approaches the end of the second year of his three year contract. Let's not forget that the previous BOE extended Dr Schuster's contract shortly after she started the third year of her first contract. So it is quite likely that the BOE will shortly begin debating the merits of whether to extend Dr. White's contract or inform him that he will only be a one term superintendent.
Frankly, we think there is sufficient basis to not give Dr. White a second term contract. But if there is any chance that the BOE is considering extending his contract beyond June 30, 2017, that "chance" should end if Dr. White has the audacity to recommend tenure for Dr. Schneider and fails to realize that termination of Dr. Benaitis's contract as of June 20, 2016 is what is in the best interest of the district.
As always SOUND OFF and we hope you all attend the January 11, 2016 BOE meeting that is currently scheduled to begin at 7 p.m. at the Administration Center located at 115 West 55th Street, Clarendon Hills.
** Note: The most recent version of Dr. Schneider's contract that has been published for the community is the July 2014 to June 30, 2015 contract linked above. However, since Dr. White allowed his contract to automatically roll last spring, according to the Section 10 of the contract the extension would be under the same terms.)