Wednesday, January 31, 2018

Is the "SIX DAY" Announcement on the New Superintendent Imminent?

It has now been 3 months since the D181 Board of Education approved the Agreement to Mutually Terminate Dr. White's Employment Contract.  (Source: 10/30/17 Termination Agreement)  Since October 30, 2017, the BOE has hired a search firm to conduct a search for Dr. White's replacement.  The search firm has conducted focus groups with various constituency groups and circulated a survey to the community in order to develop a Superintendent's Profile.  

At the January 16, 2018 BOE meeting, the search firm presented the results of their research to the BOE. Two documents were presented to the BOE:  Superintendent Survey Results and Superintendent Profile. The survey results and profile are intended to guide the BOE's decision on who to interview and ultimately hire to lead D181.

According to page 12 of the Superintendent Profile, on January 21 the BOE was to conduct a first round of interviews, followed by a second round on January 27 and 28, culminating in a February announcement of who the new Superintendent will be.  BoardDocs confirms that the BOE met for "Special Meetings" on January 21, 27 and 28, so we assume that they conducted interviews on those dates.  On January 29, the BOE had a Regular Business Meeting and during Executive Session (Agenda Item 2A) discussed personnel.  Again, we assume that they continued their discussions on who to hire.  

No announcement was made at the January 29 meeting, which is not surprising, since as we recently learned from the announcement Dr. White's future district published on its website, under Illinois Law, 5 ILCS 120/7.3(b), 6 days prior to approving a compensation package of an employee that exceeds $150,000 the compensation package must be publicly posted, and none was for the 1/29 meeting. (Posting on Mokena website re Dr. White's compensation package.)

Specifically, 5ILCS 120/7.3(b) states:

(b) At least 6 days before an employer participating in the Illinois Municipal Retirement Fund approves an employee's total compensation package that is equal to or in excess of $150,000 per year, the employer must post on its website the total compensation package for that employee. If the employer does not maintain a website, the employer shall post a physical copy of this information at the principal office of the employer. If an employer maintains a website, it may choose to post a physical copy of this information at the principal office of the employer in lieu of posting the information directly on the website; however, the employer must post directions on the website on how to access that information. (Source: P.A. 97-609, eff. 1-1-12.)(Source:

Further, 5ILCS 120/7.3(c) specifies the information that must be published:

(c) For the purposes of this Section, "total compensation package" means payment by the employer to the employee for salary, health insurance, a housing allowance, a vehicle allowance, a clothing allowance, bonuses, loans, vacation days granted, and sick days granted. (Source:

We cannot imagine a scenario in which D181 will hire a superintendent whose compensation package is valued at less than $150,000 since there are lower level employees in D181 making more than that. This means that no later than 6 days BEFORE the BOE votes to approve the new superintendent, it must either publicly post on the D181 website details of the new superintendent's compensation package, or post this information at the District office and so inform the community of the building posting on the D181 website. Either way, the community will know, almost one full week before the BOE approves the new superintendent, who he/she is and how much he/she will be paid.

Currently, the next BOE meeting is scheduled for February 12, 2018 (Source:Board Meeting Calendar). If the BOE has already picked the next superintendent, by no later than February 7 it must publish information on the compensation package. Unless it buries the information on the website (which would be very NON-transparent), the community will have plenty of time to do their own due diligence on the candidate and write to the BOE if they have compliments or concerns to voice ahead of the vote.

We have reviewed all sections of the D181 website where we believe the BOE might publish the compensation package (Main Page, News, Business Department, Board Docs) and it does not appear to be available yet.  We will continue to monitor the district website and inform our readers as soon as the identity and compensation package is published.

In the meantime, we encourage our readers to review the Survey Results and Superintendent Profile the search firm presented to the BOE.  The results are not surprising in light of the events leading to Dr. White's leaving the district.  Below is a copy of Page 7 of the Survey Results which identifies the qualifications the respondents want the new superintendent to have:

(Source:  P. 7 of Survey Results)

In addition, below is a copy of Pages 5 and 6 from the Survey which identify the most important characteristics respondents want the new Superintendent to have:

We eagerly await the "SIX DAY ANNOUNCEMENT" and identification of who D181's next leader will be.  Let's hope that THIS TIME, the BOE gets it right!

Until then, we'd love to hear from our readers what they think of the Survey Results and what their expectations are of our elected officials.  So SOUND OFF!


Anonymous said...

The superintendent's covered by Illinois Municipal Retirement Fund? I thought the superintendent, other administrators & teachers were covered by Teachers Retirement System. I could be wrong.

The Parents said...

7:38: We believe we have an answer to your question. It is true that superintendents in D181 are covered by TRS. Even Dr. White's contract, which we have posted on this BLOG specifies he is in TRS. However, if you closely read the language of the statute we cite in our latest post, if references an EMPLOYER particpating in the MRF system and states that such EMPLOYERS must post information on any employee it is hiring whose compensation package is equal to or greater than $150,000. We have done some research and D181 does participate in the MRF system, although we are not sure which specific employees participate in the MRF system. Anyone can search the IMRF website for the names of employers who participate. The link to that website is:

We searched school districts and both D181 and D86 are listed.

So, we reiterate our opinion that 6 days BEFORE the D181 BOE votes to approve any new superintendent whose compensation package is equal to or greater than $150,000, it must post notice of the upcoming hire and compensation package on the district's website or at the administration's office (along with notification of this posting on the website).

So we will continue to monitor the website. As of this comment, we have not found the 6 day notice BUT we have found a new special meeting has been posted on Board Docs for this Sunday, February 4, starting at 8:45 am at Ruth Lake Country Club. The "posting" is verbatim those of the special meetings held on January 21, 27 and 28, so we are surmising that this is another round of interviews for superintendent candidates.

Time will tell. We are watching and waiting. So stay tuned.

Anonymous said...

Thanks, Parents. The wording of the statute is a bit confusing, at least to me. Just wasn't sure if it meant that the solely IMRF employees had to be reported or ALL employees making that amount, regardless of pension system.

And FYI, The district's IMRF employees are usually support staff like secretaries, custodians, nurses, aides, etc. I believe positions needing teaching certification (teachers, social workers, SPED staff (excluding aides), and administration) go to TRS.

Anonymous said...

Thanks for the heads up on the special meeting. I have to ask, though: why is it at Ruth Lake? Does the district have to pay anything to hold their meeting there? If so, why the hell are they meeting there when they're facing a $2 million deficit? If it's being paid for by one of the board members, why? Are they trying to garner favor with the rest of the board?