PEORIA, IL -- The November 10 Peoria District 150 School Board meeting featured a report on student discipline, which of course lasted way too long.
The Peoria Journal Star report also featured it.
The Change150 website has posted some of the public comments.
Here is the comment of Sharon Crews, which for me raises issues about the board's possible violation of the Open Meetings Act.
-- Elaine Hopkins
To distance herself from ISAT scores, Dr. Lathan has stated “I know we’ve put the right structures in place and we’re going to stay the course.”
Dr. Lathan has been superintendent for all four years that last year’s third graders have been in school. What is the proof that this administration has laid the right foundation for their next nine years?
At the last meeting Lathan showed displeasure and/or discomfort while criticisms about the Reading Mastery program were made from this podium. A consultant from North Carolina has already made over $140,000 and is about to make more to teach teachers how to use Reading Mastery. Please understand why we are inclined to suspect that expensive and even wrong educational choices have been made for very personal reasons.
The board minutes show expenditures over $2,500 as information items. Often these expenditures are not reported to you in a timely fashion. What process is used to insure that each expenditure is within budget guidelines for purpose and cost?
Last year improvements to the admin building included about $31,000 for a camera system consisting of 13 cameras, 16 camera licenses, and a motion detector. Another $40,000 was spent on equipment for Ricketts. I am curious as to the purpose of this equipment—surveillance or security--to watch for interlopers or to watch employees—to protect or to spy?
Either your explanation or your unwillingness to explain might be of interest to the public.
At the last board meeting you discussed copy machines and, I believe, I heard some questions about how much paper teachers use—maybe even some misgivings about the quantity of paper used. You did not question how much paper is used by administrators.
My guess is that no one questioned the $2100 spent on a new mahogany desk and credenza for the lawyer and another $630 for a desk and filing cabinet for a front office.
About $2700 was spent to install new carpeting on the second floor—no invoice was provided for the carpet itself. $9200 was spent on doors with an electrified panic device. That sounds ominous. Another $233,000 was spent on the roof of the admin building. In one year’s time $355,000 was spent on the admin building.
When will you make all of last year’s expenditures available on the website? The 2013-14 Statement of Affairs is not on the website. -30 -
-- Sharon Crews