New High School Going Short on Custodians

So begins systemic neglect at the new high school — my interpretation of an article in the Daily Chronicle today:

The all-day kindergarten would also be paid for by not filling four custodial staff positions at the new high school until the district has more revenue.

In 2008, the Facilities Planning Committee (FPC) voted to approve the original, pre-referendum size of the new DeKalb High School in the face of a) market collapses; b) new information from its demographer that showed drops in projected enrollment for years to come; and c) admissions that maintenance of existing schools already was not up to par.

Whence will sufficient revenue arise? Development remains at a virtual standstill, DeKalb is losing population and the state is still in bad shape.

Several candidates running in the April election supported the overbuild. Later today I’ll be supporting accountability at the polls by posting FPC meeting minutes containing discussions and a key vote.

Just the Facts: Obama’s Speech in District 428

I received two e-mails very early this morning that Dr. Evil Briscoe, Superintendent of Schools for District 428, has ordered all the school principals not to show President Obama’s speech to schoolchildren tomorrow morning.

However, according to recorded school auto-calls placed to district families a bit after 10 a.m., the speech will be shown throughout the district but any children wishing to opt out of watching the speech may do so without penalty. Was a decision reversed in the face of public displeasure, or is this a correction to a rumor run wild? You decide. I have to go check the President’s Labor Day remarks for socialistic propaganda inspiration. [/snark]

Redistricting Open Thread

A couple people asked, “How do we get more of the community to attend these [redistricting] meetings?”

It’s a tall order in view of the recent past. For what it’s worth, though, I will tell people that the discussion so far appears to be generally open to input of all sorts and free of predetermined outcomes.

After dragging myself to half a year’s worth of Facilities Planning Committee (FPC) meetings in 2008, the atmos last night at the school board meeting was kind of a shock. Gone is the jubilation, the denial, even most of the smugness. This district is in deep doo-doo and knows it.

Reality, thy name is EAV.

Next meetings: September 21 and October 7, 6 p.m.

Link to Chronicle story

School Transparency Legislation

SB2270 passed the Illinois Senate last month and is now being considered by the House. So far:

Requires school districts to post on their Internet website an itemized salary compensation report for every employee in the district holding an administrative certificate and working in that capacity, including the district superintendent. Sets forth what the salary compensation report must include. Requires the report to be presented at a regular school board meeting, subject to applicable notice requirements, and submitted to the office of the district’s regional superintendent of schools, which shall make copies available to any individual requesting them. With respect to a requirement that a school district post the contract that the school board enters into with an exclusive bargaining representative, requires the school board to provide the terms of that contract online.

Be still my heart.

Sen. Burzynski voted yea (pp. 253-254). Might we expect Rep. Pritchard to support it too? I’ll ask and get back to you. [Update: Yes, he does support it.]