School Board Association Points to Potential Conflict of Interest in Having 18-Year Old Members Who Are Current Students

This is too funny.

Maybe it’s irony I’m seeing.

Maybe it’s hypocrisy.

The Daily Herald reported Tuesday that a proposed resolution will be considered at the annual convention of the Illinois School Board Association to ban students attending a district school from even running for school board, let alone serving on its board.

School board association spokesman James Russell told Daily Herald reporter Bob Susnjara

a high school student on a board poses too many potential conflicts of interest,”

which he reported in an indirect quote.

A direct quote continues,

“The student is now, technically, his teacher or principal’s ‘boss.’ The student is now voting on all salary and contract decisions for all personnel in the district.

The explanation, quoting the preamble to the resolution, I suppose, points to

“problems also could arise because students would become privy to confidential discussions about disciplinary matters involving peers and teachers.”

Because of some committee members good judgment, the resolution barely made it out of committee, according to Naperville Indian Prairie School District Board President Mark Metzger.

The end of the article has one school board, Warren Township High School board member Richard Conley, hitting the hypocrisy almost on the head. Conley brought down a crooked school principal.

“Conley said the change would unfairly target students but allow other people with possible conflicts, such as a teacher who’s a union leader in one district serving on a board and negotiating employment contracts at another school system.

“’I believe as long as a student is 18 or older, they should have the right to serve on a local school board,’” Conley said. ‘I see this as no different as any other political position. There really is no conflict of interest as the student has no financial interest.’”

The potential for such conflict of interest was used selectively in the last Huntley school district elections.

Linda Moore, who came in fourth, was repeatedly savaged in the newspaper for her husband’s grounds keeping contracts with District 158.

With three winners to be selected, she came in fifth, losing to School Board President Mike Skala by one vote. Her running mate, Aileen Seedorf, ran first. (Moore is running unopposed for GOP precinct committeeman.)

I do not remember any big headlines about Skala’s wife Carol’s teaching in the district. Now, she is secretary of the teachers union.

Another board member, who was not up for re-election, Board President Shawn Green, has a wife who works in the central office.

The wife of another candidate was the school district’s teacher union co-president.

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Mike Skala is on the left. His wife Carol Skala is on the right.

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