Crystal Lake High School District 155’s Board was scheduled to meet last night to pass the new teachers’ contract but cancelled the meeting because of bad weather.
Now, the vote is scheduled for Thursday night.
No one in the public is privy to the details although Cary Elementary School Board President Scott Coffey–a candidate for the high school board in April–offered the following prediction, written Tuesday before the Tuesday night meeting was cancelled:
This issue encapsulates many of the key issues that are fundamentally wrong with how this district operates.
The teacher’s contract is the single largest expense a school district has to bear and yet the Board completely fails to disclose any information to the public prior to the actual vote.
If I had to guess, this agreement probably covers the next 3 years at a cost to the taxpayers of over $150 million.
Of note is the fact that they scheduled a closed session prior to the actual vote in order to explain the details of the agreement to the Board.
I’ve gotten the sense that some of the Board members don’t even know the full extent of the details of the agreement.
Typically, an exemption to the Open Meetings Act allows a board to discuss collective bargaining issues/strategies in closed session, however, given that the agreement is finalized, what could they possibly be discussing in closed session that shouldn’t actually be discussed in open session?
With the upcoming election, I had hoped to get on the Board and address this expiring labor contract, but it looks like this board has jammed through a new agreement prior to seating a new board that will now have to live with the contract’s long term consequences.
Given that this district will have run up $45.3 million in deficits over the last 6 years with no end in sight, I am afraid they are just pouring more gas on the fire.
We will have to wait until tonight when the board allows the public to see the details.
Consider that Cary Grade School District 26 posted a summary of its teachers’ contract three days before the public board vote, something the high school district has refused to do.
The summary is below:
The meeting starts at 6:30.
You can watch the Board meeting here.
Board member’s contact information.
District phone number: 815-455-8500