St. Charles school chief's contract OK'd, with sick time
The St. Charles school board today ratified a two-year-old agreement with departing Superintendent Barbara Erwin.
The 5-2 decision came after more than 90 minutes of closed-door discussion.
It marks the end of a weeks-long debate over whether an amendment to Erwin's contract should be honored because it was made in 2005 without a public vote, as required by law.
"I think the board decided it was time to vote and, whichever way the vote came out, move forward," board President Kathy Hewell said.
The ratification means Erwin will be credited for more than 180 sick days when she leaves District 303 in July.
Board members Chris Hansen and Karla Ray cast the dissenting votes and sought to postpone a decision until the Kane County state's attorney can complete an investigation into whether the 2005 agreement violated the Open Meetings Act.
"By ratifying this agreement at this time, we are muddying the waters," Ray said.
This from the Kane County Chronicle:
ST. CHARLES - After another closed session, the St. Charles school board this afternoon ratified an amended contract for departing Superintendent Barbara Erwin.
The contract has come under fire because of concerns it was never voted on in open session, a possible violation of the state's Open Meetings Act.
Former board President Bobbie Raehl asked the Kane County State's Attorney's Office to investigate that possibility. The probe has stalled as investigators await materials from District 303 relating to the April 11, 2005 meeting in which the contract was apparently approved in a closed session.
The amended agreement extended Erwin's deal in St. Charles until 2010 and gave her a credit of 85 sick days toward her pension on July 1 of each contract year.
Erwin announced her retirement from the district in October and plans to leave on July 13, three days before she takes over as education commissioner for the state of Kentucky.
The school board has met in closed session at least three times since May 29 to discuss the contract before finally ratifying it today.
Something to think about:
What's the right equation?
Cost to St Charles children = Sick Days + (possible) penalty for approving a contract contrary to the law (PA 04-004) + Barbara "the savior" Erwin's Integrity + a chance to put the Erwin administration in the rear-view mirror?
For some reason, I don't feel Lucky, in Kentucky.