New CUSD #404 board criticism

Staff Writer
Aledo Times Record

Dear Editor:

We have had a consolidated school district for several weeks now. What has been accomplished?


If Mr. Boucher had been hired as Superintendent the ball would already be rolling. Mr. Shoemaker stated that we need an interim that is impartial. Mr. Boucher worked for both districts to get this consolidation passed. He is working for the children. Another board member stated he has only heard from Aledo parents in support of Mr. Boucher. Westmer parents, now is your chance to help bring this district together by speaking out on behalf of your children. The school board needs to hear from you. Do you want to hire an interim that knows nothing about either district and will cost us additional money? The school board received a line of credit for $15,000 for paying the interim.

If paying the interim $319 a day, the money will last about 45 days. What will we do after that? Or do you want a superintendent who knows both districts and is ready to step in so we are ready by next August? It is not effective or prudent to hire an administrator, after having spent a few minutes with the person, so we would like to commend Ball, Hank and Retherford for voting no to the interim.

Also, Mr. Shoemaker is speaking on behalf of the board, before even discussing items with them. He introduced the interim superintendent (who resigned the next day) to the public and the board at the same time - before even taking a vote on the issue. He has also been heard on the radio addressing the issue of buildings, and that has never been discussed in open session at any meeting.

According to the Illinois Association of School Boards: "One of the most important concepts a new board member must learn is that the school board takes action only as a body and speaks only through the written record (minutes) of its meetings. The individual has no legal power or authority. That is, the individual member cannot commit the school district to a particular action, expenditure, or policy without a majority vote of the full board. ....A board member who attempts to speak for the total board, direct members of the staff, or make other individual decisions is acting beyond his or her authority and outside the law."

We would like to encourage all parents and taxpayers to come to the board meetings to see how our board is being run. We are allowed public comment to let the board know how we feel. If we don't speak for our children, who will?


Doyle & Annette Speer