It has been brought to the board presidents attention on more then one occasion that there is a problem with information leakages, and during the October board meeting one of the members Allison Downs voted no to break for executive session and stated “I’m a little discouraged that we have closed sessions and things we discuss are leaked out into the public”. Nothing more was said, and the meeting moved to the conference room for the non-public portion of the meeting. link (39 minutes into the meeting)
When the law Firm of Ancel & Glink resigned by e-mail from their position as legal council the evening before a scheduled regular board meeting the information had already been posted on Roy F McCampbell’s personal blog despite the fact that this was not yet made public.
Link to original location of deleted post
Original minutes posted on district web page
Additionally The Resignation letter was sent to David C Stachura’s (Roy McCampbell’s close personal friend of 40 years) and Patricia Godziszewski’s personal e-mails and not the district e-mails they were both provided for public business. This effectively eliminates transparency, and it is more then just a little obvious who sent this information to Mr McCampbell, but there could also be one other option that deserves consideration. The Law Firm, who McCampbell had close dealings with in the past could also have sent him the information that same evening. This would almost confirm many peoples concerns that a conflict of interest existed when the law firm was first suggested. Despite strong opinions against such actions by the then minority members of the board the firm was voted in. McCampbell’s Weekly if not Daily interactions with this school district, (mostly, if not all negative) and his past relationship with this firm should have immediately disqualified them from the position. Did his admitted relationship with the school board president Mr Stachura have anything to do with the decision? What was Mr David C Stachura and the others who voted yes thinking when this law firm was put in place? Did they have any idea the monthly billing from said firm was going to balloon out of control, or was that all part of the plan?
Schiller Park School District 81 isn’t the only Board with leakage issues.
BIRMINGHAM, Alabama — In the wake of this month’s (May) controversy over the removal a Principal Evelyn Nettles from Ramsay High School, members of the Birmingham Board of Education were told today that their school system has “a culture of leaks.”
The comment came from Brandon Wilson, president and CEO of the Wilbron Institute, the communications agency of record for the school system.
During a work session, Wilson told the board that information leaked to the public and teachers, before board members and school officials have a chance to discuss the matters, prevents the school system from creating a culture of trust.
Presenting a comprehensive assessment of the school system’s internal and external communications strategies, he advised the development of a communications department to share good and bad news before it is leaked and taken up by what he called the “street committee.”
Toward that end, he presented three suggested options for the creation of a Birmingham City Schools communications department.
The suggestions included a temporary stopgap model with a projected cost of $65,000 to $75,000 a year.
They also included two permanent models to cost either $200,000 to $300,000 or $400,000 to $500,000 a year depending on the department’s size.
Board President Randall Woodfin said improving the system’s internal and external communications is a priority for the board and that he hopes they will implement the changes before the start of the next school year in August.
Superintendent Craig Witherspoon said, given the size of the school system, it’s possible not all of the recommendations would be needed, but the school system does need a better way to disseminate information both internally and externally.
“Given the dynamics of our school system, of this community, the way information gets shared, doesn’t get shared, how misinformation gets out and that, we need more of an ability to move those messages and communication points forward,” he said.
The board discussion comes after news of Nettles pending transfer from Ramsay, the system’s flagship magnet school, to Kennedy Alternative School for at-risk students leaked out before Witherspoon made his personnel recommendation to the school board.
The news led to widespread rumors that Nettles was being curbed for opposing a plan to convert Ramsay from a magnet school to a standard zoned school.
Witherspoon and multiple school board members have denied there were ever plans or discussions of changing Ramsay’s magnet-school status.
Nettles denied in a personnel hearing that she was the source of those rumors.