The roundtable reported that the District 65 school board discussed and decided to create two new administrative positions during a closed meeting last week.

Superintendent Devon Horton is cited as justifying this waiver of the law’s open meeting requirements “because all district decisions related to personnel are made behind closed doors.”

Bad! The law states very clearly that all matters must be discussed in open session, unless they fall within the a specific exception in the Act. The exception to which Horton appears to be referring is limited to discussion of the “appointment, employment, remuneration, discipline, execution or dismissal of specific employees.”

According to the Superintendent’s interpretation of the Act, apparently shared by the Board, the exception would swallow the rule. For example, any budget discussion could be done behind closed doors, since the vast majority of the budget goes to staff.

Sadly, this isn’t the first time this board and superintendent have essentially struck down the open meeting law.

The Illinois Association of School Boards (IASB) provides regular training to boards on the requirements of the law. I encourage the District 65 Board to take advantage of this training, and even to invite a representative of the IASB to attend subsequent in camera sessions of the Board to ensure that they have understood what they have been told. teaches.

Jonathan Baum
Evanston