Urbana board member aligns with Lacy

Letter to the Editor

I am writing this letter in support of Mr. Tim Lacy’s Letter to the Editor concerning an Urbana Daily Citizen article in which the Board of Education was unable to non-renew certain administrators’ contracts due to non-compliance of state law.

As a present board member of the Urbana City Schools District I can only speak for myself. I want to make it perfectly clear that I am not speaking on behalf of the Board of Education.

I believe that I was elected by the people of Urbana to represent them concerning the education of the children attending the Urbana City Schools and to the fiscal responsibility of overseeing the finances of the Urbana City Schools District through monitoring and evaluating the two people hired by the Urbana City Schools Board of Education, namely the Superintendent and Treasurer. I was not elected to be a rubber-stamp and vote yes on every issue.

In February of 2017 the Superintendent was advised by the President of the Board of Education that the board members might not support a recommendation of some administrators’ contract renewals with a majority vote. In March of 2017 the same message was conveyed to the Superintendent. Unfortunately, the Superintendent did not give the Board any direction as to what the correct process would be in order to possibly non-renew the administrators.

After the May Board meeting the Superintendent sent a letter to the staff stating the Board did not do their job and even though the Board had voted against the renewal of two administrators they would still get their contracts. I believe the Superintendent failed in his duties by not directing the Board in the procedures that needed to be followed by law to non-renew administrators coming up for contract renewals and by blaming the Board in an e-mail to the District.

I am one vote out of five. I can only vote for or against a recommendation or motion based on what I feel is in the best interest of the Urbana City Schools and community, its students and its teachers and staff. However, a majority vote is needed to pass or reject an item being voted on which means I am only 1 part of the equation.

Seven months ago an Urbana alumnus was murdered in Arizona. The parents of this individual both work for the Urbana City Schools. One as a teacher and one as a para-professional. The Superintendent has yet to offer his condolences. I find this to be another example of disconnect between the Superintendent and staff of Urbana.

As an elected board member I will continue to do the best I can to see that the students of Urbana are given a quality education and that the staff of Urbana City Schools have someone who will listen to their concerns.


Jack Beard

Board Member

Letter to the Editor