Letter: Hinsdale District 86 majority continues to waste taxpayer dollars

Since their takeover of the Hinsdale High School District 86 Board in 2013, the present board majority of four — Richard Skoda, Claudia Manley, Victor Casini, and Edward Corcoran — have made many bad choices that waste taxpayer dollars and also hurt the community.

Perhaps the most egregious example is their November 2013 decision to settle the prolonged litigation against the district by former board member Dianne Barrett, even though her worthless lawsuit had already been dismissed, so there was no need to settle. Barrett, of course, is the running mate and/or longtime supporter of the present board majority. She sued for the “right” of board members to examine confidential student documents at will, even though this practice would conflict with federal student privacy law.

The stated motive for the settlement was to save taxpayer dollars by revising student privacy policy 2.225 to satisfy Barrett, lest she revive the lawsuit, which had already cost over $100,000. However, the settlement wasn’t exactly free. A lawyer had to be hired by the hour to help craft a new policy that would placate Barrett without exactly violating federal law. Between August 2013 and January 2014, the cost of the settlement process was $16,771.50. Parental permission will not be required for release of student documents to board members, despite the repeated objections of our brave minority on the board—Michael Kuhn, Jennifer Planson, and Kay Gallo.

Concerned parents and community members attended board meetings and tried to make their objections heard, but once again, the board majority simply didn’t listen.

Mary Ann Kelly

Clarendon Hills

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