Illinois recently passed a new state law requiring school districts, community college districts and other non-home-rule units of local government to regulate the reimbursement of all travel, meal and lodging expenses with maximum reimbursements and forbids reimbursement for entertainment.
Details about College of DuPage prompted the new law – Here’s an older example of employees/Board members taking advantage of the taxpayers.
A friend of mine was looking at Wheaton-Warrenville CUSD 200’s check registry monthly back in 2011 and noticed a large expense from a school board member. She put in a FOIA. The expense related to a national School Board Association (NSBA) conference… so another FOIA for conference details (May 26, 2011). She found more expenses after the FOIA – so not all expenses had been turned in at the time of the FOIA . Here is what she found:
The Conference was in San Francisco, hosted by the National school Board Association (NSBA) in April 2011.
- Margo Sorrick (Assistant Superintendent for Educational Services, SSC) $1,984.64 (she spoke but still paid registration fee) – retired June 2011
- Ali Maggio-Beiermeister $2,087.21 (Sorrick’s assistant) no longer with district 200 after July 2011
- Dr Harris – superintendent $2,114.47 left the district 2014
- Andy Johnson (used points for air fare) $1,773 school board member until 2013
- Barb Intehar $1,924.23 – still a school board member
- Ken Knicker $1,719.58 – school board member until 2013
- Linda Knicker (was a Director and wife of a school board member. We were told she went but do not have any expenses listed – may not have turned in expenses prior to the FOIA, or perhaps we were told wrong) retired June 2011
All had hotel, air fare, registration, some had food and ground transportation.
Why did the district send so many people?
Why did they send any who were retiring in two months?
Note: the NSBA gets its money via dues from school districts. This diverts taxpayer money to a group not subject to FOIA. NSBAs main purposes are to lobby on behalf of the school Boards (or teacher union) and to train school board member. This “training” could explain why so many schools districts do the same thing at the same time.
What’s the “Public Purpose” of associations?