In Lyons-Brookfield Elementary School District 103, where black is fast becoming white and the sky is turning green, the interim superintendent-soon-to-be-assistant superintendent Kyle Hastings recently told a reporter that the district was now more transparent than ever.
This statement came after the school board has decided to provide no information to district residents regarding its board meetings except to post agendas, and a bewildering denial of a request to repeat what was stated during the board meeting related to salary increases given to administrators.
Better bring your tape recorders and get real close to the board table, kids. Because if you miss it the first time, you gotta FOIA it. That’s how you do transparency in District 103.
Let’s give an example of just how swell that Freedom of Information Act business works in District 103, shall we?
Well, on Feb. 26 the Landmark sent a FOIA request to Hastings for documents that are so routinely open to public inspection that simply asking for them ought to get the job done. But, no. They have to be FOIA’d.
That’s fine, we’ll play. Trouble is, District 103 has requirements under the law as well — requirements they apparently believe they can simply thumb their noses at.
After waiting a week for a response and getting none, the Landmark on March 4 sent the request again. Still no response.
So the Landmark phoned the district on March 9 and talked to Hastings’ administrative assistant, who directed the Landmark to email the request to her and to the district’s new HR director. OK, easy enough.
It’s now the end of March, and the district has still not responded to the FOIA.
Instead, the Landmark has had to enlist the Illinois Attorney General’s Public Access Bureau to force the district to hand over documents which every resident of the district ought to be able to see upon demand.
So, the long and short of it is residents of the district are still waiting for the most transparent administration in the history of District 103 to do its job.