Kyle Hastings will make about $75,000 less from Lyons-Brookfield Elementary School District 103 for the 2017-18 school year compared to last year.

School board President Marge Hubacek announced last week that Hastings, who is the district’s assistant superintendent, will be working only 24 days for the school district this year. 

Last year Hastings, a retired superintendent, worked the maximum 100 days that he can work while still receiving a pension from the Illinois Teacher Retirement System.

Hastings’ contract, which runs through June 30, 2020, states that his work schedule shall be agreed upon between him and the president of the school board, but that it cannot exceed 100 days. The contract does not provide a minimum number of days that he can work.

Hubacek said that she decided to have Hastings work only two days a month this year after consulting with the school district’s attorneys and Superintendent Carol Baker. Hubacek said she did not have any direct communication with Hastings on the issue, but that Baker informed Hastings of the new arrangement in June. 

Last year Hastings was paid $1,000 a day for 100 days for a total of $100,000 by District 103. This year Hastings will be paid $1,032.50 a day as specified in his contract and will, assuming he works 24 days, be paid $24,780 for the year. 

“This is a cost-saving move,” Hubacek said.

Hastings came to District 103 in 2015 when he was hired as interim superintendent after a new school board majority supported by Lyons Village President Christopher Getty took control of the school board. The Getty-allied board ousted interim superintendents Patrick Patt and Griff Powell, who had just been hired by the previous school board. 

After Baker was hired as superintendent in 2016, the school board created the position of assistant superintendent for Hastings, who also serves as the village president of Orland Hills. 

At the time, the school board gave Hastings a four-year contract. Hastings was seen by many as having a powerful influence behind the scenes and some suspected that he played a key role in some hiring decisions.

Hastings and his contract were the subjects of criticism by Hubacek, Sharon Anderson, and Shannon Johnson during their campaign for the school board this year, when they wrestled control of the school board from the Getty-backed members.

This year Hastings will perform duties as assigned by Baker. Hubacek said that she expects Hastings to concentrate on the district’s communications efforts. Last month Hastings was taking photos of a summer school program the district ran in conjunction with NASA, Hubacek said. 

Last year Hastings led the district’s efforts to hire a new food service provider, which resulted in the hiring of a new company, Preferred Foods, to provide lunches in the district.

“This included creating a committee, running meetings, visits to schools, creating a bid packet, 500+ page report to the Illinois State Board of Ed, etc.,” Baker said in an email. “This year he will be working only two days per month; this limits what he can work on.” 

Baker said she plans on having Hastings collect information from the schools to be used in publications/newsletters to increase communication with the community. 

“He will visit schools, take pictures, talk to students, teachers and principals, then write up articles that we can use in publications,” Baker wrote. “This is our plan for the first few months, and then we will evaluate to see if this is working for us.”

Baker declined to comment when asked how she felt about Hastings reduced work schedule. 

Hubacek said that she, too, will see how the arrangement works out. 

“I hope they keep him busy and that’s he’s actually working for two days a month and that we get a report back,” Hubacek said. “We’ll see at the end of the year.”

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