Voters in Lyons-Brookfield School District 103 face another vote fraught with possible upheaval.
For the third straight election, a well-funded, organized effort to install candidates with direct ties to Lyons Village Hall threatens to destabilize a school board that is already full of dysfunction, with sitting board members actively sabotaging its efforts by not participating in policy discussions, hirings and firings and simply voting against the most mundane subjects – like paying the district’s bills.
The reason for doing this, as the community found out late last year, is that it sometimes, by a stroke of luck, turns into a weapon to be used against political opponents. The Parents for Student Excellence slate — which now has a shadowy political PAC funded by an out-of-town operative mailing out incendiary materials referencing the hiring (and subsequent firing) of an accused criminal — has made plenty of political hay out of that misstep.
They contend that the current board majority can’t be trusted with the safety of students – even though one of their own voted in favor of the hiring (he, coincidentally we’re sure, was left off the PSE slate and later dropped out of the race altogether).
But, let’s be clear, the Parents for Student Excellence has a two-year track record of crony hiring and fealty to their patrons in Lyons village government. Be assured that the students and parents and education come second to that crew.
Their candidates couldn’t be bothered to answer questions for the record about their priorities for the school district and didn’t participate in the Landmark’s endorsement process – again.
We endorse Connie Esparza, Jacqueline Magsaysay, Joanne Schaeffer and Tom Weiner for seats on the District 103 Board of Education. This is an opportunity for voters to say loudly that they reject the political meddling of Lyons Village Hall in the affairs of the District 103.
With a new superintendent coming on board and important decisions to be made in hiring a pair of prinicpals in the coming months, the board needs a clear focus on education, not politics.