The Monroe County Community School Board held a special meeting last night as part of a legal agreement with a local Bloomington resident who was threatening to sue the corporation over alleged violations of Indiana’s open door meeting laws. The complaint arose over the content of a number of closed door meetings held in December to discuss the appointment of an interim superintendent. The citizen alleged that a proposal considered in a closed session to appoint a committee of administrators to the superintendency did not involve hiring or firing and was therefore not covered by laws allowing for private meetings.
As part of the agreement, board members held a public meeting last night to reconsider the idea of an instructional leadership team and to ensure compliance with the law.
Bloomington South Principal and co-originator of the leadership team proposal Mark Fletcher says many of his colleagues believe this meeting was probably a formality.
“I realize that this is probably a procedural meeting we’re having tonight.” says Fletcher. “But the board ask us to come and explain our proposal again and so we came and explained our proposal again. We wanted genuinely to provide an option to the board”
Newly instated board president Jim Muehling says threatened legal action or no… he has still not changed his position on the matter.
“I feel you must have one person in the position to make split second crucial decisions and you need to have someone in that chair.” says Muehling.
The board had already appointed retired superintendent Timothy Hyland to fill the position. However, board members decided to vacate that decision until after they were confident of complete compliance with all Indiana laws. A number of school board members have indicated that Hyland will likely be reappointed at another meeting later this week.