FORT WAYNE – Several East Allen County Schools board members questioned Tuesday why they were approving items already in place – particularly a contract for a former administrator hired as a diversity training consultant.
The item is up for approval on the agenda for the Oct. 2 meeting, but the grant that will be used to pay Britt Magneson and her contract that runs from Sept. 11 through June 1, 2013, is already in place.
“Britt quit the district,” board member Stephen Terry said. “I have a problem with paying a former top administrator over $20,000 to come and train on diversity. We need to get someone else.”
Magneson was the former director of student support and left earlier this year.
The school starts planning for grants in the spring, Superintendent Karyle Green said.
“How often are we voting on things that have already happened?” board President Janice Witte asked. “We’re stuck here.”
Board member Terry Jo Lightfoot said she did not want the board to get involved with individual cases.
“We can’t pick and choose individual employees to hire or fire. We do not want to go down that road,” Lightfoot said.
But two other board members, Richard Allgeier and Neil Reynolds, said the board approves individual contracts quite often.
As the debate continued, board member William Hartman said they did not need to take a vote on the issue.
“Just let the administration be the administration,” he said. “It all starts here, and I don’t want to get into individual (recommendations).”
“It doesn’t matter,” said Terry. “It’s already done.”
In other business, district officials will meet with employees in October to introduce a new health care plan that includes health savings accounts and high-deductible plans.
Teachers are exempted from the new plans because their contract does not expire until 2016. All other employees will have the option of switching to the new plans, Business Manager Kirby Stahly said.
Although the new plans could result in a savings for employees with few insurance claims who do not often meet their deductibles, others may not fare as well, he said.