Wednesday, June 8, 2011

All the Latest on the EASD

Posted by: Noël Jones

The Easton Area School District has hired a new Chief Operating Officer to replace both outgoing Business Manager Marie Guidry and outgoing Assistant to the Superintendent, Joe Kish. The consolidation of the two positions is said to save the district $175,000/year, but three board members voted against the hiring and voiced concerns in Colin McEvoy's article in the Express-Times.

In earlier news, the district and the teachers' union came to an agreement on the hotly-contested teachers contract

The district has settled the lawsuit by former administrator, LaToya Monroe, to the tune of $650,000--only $325,000 of which was actually damages--the rest was $103,000 in back pay that the district owed her, and $222,000 to cover her legal fees, because we do not yet have an administration that is in touch with the 21st Century enough to not use racial epithets and discriminatory practices in day-to-day operations enough to spare the community the expense of such a settlement in
the middle of a recession. Wait--I take that back--Joe Kish is leaving, so we may finally have an administration that is enlightened enough to not get us sued over this kind of backwards stupidity.

In another article by McEvoy, the EASD is still wasting money fighting the Morning Call's request for emails for Superintendent McGinley, the school board and the general school board email account for the month of October 2010. Pennsylvania's Office of Open Records has twice ruled that the district must turn over the emails, and now the district has appealed to Northampton County Court to try to overturn the order. The district has been stubbornly arguing that the request would total over 3,500 emails and potentially reveal personal information about private citizens in the district who have written their board members in confidence. But the Pennsylvania Right-to-Know law is pretty clear about protecting any emails from disclosure that, "A record identifying the name, home address or date of birth of a child 17 years of age or younger..." and/or "...would be reasonably likely to result in a substantial and demonstrable risk of physical harm to or the personal security of an individual." With these protections in place, the district would not have to turn over any email that mentions a particular student, so the number of emails would be much less than 3,500, but the district keeps insisting that this is the number, and the that the number is an outrageous request. I even bumped into John Castrovinci at the gym (awkward...) and asked him how many emails he thought it would be if they didn't have to disclose any that would violate a student's privacy. He said he didn't know, and that he'd have to think about it, but months later the district is still claiming that the request is for 3,500 emails--I can only assume that they are hoping that by repeating such a high number they will have a better chance of appealing to the court's sympathy and having the request legally dismissed. One has to ask--what is the district so determined to hide, if they are willing to waste this much time and our taxpayer money fighting a legal request from a newspaper for email records? A last note of interest on this case is that Judge Ed Smith, who is up for retention (re-election) this November, will be the judge on the case.

And last but not least, the EASD is still considering providing before and after care at area schools.

What's your take?


noel jones said...

not a peep on this one? interesting...

Anonymous said...


Your "breaking balls" of the district is beginning to get old.

tachitup said...

To Anon 5:28 -
OK, you've expressed your opinion. But I would prefer that you post something of substance to back up that opinion.
As it turns out and you'll see in tomorrow's paper, there will be one more director to elect in NOV for region III. The majority of the school board will be newly elected.
Is this a game changer or just...yawn...another election?
Either way, I know it will continue to cost me many thousands of dollars per year.

Anonymous said...

Yes, Tachitup.

Just like social security taxes cost me many thousands of dollars each year, and I have been advised that I will never see a social security check when I retire.

Life is certainly a bitch.

Anonymous said...

Hey, Tachitup. As for the substance of my allegation, just review the past blogs of Noel's regarding the Easton Area School District, and you will find many examples of her "breaking balls."

Case closed.