Our system of government is defendant on the willingness of its citizens to volunteer to serve on committees and boards, whether it is elected or appointed officials. When on decides to take on this responsibility, it is with the idea that you are there to represent the community and act in a responsible, prudent manner; to oversee the fiscal purse and use the limited taxpayer funds at its disposal in a way that maximizes the benefit to the entire community.
Rather than use school funds for the benefit of the students, this Board and Administration has chosen to use precious taxpayer dollars for travel to conferences all over the county, to Barcelona, Spain and Paris to attend a technology conference; a technology conference that was offered two weeks later in St. Charles, Illinois. At the same time, the Board made the decision not to fund students attending the State Science Fair in Champaign.
Whereas 2010 included expenses for travel, food, lodging for Administrators, Board Members and teachers, 2011 appears to have expanded to include Board Members spouses, students and family members of students. Here are some of the notable expenses from 2011:
2011 Conference Highlights with School Board Members in Attendance:
A trip top Long Beach, CA which Board members Koder and Darvos attended, along with a teacher and students. The expense and explanations for this trip are sparsely documented. The total credit card charges are almost $6000 and does not include other unknown reimbursements or direct expense paid by the District. In addition, it appears that President Koder enjoys taking limousines. There are charges for limo services of $159 from O’Hare to Lincolnwood. A typical cab ride only runs $30.
Members Koder, Davros, Fourkas and Frankel as well as Koder, Davros and Fourkas’ spouses, attended a NASB conference in San Francisco. Of course Mr. Klaisner and Ms. Brandt were along for the trip too. There is some indication that the District was reimbursed for airfare for Mrs. Koder and Mrs. Davros. No indication was given that any expenses for Mr. Fourkas were made. The reimbursements were for airfare only, not for any other expenses. The grand transportation alone for limousines to and from O’Hare by President Koder alone was $279. The total credit card charges for this trip were $13,521, not including additional hotel bills and meals. There are many charges for expensive dinners, such as Scala Restaurant for over $600 including 3 bottles wine for $65 a bottle.
Orlando, FL to the Kennedy Space Center in April 2012. Attended by Klaisner, President Koder, Fourkas and Frankel as well as Mr. Fourkas. Additionally there appears to be students as well as family members on this trip. One meal receipt was for 16 people. The hotel bill alone for 5 nights was over $6100. The total credit card charges for this trip was $14,102 and is mostly like only a total expense seeing a complete list of attendees and their expense are not fully known.
Additionally, trips to Seattle, WA, Washington, DC, San Antonio, TX and again Orlando, Fl were made by Superintendent Klaisner. With one trip only 7 days apart from another.
Credit card charges for the November 2011 IASB conference is still unknown Hotel room requests were made for 10 rooms for 3 nights.
Credit card charge for 2011 through October 20th total $58,215
In 2010, there were fifteen (15) conferences for which credit card charges were made, in excess of $40,900. This does not include other reimbursable expense that we have not seen. Included in the 2010 charges were expensed paid for the NASB conference that was held in April in downtown Chicago. Even though this is a mere 10 miles from Lincolnwood, the District paid for 4 nights of hotel for many Administrators as well as Board Members. In addition, their meal charges on the credit cards amounted to over $5700, at restaurants such as the Palm, Hugh’s and Rosebud Prime, among other. Apparently, the Board and Administration are under the impression that they work in the private industry where people have unlimited expense accounts.
At the Triple 1 conference which s held every November in downtown Chicago, again the District paid for Board Members and Administrators to spend 3 nights downtown. Meals were had at restaurants such as the Palm and Aria. Total Credit card charges were over $4800.
2010 also had trips to Disney World, Phoenix, Starved Rock, Washington DC, Anaheim, CA and Maine. Superintendent Klaisner attended the People to People Ambassadors Program in Washington DC for a cost to the District of at least $6673. This for a program that many of us have received literature for, and then toss in the garbage.