Urbana School District #116

For Immediate Release to Members of the Urbana District 116 Community – November 16, 2018

“The Urbana School District 116 Board of Education would like to respond to Lee Gaines’ article published yesterday, Thursday, November 15, 2018 and provide context surrounding the hiring practices examination requested by the Board of Education.  Following District Administration’s presentation to the Board of Education at a public board meeting on August 7, 2018 regarding its hiring practices, several individuals expressed their concerns to Board Members regarding whether these procedures were being followed in every instance.  Additionally, the Urbana Education Association filed a formal grievance on behalf of a District employee on August 10, 2018 challenging an employee’s non-selection for a position of employment with the District.  To evaluate the merits of the UEA’s grievance and to more thoroughly evaluate its employment practices, the Urbana Board of Education directed its Board legal counsel to independently examine the District’s employment procedures.” 

“The scope of the examination was based upon the UEA grievance and positions identified to Board members through individual concerns.  The purpose of the audit was to determine if the District’s hiring practices were being followed as explained by administration to the Board of Education.  Despite Lee Gaines assertions that “nearly all” of the positions examined were occupied by minority applicants, the identification of positions to be examined was a product of concerns brought forth to individual board members.  Race played no role in determining which positions were to be examined, and the race of employees in these positions was never disclosed to Board legal counsel.  It is important to note that the audit report did not specifically render an opinion that any District employee responsible for the hiring of staff engaged in any type of misconduct, and, most importantly, did not recommend that any person hired for a position with the School District should be removed from his or her position of employment or was not qualified.  The audit report merely cited instances where the District’s hiring practices were not followed and made certain recommendations to better secure the process moving forward.  The School Board and administration have been trying to schedule a mutually agreeable time to jointly meet to discuss these findings.”

“Finally, the District 116 School Board Members would like to express to those individuals specifically mentioned in the audit report that the report was not provided to Lee Gaines at the direction or with the permission or knowledge of the Board of Education.  This was a confidential legal document.  To those employees whose positions were examined by this report, your positions of employment are not in jeopardy based upon any findings that hiring practices were not followed.”

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