D89 Board Member's Wife Quits School Job after Tribune Inquires
Friday, the Chicago Tribune reported on nepotism in school districts in the Chicago area.
A recent Chicago Tribune report shows millions of taxpayers' dollars across the Chicagoland are used to employ school board members' relatives. And Glen Ellyn's Community Consolidated School District 89 was mentioned.
District 89 Board Member and Glen Ellyn resident Frank Zak's wife was hired in 2008 to work at Westfield Elementary as a special education aide despite lacking experience two other applicants had, the Tribune reported.
District 89 Superintendent John Perdue told Patch the two other applicants were certified teachers seeking a position that paid $10 per hour, requiring 60 semesters of college credit.
"The position paid $10 an hour so licensed teachers could easily make more than that even substitute teaching," Perdue said.
Perdue said records do not indicate whether the other applicants were offered the position before Zak's wife.
Illinois law does not prohibit school districts from hiring relatives of school board members and Perdue said District 89 job-seekers are not asked to disclose their relationships with board members. To his knowledge, Perdue said no other board members' relatives work in District 89.
Zak's wife no longers works for the district, Perdue told the Tribune. She resigned March 9, which Perdue said was unrelated to the Tribune's investigation published today, March 16. The Tribune reported that the resignation occurred after the newspaper requested her hiring records.
Zak is the vice president of District 89's school board and his term is set to expire in 2013. He has served on the board since 2005, according to the district website.
Glen Ellyn is home to two other school districts. Glen Ellyn School District 41 spokesperson Julie Worthen said the district does not currently employ any relatives of school board members.
"It's always best to avoid any appearance of a conflict," Worthen said. District 41 does not have explicit policies in place governing nepotism but the issue is addressed in the board members code of conduct manual, explained Worthen.
Patch has reached out to Glenbard Township High School District 87 to see if any board members' relatives work in the district and what policies are in place governing nepotism.