SUGAR GROVE – Some Kaneland School District 302 Board members expressed frustration at Wednesday's board meeting over a request to add a full-time staff member to the technology staff and add hours to an existing staffer to reach full-time status.
Board members ultimately unanimously approved the request, which, according to school district documents, could add as much as $43,500 in additional salary. But some board members wondered why the district didn't bring up the subject in March, when a $225,000 technology upgrade was approved.
Board member Tony Valente called Wednesday's request "a hidden cost." In March, the school board voted, 6-1, to approve the purchase of devices for students at a cost of $225,000. The plan was to bring the ratio to one device for every three students in the district.
On Wednesday, Julie Ann Fuchs, the district's assistant superintendent for business, said "with the addition of all of the new equipment, we are finding it important to adequately support the equipment."
Valente wasn't the only board member with questions. Teresa Witt wondered why the technology department would get such attention, when there are other departments that have been forced to work under hardships for extended periods of time. Superintendent Jeff Schuler said while he understood such concerns, adding to the technology staff is something that needed to be done two years ago.
"That would have been nice to have known when we were voting for it," Valente said, adding "now I feel as if I am forced to vote for it."
Board member Peter Lopatin said he "would have appreciated at least a heads up." He said, for board members, it's a learning opportunity and that, in the future, they can "ask better questions."
Board member Veronica Bruhl asked Tim Wolf, the district's director of technology, if the plan could be scaled back. Wolf said that was not possible at this point, and that the plan already was being scaled back.