In a highly contested school board meeting that heard from 14 different members of the staff at New Berlin School District, the school board voted to ultimately throw full support behind current Superintendent Dr. Adam Ehrman.
The New Berlin Education Association released earlier in the day a disclosure of a vote of “no confidence” in Ehrman’s leadership, asking for his resignation over several grievances. The problem of Ehrman’s employment loomed over the business of the entire meeting which began at 6PM. The meeting would not adjourn for another 4 hours, as the pieces of the accusations in the no confidence statement were laid bare.
The school board heard from CPA Richard Hooper of LMHN, Ltd., the school’s auditor since 2013 early in the meeting saying that the school’s audit had clean internal controls and received an Illinois State Board of Education score of 3.9 on a 4 scale, as being one of the cleanest and most well-run budgets and audits he has completed. Hooper, in comparison, to other districts, said that New Berlin was in better shape financially than it had been six years prior and that the cash-on-hand amount nearly doubled in that time period and that the school district had a budget amount that would last for over 400 days if a crisis were to occur.
Next, the board heard public comment from the floor for over two hours with an even split with full support of Ehrman’s leadership to accusations of intimidation, lack of communication, and lack of transparency. There were also concerned parents in the audience who spoke asking for hard evidence from both sides on how the no confidence vote came about from the NBEA to the evidence of fund mismanagement and intimidation from Ehrman’s office in communications.
After three executive sessions and remaining business, the school board issued their statement, which was read by Board Secretary Dr. Adam Jones. Jones said in the prepared statement that the board provided full support of Ehrman’s tenure and cited that the NBEA had refused communication with the administration in resolving ongoing issues. They also said they could find no evidence of any of the accusations that the NBEA had outlined.
After the meeting, NBEA President Joseph Kindred said that he would be making full disclosure of all of the evidence of Ehrman’s impropriety that was outlined in their no confidence press release and that he would be a part of the meeting with school administration and school board officials tomorrow, despite it falling on the weekend of Homecoming. Kindred said that he had prepared union members prior to the meeting that the board would be giving support to Ehrman’s leadership.
WLDS/WEAI will continue to provide updates on the issues with the NBEA and the New Berlin School Board as they unfold on the issues outlined in the press release from earlier today.