If the Madison School Board hopes to convince the district’s voters to approve two referendums totaling $350 million this fall, it might be wise for it and the school district it governs to stop playing games with our long tradition of open government.
At the same meeting this week where the board authorized a $317 million referendum to renovate and repair the district’s four high schools and another $33 million measure to permanently raise the district’s budget, it also kept the employment contract for its new superintendent a secret until after it was signed.
In other words, the board didn’t want any feedback from the public on the merits of a contract for one of the area’s most important and highest-paying public jobs.
This was a departure from just a few months ago when the board hired Matthew Gutiérrez who wound up withdrawing because of the COVID-19 pandemic’s impact on the Texas district he currently is still serving. His contract was made public in advance and open to comment, giving the public the transparency it deserves from all governmental bodies.