Explanation Of Payout Needed

Someone made a mistake, or the Buckeye Local Board of Education would not be paying out $70,000 to make a lawsuit go away. Taxpayers have a right to know what happened.

During their meeting Monday night, board members agreed to pay Angela Hicks $70,000. She had been director of federal programs for the district, then a teacher.

Last October, Hicks filed a lawsuit against the district. She alleged school officials had not followed proper procedure in handling a reduction in force — essentially, a layoff of some school employees.

Under Monday’s agreement, Hicks will receive the $70,000 and will resign as a school system employee. The deal also calls for her to drop her lawsuit.

Finally, the agreement states Hicks did not engage in conduct that would require the district to file a report with the Ohio Department of Education.

No explanation for any of this was offered in public. The board did meet behind closed doors for a time.

School Superintendent Kim Leonard said no comments would be made because “the district is currently involved in litigation…” Once that — presumably, the Hicks lawsuit — is resolved, “it will be public record and the district may comment at that time,” Leonard added.

A full explanation needs to be provided.

If school officials did not handle a reduction in force legally, it could have ramifications beyond the Hicks situation.

Whatever the explanation, the bottom line is that Buckeye Local schools are out $70,000. That is money that could have gone to educate children in the district. Taxpayers deserve to know what went wrong.


Today's breaking news and more in your inbox

I'm interested in (please check all that apply)