School board votes against $30K bonus

Education

DECATUR, Ill. (WCIA) — The school board voted against giving Assistant Superintendent Jeffery Dase a $30,000 bonus after public backlash.

Dozens spoke out against the proposed bonus at Tuesday night’s board meeting, citing a toxic environment in the district and accusing the board of being out of touch with the times by putting the bonus on the agenda in the first place.

“What we’re seeing tonight, with this being on the agenda, is a symptom of a larger issue,” The Illinois Education Association’s Andrew Matthews said. “We’re concerned about the bonus itself, but the symptom is we have a toxic environment here where we’re rewarding the wrong things and we’re not showing concern for the real issues that are taking place.”

The district presented a rubric for deciding on such a bonus, but ultimately, board members removed the item from its overall list of compensations and voted against Dase’s bonus.

The board approved extending Dase’s contract back in January through 2025, something that the Decatur Education Association spoke out against at the time. The DEA argued Dase had not met the goals outlined by the board during his first year with the district. Matthews said the issues the union has been concerned with since then have not yet been resolved.

The school district did not provide a statement before the meeting, saying it would provide a rubric for its bonuses to the board. That rubric showed a scale of performance measures for principals, including attendance, discipline and the number of teaching positions filled at each school.

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