Brooks principal requests public hearing on reclassification

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Brooks Middle School Principal Flora Green has requested a public hearing to dispute a move to reclassify her to teacher ranks next fall, the district said last week.

But a Board of Education special meeting tonight?#34;called for the public hearing?#34;could serve as an opportunity to reassign Green to an administrative role, said Supt. John C. Fagan.

The 6 p.m. meeting will be held at the Whittier School Auditorium, 715 N. Harvey Ave. The venue was chosen because it has better acoustics than the Brooks Commons, where the past two board meetings have been held, Fagan said. The Whittier Auditorium can accommodate about 200 people, he said.

State law defines how a district may reclassify a principal to teacher. A notice of intent to reclassify Green was made after the board's March 9 meeting, and a private hearing was held before the board's March 23 meeting. A final vote on the reclassification could come after the public hearing.

At the March 23 meeting, the board directed Fagan to find an administrative role that would "make the highest and best use of Ms. Green's experience and skills."

Fagan said Tuesday morning he had met with his staff and developed some possible positions for Green. He intended to meet with her Tuesday afternoon. He would not give any details on the possible positions.

Reassigning Green would not require board approval. However, the creation of a new position would. The first item on tonight's agenda allows for the reassignment, which would make the remainder of the meeting?#34;the public hearing?#34;unnecessary.

If there is a public hearing, Fagan and administrators would explain why Green has been recommended for reclassification. Green would be given a chance to rebut those reasons, and public comment would be allowed, Fagan said.

Board deliberations?#34;likely in closed session?#34;would follow, as would the final vote.

The board voted 5-2 to continue with the reclassification at its last meeting, with Sharon Patchak-Layman and Michelle Harton casting the dissenting votes. The board voted unanimously to direct Fagan to find an administrative position for Green.

Green, a longtime Oak Park resident, will retire in two years, removing the question of salary from the equation. She would make the same amount serving in any role in her remaining two years with the district.
?#34;Drew Carter

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