What Kettering School Board drama costs taxpayers

Kettering School Board. (WDTN Photo)
Kettering School Board. (WDTN Photo)

KETTERING, Ohio (WDTN) – The school district drama in Kettering is revealing an environment of hostile e-mails, broken rules and high paid staffers refusing to work together.

2 NEWS Investigates has learned those are just some of the allegations made against Kettering’s superintendent and treasurer, both on paid leave right now.

So, what is the controversy costing taxpayers?

Superintendent Jim Schoenlein and Treasurer Steve Clark have been on paid administrative leave for two weeks.

In that time, they’ve each been paid about $5,000 before taxes.

2 NEWS Investigates found that one of the big reasons for that leave is the two didn’t get along at work.

The Kettering School Board is painting a clear picture as to why they put their superintendent and treasurer on paid administrative leave.

“The inability of those two gentleman to effectively and cooperatively with some kind of professionalism had been lacking for quite a while that has impacted the district,” said Jim Ambrose, School Board Vice President.

2 NEWS Investigates obtained the letters each man received informing them the board is considering disciplinary action which could result in termination. It also clearly outlines why that is.

“It was a very difficult decision. I believe if you talk to the board, they will tell you that’s why they took a lot of time a lot of time. They have been working on this for several months,” said Kari Basson, Community Relations Coordinator.

The letter points to numerous instances where Schoenlein and Clark didn’t get along, exchanging heated e-mails and creating what the board calls a “hostile working environment”.

The board says Shoenlein intentionally excluded Clark in school business and Clark was not willing to work with Schoenlein.

They even indicated the two had counseling sessions to improve their relationship, but that’s not all the letter points to.

The board indicated Clark spent a lot of time trying to find ways Schoenlein was breaking the law as a superintendent.

They say he even contacted the State Auditor’s Office with allegations of wrongdoing related to standardized testing.

The school says it conducted its own investigations and found no irregularities, but it turns out the board does believe Schoenlein broke the law.

The board says quote “In some cases, you ordered staff to perform ballot issue functions on school time and using district resources.”

That is against Ohio law and district policy.

The board has scheduled the pre-disciplinary hearing for next Wednesday.

Both Schoenlein and Clark will have the opportunity to give their side of the story.

We’ve tried to contact both men and are waiting to hear back.


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