Board member says school district needs to 'do better' on staff ethnicity

Jan. 21—DANVILLE — A staff ethnicity report for Danville School District 118 shows a total employee group percentage of 15.49 percent minority employees.

Of those, 23.33 percent of administrators are minority; 6.61 percent of the non-administrative certified staff are minority; 7.84 percent of the administration and certified staff are minority; 20.5 percent of the full-time non-certified personnel are minority; and 13.38 of the full-time staff are minority.

The total employee group breakdown: 21.45 percent white male, 61.24 percent white female, 3.62 percent Black male, 9.82 percent Black female, 0.65 percent Hispanic male, 1.29 percent Hispanic female, 0.13 percent Asian male, 0.65 percent Asian female, no American Indian male employees and 0.13 American Indian female, 0.39 percent multiracial male and 0.39 percent multiracial female, for a total of gender percentages of 26.23 percent male and 73.77 percent female. There are 774 full- and part-time personnel.

School board member Chris Easton said he wasn't happy when he saw the report.

"Our ethnicity report doesn't reflect Danville, and so we can do a lot better," he said.

Easton said he knows the school district is working on programs, such as to raise the district's own teachers.

"It should look more like our Census looks. That's really just a hope that I have that we can do better. It doesn't look good for us to look like that," Easton said.

The 2020 Census shows Danville's Black population at approximately 33.8 percent.

In other business at Wednesday's school board meeting, the board heard from resident Lisa Behrens about a conflict of interest with school board member Shannon Schroeder publishing the Danville Area Living magazine that comes to residents through the mail.

Behrens said the school district pays $19,044 for a 36-month contract and a sports contract is $1,080 for 12 months. She said the contracts state the money is paid whether there is D118 advertising in the publication or not. She asked for further review of public dollars being spent on this.

Also Wednesday, the board approved: a governance agreement with Carle for the community to receive around $300,000 to $400,000 for the Heavenly Square grocery store, mobile health clinic and other Vermilion County Health Care Collaborative initiatives; field trip requests for North Ridge Show Choir and Danville High School show choir for a Lafayette, Ind. show on March 4 and North Ridge Music Department competition and King's Island trip on May 5-6 in Cincinnati, Ohio and Mason, Ohio; policies concerning participation at board meetings, students making up missed work, and paying full salaries for employees who are subpoenaed for court; School Resource Officers salary and benefits retroactive to July 2022; and immediate elective course replacement at North Ridge of a music and culture course.