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Janesville School Board member apologizes for comment

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FRANK J. SCHULTZ
September 18, 2010
— Janesville School Board member DuWayne Severson has apologized for comments he made at the board’s meeting Tuesday.

Severson was asking officials at the meeting about details of the proposed new teachers contract when he inquired about a provision that would start paying the advisers of certain high school activities.


The advisers for DECA, National Honor Society and FFA are among those who have donated their time for many years.


Severson asked whether any member of the negotiating subcommittee would benefit from the compensation, and he was told that yes, two teachers who were advisers for DECA and NHS would benefit.


The implication to those who heard Severson speak was that there was something improper about that.


But teachers’ negotiator Jim Reif said the committee was formed by the district and the union two years ago to study the issue, the pay was well deserved, and most NHS and DECA advisers statewide are paid.


Severson said Friday he was not aware of the background before he asked his questions Tuesday, but now he has learned more about the process that led to the contract provision, which was his original concern.


“We did not have that information prior to the meeting,” Severson said Friday.


“My comments were not intended to say anything bad about any of those folks,” Severson said.


“They all do a great job, and they serve kids, that’s the bottom line, and so with that, I’m wrong.”


Severson met Friday with the two teachers who were the object of his comments, and they accepted the apology, Reif said.


Contract vote is Tuesday

The Janesville School Board is scheduled to vote on the proposed 2009-13 teachers contract when it meets at 6:30 p.m. Tuesday at the Educational Services Center, 527 S. Franklin St. The agenda lists only public comments and the contract discussion and vote.


A school district memo describing major provisions of the proposed contract is available online at gazettex tra.com/contract.



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