Save Our Schools!
This petition had 636 supporters
In July 2015, Dr. Steven Baule began his tenure as Superintendent of the Muncie Community Schools. This was after a vetting process done by the Board of School Trustees and Ball State University. The search appears to have been done on the basis of experience and education, not on the basis of demeanor and professional etiquette.
At Dr. Baule's previous district (North Boone CUSD 200), he received a vote of "no confidence" by teachers in his district. A similar vote was taken in Muncie and the vote was the same - "no confidence".
On repeated occasions, Dr. Baule has been reported by trustworthy and dedicated educators in Muncie of mistreating them and demeaning them in some form. Employees have stated that he talks about employees to other employees.
Dr. Baule has presented data to the Board of School Trustees and the public about the financial situation of MCS - numbers somehow changed each and every time that numbers were presented. $10M has been sitting in the banks from bond issues for building repairs and maintenance; this money remains in the banks to help show less of a negative balance overall … all while buildings continue to fall in disarray. It has been reported that the Board is beginning the process of deciding what buildings need the most repair. But this should have been done sooner rather than later.
District retirees have also had to deal with the effects of Dr. Baule. In a sweeping motion and with very little to no discussion, insurance benefits covered by the district were dropped to $0, leaving retirees who had agreed to early retirement with the promise of insurance until their Medicare kicked in scrambling to find a way to pay thousands of dollars for insurance. This was a contractual issue that was railroaded through; board members wanted to wait to vote but Dr. Baule claimed this was a time-sensitive issue. In addition to this, 2 retired educators received letters from the Chief of Security and Operations (who reports to Dr. Baule) that they were banned from all MCS properties due to “disruptive conduct”. These educators were voicing the opinions of themselves and others without a voice and have been treated like this after years of dedication to the education of Muncie students.
Contract negotiations for Muncie teachers have been stalemated due to the fact that Dr. Baule does not like to negotiate. He has stated “I do not negotiate.” Teachers in Muncie have not had a contract since the 2014-2015 school year. They are in the process of negotiating contracts for the 2015-2016, 2016-2017 and 2017-2018 (current year) contracts. Due to practices by Dr. Baule, the Muncie Teachers Association (MTA) mediation team continues to face roadblocks in the negotiation process. MTA continues to fight for teachers while Dr. Baule appears to be fighting against them.
While Dr. Baule has been a huge player in the fight against teachers, retirees and district administration, the Board of School Trustees has turned a blind eye to the current situation. The Board refuses to acknowledge that Dr. Baule has been the essence of a bully to his subordinates. Constant mistreatment, constant demeaning actions, and actions that the leader of this district continues to drive a wedge against the employees and administration of MCS. The Board of School Trustees has claimed that they vetted Dr. Baule to the fullest extent that he can, but still made the decision to hire him even with the news stories published from North Boone … stories that anybody with a computer easily found after Googling Dr. Baule. To the view of the public and employees of MCS, the Board of School Trustees allows anything and everything that Dr. Baule wants to be passed and enacted. No discussion is done at school board meetings. One board member in particular has begun to raise questions for the public to hear answers to. However, that is not on each action item. Time is given and members are asked if any discussion should be done before voting. 90% of the time, this does not happen. Items are read and votes are cast. Board members claim that discussion happens before the meeting through email or in executive session. This is not how a public entity should be conducting business. In an environment where transparancy is needed now more than ever, it is not happening as much as it should.
The negligence, disrespect, and downright ignorance of Dr. Steven Baule and the Board of School Trustees of the Muncie Community Schools continues to be brought to a head by the City of Muncie. While everyone agrees that change should come, that change needs to start from the top down with Dr. Baule and the Board. Please sign this petition if you agree and support the removal of Dr. Steven Baule as Superintendent of Schools.
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