EDITOR'S NOTE: This is a press release from Madison County Treasurer Kurt Prenzler.
EDWARDSVILLE — Treasurer Kurt Prenzler said Madison County’s regional superintendent of schools “crossed a line” when campaign literature was distributed to teachers at area schools this week.
Prenzler, who is running for county board chairman in the Nov. 8 election, was notified about a letter handed out in the Highland School District on Tuesday written by Superintendent of Schools Robert Daiber soliciting the support of teachers. The letter “strongly” encourages union members to support Chairman Alan Dunstan, saying it “could mean the layoff of their relatives and a reduction in public safety.”
“This is a scare tactic,” Prenzler said. “Tell people they will lose their jobs if the other person is elected. What really upsets me is Mr. Daiber involved my children in his political attack.”
Prenzler said he and his wife are concerned because Daiber talked about his children’s education and one of them is in public school. Another child attends parochial school and one is home-schooled.
“Regardless of where children go to school, people pay property taxes to the school district and should have a say in how their tax dollars are spent,” Prenzler said. “He crossed a line by insinuating because my children have been home-schooled and Dunstan went to public school I don’t value public education. His facts are wrong.”
Daiber claimed Prenzler speaks “outwardly” against school boards and financial bonds.
“I’m not against school boards,” Prenzler said. “But I do believe all tax increases should be approved by voters at the ballot box, not just by politicians.”
Prenzler said the letter should not have been handed out on school property. He also noted Dunstan received a $1,500 donation from the teacher’s union that same day.
Prenzler believes this action is a violation of the Illinois Educators Code of Ethics.
“Again, we see a lack of ethics in county government,” he said. “Daiber’s relative, Alan Dunstan, has failed to appoint an ethics adviser. Now we see why.”