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Lincolnwood School Officials Quit Amid Spending Controversy

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(Credit: CBS)

(Credit: CBS)

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LINCOLNWOOD, Ill. (CBS) — One week after voters in north suburban Lincolnwood District 74 overwhelmingly rejected a referendum to finance construction of a new school building, its two top leaders are out.

At a hastily-called District 74 board meeting, School Supt. Mark Klaisner submitted his resignation and Asst. Supt. Susan Brandt announced her retirement.

Klaisner has been superintendent for five years. His resignation and Brandt’s retirement are effective immediately.

LISTEN: WBBM Newsradio’s Regine Schlesinger reports

The moves came less than a week after voters rejected a $25 million bond referendum to build a new school building, by a margin of 92 percent to 8 percent.

In an e-mail to staff, School Board President Amy Frankel said “philosophical differences” had arisen between the board and its administrative team. Frankel wrote that new leadership is in the best interests of students. While she said interim leadership would be appointed in the next few days, she said the board will search for a leadership team “that can carry the district to a successful future.”

The board will meet for the second consecutive night at 8:30 p.m. Wednesday, in the training room of the District 74 administrative building, 6950 East Prairie Rd. The agenda includes a closed door discussion of personnel matters, presumably to select the interim administrative team.

As CBS 2’s Kristyn Hartman reported in January, school district residents filed Freedom of Information requests for records on district spending, as the impression grew that school officials seemed to view taxpayers as a “piggy bank.”

Joel Perzov was among the activists who forced the issue onto the ballot after the Distict 74 board attempted to issue bonds on its own. He and others have alleged outrageous expenditureds by board members, including stays in downtown hotels for conferences just 15 miles from Lincolnwood.

Perzov said the activists have not finished uncovering what they believe to be waste of taxpayer money by District 74.

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