As we speak, Director Marty Hickman and his IHSA board compatriots are finally facing the music in the form a Springfield hearing solicited by Aurora State Rep Linda Chapa LaVia. And all I can say is it’s about time!
C’mon! I thought being a Republican meant something more than simply not being a Democrat. Aren’t Republicans always the first to issue the call for accountability? Don’t Republicans set themselves apart by their obvious disdain for as much a one misspent tax dollar?
But suddenly none of that applies to the IHSA? Really?
So let’s take a look at the facts:
- As a private non-profit organization the IHSA shields themselves from scrutiny, despite 80 percent of their revenue coming directly from Illinois taxpayers.
- Seventeen individuals received $591,000 in IHSA pension benefits last year and they refuse to provide any names or explain the math.
- The IHSA paid out $3.1 million in salaries and benefits during the last school year which, according to the IRS, is a 21 percent more than the previous year. They refuse to explain the increase.
- They refuse to disclose the details of sponsorship contracts despite the fact they’re making money off a public product – your children!
- The IHSA often makes class bracket decisions and levies sanctions based more on quashing member school dissent than leveling the playing field. And their decisions are final.
- They bar taxpayers from their meetings.
We’ve got a complete lack of oversight, we’ve got the absence of any kind of transparency, we’ve got tax dollars going “wherever,” and we’ve got the closest thing to absolute power I’ve seen in a long time. So this certainly seems like a tailor made cause for those conservative Springfield folks, but instead of taking to the streets, they’re suddenly silent.