To the editor:
Your recent article, "Board accepts Kruse's resignation" (March 31), was quite disturbing. Wayne Kruse, former president of the Lawrence Education Assn. and Quail Run teacher, was indicted on charges of forgery and theft last month. Kruse allegedly diverted $97,000 in dues money for his own use -- money that was supposed to be forwarded to Kansas NEA.
The Lawrence school board fired Kruse from his teaching position after criminal charges were filed. Kruse, citing his union-negotiated contract protections, challenged the firing. Last week, Kruse offered to resign if the district would continue to pay him through June 2005. The school board approved the deal, saying it would be easier and cheaper to do so than to continue the administrative and legal process.
Can you believe this? The only reason the school board fired Kruse is because he was indicted for stealing money from the union. But now, he is able to extort three more months of pay from the taxpayers of Lawrence because his contract protects him. Isn't this a shame? Our school district must work to eliminate any contract provision that doesn't allow the district to fire a teacher that has been indicted.
The money paid to Kruse over the next three months is enough money to reward a dozen deserving Lawrence teachers with a four-figure bonus -- if the contract permitted it.