School district: Needs new board, not new school
July 3, 2008 · Updated 9:48 PM
What we really need is a new school board rather than a new high school! A number of alternative suggestions for solving the perceived need to build a new high school, stadium and performing arts center have been proposed (e.g. shift sixth and ninth grade students to elementary and middle schools respectively; renovate the old Memorial Stadium; move the bus barn to the Goldie Road property; renovate the existing auditorium at the high school; catch up on deferred maintenance; restructure the loan to reduce interest payments; etc.), most of which take into account efficient use of resources and projected student enrollments.
Yet the school board continues to tell us that their plan is the only one they will consider. The original plan was not approved by the voters in February, but we were presented the same proposal again, with no attempt to address voters' concerns. Such arrogance is unbecoming in a board that is supposed to represent the public. And that is why our state Constitution requires 60 percent approval for school tax votes (and others) that exceed a specific level to protect the minority from ill-conceived proposals by boards out of touch with their constituents.
Although 54 percent of those voting supported the bond proposal in the last special election, 46 percent of voters had reasonable doubts. That should have been enough to cause the school board to consider revising their proposal to better control costs and use available school buildings. Their positions of public trust demanded no less. Let's tell them to better manage resources that we, the property owners, already provide.
James K. Johnston, Ed.D.