2002-06-22 / Editorial/Opinion

Throwing Out the Baby

Throwing Out the Baby

Every young person going out into the real world after graduation from school is told "never quit one job until you have another." That has become a mantra that can easily be converted to areas other than the job market as well. One example might be, "don't get rid of one means of input into local school affairs until you have another one in place." Come June of 2003, the local school boards will be gone and there is literally nobody in government who had an idea of how their important role will be filled. Worse than that, 20 politicians are tasked with coming up with a plan to replace the local school boards. Not 20 educators or 20 parents or 20 experts, but 20 politicians. Think about that for a moment. Think about a parent who gets no satisfaction from either the local school or the district office. Where does that parent go? Today, she can still go to a local school board member, who will go to the district on his or her behalf. There is a link, a liaison between the parent and the bureaucracy. In June of next year, that link will be gone. We know that many of the local school boards were corrupt and cared more for their own perks than for the kids. Since the school scandal that knocked out our own corrupt board more than ten years ago, however, our District 27 board has been exemplary in addressing the needs of parents and children. The community would have been better served had a panel of experts, educators and parents come up with a plane prior to phasing out the school board we now have. When they talk of "throwing out the baby with the bathwater," they are indeed talking about the new school governance bill and the demise of the local school boards.


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