News Opinions / Op-eds

Letter to the Editor: Local Control for Education

My daughter posted a picture recently of my 5-year-old granddaughter with a not so beautiful grimace on her face. Next to it, was a picture of her 2-year-old sister with a mischievous smile and hands held high covered in Desitin? Upon closer examination, you can see that Brynnley’s face, along with a few other things in the room were also covered with Desitin. Blissfully unaware of what was on her face until her mother pointed it out chuckling; Brynnley whined, “that’s why it smells so bad!” She had no idea her sister was wreaking havoc while she slept peacefully in the same room. This same scenario is happening in the West Ada School District; as the patrons peacefully sleep, a mischievous group of people have begun smearing the good names of two board members, Chairperson Tina Dean, and Carol Sayles.

Our local school board allows us to have a voice, a representative from our own neighborhoods; and right now, that local control is under attack. In a local election such as this, there are no party affiliations and generally, no big dollars spent campaigning. Just old-fashioned boots on the ground letting people know why you want to serve the patrons of the district. The recall group is attempting to change the results of the election held only a year ago. In the last election, patrons who were tired of the ‘business as usual’ practices unseated two long time incumbents. The recall of these two new trustees and two sitting trustees was started just a short 3 months after they were elected. It is hard to imagine how one could determine that they had done anything so egregious as to warrant a recall in this short length of time. Yet here we are, in the midst of an ugly battle for local control of our school board.

With a little digging, it becomes apparent that this recall is not driven by anything the current board members have done. It started before the new board members were even sworn in. They asked questions about cost overruns on new construction, and contracts negotiated in closed-door meetings, as they were elected to do. Let us just keep it simple. The board members being recalled have not done a single thing to warrant the claims on the ballot. The claims are all rubbish. There is something bigger at play here.

Speak out on May 17th at the ballot, and make your voice heard for a second time. Otherwise, we will find ourselves like my granddaughter Brynnley, covered in something that smells bad. Do not peacefully sleep while the recall group takes advantage of our apathy and hands our board over to the appointee of their choice. Please make your voice heard, choose to vote AGAINST the recall.

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