School board politics hurting the district

At Monday night’s Board of Education meeting, Superintendent of Schools Jahmal Mosley issued a plea to board members to “do better” and to treat one another with respect.

In theory, this should have been a wake up call. In all actuality, nothing is likely to change. This was evident by the lack of civil discussion by all parties for the remainder of the meeting – mere minutes after Mosley’s speech.

Multiple board members openly said on Monday that they have been inundated with emails from teachers, parents and even students asking them to behave better, to set a better example.

The current decorum is embarrassing.

The problem with Mosley’s speech, though long overdue, is that he did not outline any plans for the “how.”

It is one thing to say “let’s be nice to each other,” and another to get the board to actually do it.

They talk over one another, insult each other and are not able to agree even on simple parliamentary procedure.

Some members of the board are so unpopular that it does not matter if what they are proposing, or trying to do, is in the best interest of the school district. Their ideas will be voted down simply out of spite.

It’s no wonder that the superintendent’s $110 million proposed budget was moved forward with absolutely no changes made. The board members are not willing to work collaboratively to find places they can cut back.

Robert Hallowell was criticized when he resigned from the board in November, but now people are left wondering who will be next to throw up their hands and quit. Watch just one of the meetings and ask yourself: Could you blame them?

Board members’ jobs are to work with each other and the administration to create positive change that will help the students in our district succeed.

The nine people sitting behind the table are all passionate about our students, and all bring their own unique strengths and experiences to the district.

Differences of opinion should not keep the board from achieving the goals they all share: promoting and bettering public education. Perhaps it’s time they remember that.