The School Board Trilogy
Last night, the School Board had another meeting. This time, they were considering closing four additional schools, including Northern. You can see the Fox 2 News Coverage.
The protest last night seems to have been both fruit and pepper spray free.
I have a mixed reaction to these protesters. They are probably right about corruption on the school board, particularly some of the shady no-bid contracts that the board has given out. If some private company is ripping off the district at my child’s expense, I’d be pretty upset too. However, the lack of funding is primarily from shortage of funds from the state and federal governments combined with a continually shrinking tax base. It’s a combination of both corruption and urban decline that is at the heart of the problem here.
Schools are going to need to be closed. It’s a simple economic fact. Less population equals less taxes equals less public services. The question is, how many schools are being unnecessarily closed due to bad contracts and abuses by Board members? I have no idea. If there is anything that the Call ’em Out Coalition, BAMN, and the parents should be doing is calling for an investigation of these abuses. Rather than simply disrupting every meeting that the Board has, these groups need to pressure the state to investigate.
Unfortunately, I doubt that is going to happen anytime soon.