Answer their questions!

“We want to maintain quality leadership and it takes compensation to do that.” (The Voice 5/25)

Two weeks ago that defense of giving hefty raises to school board members had some potential merit.  A prudent investment in quality education can reap dividends for the entire community. One could even say this commitment raised hopes .

The next School Board Meeting quickly dashed those hopes (The Voice 6/1). We naturally become concerned when answers to budget questions to the school leadership are not readily forthcoming. After all, the board members represent the community who pay for the $38 million budget. By the way ,this is one of the state’s highest per student budgets on the basis of local contribution alone. More importantly, the budget exists for the sole purpose of giving Fairfield’s children the very best possible education.  Obstacles to budget transparency only limit a board member’s ability to have quality input into the budget, thus, negatively impacting the students.

Quality board members cannot make a difference if transparency is not readily forthcoming from the leadership. Board member quality is useless when procedural roadblocks, evasive (or no) answers and vitirol are used to stiffel discussion.

Paying for quality board members is simply a waste if they are unable to do their job.

I implore the School District to remove all non-statute-required information roadblocks and answer the board members’ questions when they are asked. The board members must have all tools available to make the best decisions for the students. If the obstacles are driven by bad local bylaws/policies, change the bylaws/policies.

Let the board members do their job.

Randy Bright

Ridgeway