Letter, Opinion

School boards are unchecked

Dear Editor,

In an editorial, published Oct. 24, titled “Let small schools prove themselves” Angelo Lynn writes: “Surely, when the idea of consolidated governance was conceived in Act 46, no one imagined district boards would rule like kings.” That is incorrect. From the very outset of Act 46 the constant refrain of many of us — at Legislative hearings, State Board of Education meetings and local school board meetings —was that when it comes to governance, you have to assume that the wrong people will eventually come to power. The essential goal should always be to create a system that works even then. That’s the fundamental rationale for checks and balances. The Founders of our country understood this well, and their foresight has kept the last few years, at the national level, from being even more disastrous than they already are. I, and many others, always cringed when pro-merger folks would say that “we just need to trust our neighbors and trust that school board members on a merged board will look out for everyone’s kids.” It’s a beautiful notion. But it’s not how you set up a system of governance. I, and likely many others, fully expected the merged boards to rule like kings, and that’s a major reason why we’ve been fighting so hard against forced mergers.

David Kelley, Greensboro

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