There are many choices for the upcoming School Board election and I would like to ask the community to carefully review each candidate as well as remember some of the issues from the last three to four years. There are a number of good new candidates. Our school district has experienced some complicated issues and it may be that some new leadership is needed.
First, the changing of school start times resulted in a lack of the number of buses needed, which in turn has led the district to have to pay for additional buses. If I recall, it was published at one time that this is costing the district $200,000 each year. That means we have spent $800,000 so far on additional buses because someone didn’t do the math to figure out that there wasn’t enough travel time between schools with the new start times.
Second, the Woodbury High School principal has started a lawsuit because the former Park High School interim principal was given a higher salary than her. The Woodbury High School principal obviously has seniority in the district. Actually, both the East Ridge and Woodbury high school principals had filed grievances with the school district. I have not heard any update on this issue; however, it just concerns me that it happened to begin with.
Third, former superintendent Mark Porter, who had been with the district for around 30 years, was released from his contract right after receiving an overdue full evaluation. An outside, independent agency reviewed how the School Board handled this situation and found that our School Board handled it inappropriately and Porter could have sued. In a St. Paul Pioneer Press article Porter said he decided not to pursue the legal route and just wanted to move on. I highly respect him for that.
Finally, I had emailed the School Board with some questions about three months ago and was astonished when three days went by without anyone replying. It took a second email to get a response. It sure didn’t seem that they were interested in my concerns. Please do not forget the past events when you go to the polls.