LETTER: Get the facts, not fiction

Mike Carney/Leavenworth

To the editor:

A recent letter to the editor titled “New members, new ideas” was written by Mrs. Gillette. Here we go again with a lot of misinformation by Mrs. Gillette and of course Mr. Grossman.

First of all, I am in my third term on the school board. If you do the simple math, that’s 12 years. If you want to fact check, call the board office for the correct information, as if longevity is a real issue.

Secondly, neither Mrs. Gillette or Mr. Grossman read the article I submitted titled “Being a school board member.” That information came from the Kansas Association of School Boards (KASB) as guidelines.

Mr. Grossman claims those were rules handed out by the superintendent. I and most people who have served on school boards know that the board supervises one person, the superintendent. And it takes a majority of the board to take action or direct the superintendent to enforce policy. No one board member has any power to do otherwise. The superintendent does not supervise the board.

The board and administrators are quite aware of the disruption in academics caused by the pandemic. Strategies have been developed and funding has been earmarked for supporting those strategies.

Learning loss is nationwide and not just our district’s problem. Besides the pandemic, there are other concerns that contribute to the issue of not working at grade level. As I have said during two forums, being a member of this community all my life and my wife being an educator for 30 years in the district have provided me with the insight of a drastic problem. It is apathy. Parents in many cases do not spend quality time with their children in order to complete the educational process. My wife indicated that there were years in which less than 30% of parents showed up for parent-teacher conferences.

Of equal importance is the lack of people stepping up to be educators. I would ask Mrs. Gillette to report what the new blood candidates have provided in services to this community, especially the school system. Research and examine what the incumbents have contributed. This is not the time or place for new blood en masse. Stability is needed in the district and not those with agendas and obviously no sense of working as a team.

As Bill Snyder aptly stated, “There is no I in team.” The road ahead for the country is to dig out of the hole of discontent and ensure the resources and right people are in place to guide the district in conjunction with staff. I encourage people to get the facts and not the fiction.