The School Board is caught in the same "Seattle Process" trap that seems to garner transportation, roads, blah, blah blah. When I have chatted with those like Brita Butler-Wall I wasn't inspired that the board had much competence or the cajones to get the job done.
As for worry that a new structure of the board might politicize it I only say it can't get worse than it already is. We don't have kids but as taxpayers and citizens of the City we DO have a vested interest that those that pass through the schools in our city recieve a good education.
What hasn't been discussed is the fact that while the school board is in such disarray there is no way the Board has the political might to get Olympia to do its job and properly fund the schools to obtain the results that should be provided. All I've seen now for the past several years is the infighting about what schools are closing and how broke they are- and very litte on a coordinated plan to maximize those funds that are out there (although Manhas in my opinion did a reasonable job internally) and to push Olympia to do its Constitutional duty...
I would think this was a bad idea even if we had another Mayor.
The structural probelms with school funding won't go away or change if we let the Mayor appoint the School Board, but the accountability to voters/customers sure will.
For just one example - it would be a whole lot easier to close poorer South End schools under this model. And does anyone really think Olympia is going to wake up and see reason because a Democratic Seattle Mayor is down there throwing his weight around instead of an elected School Board? Please.
At least he has some people that will throw the weight around X. I haven't seen that kind of backbone from the people that have been part of the School Board in years.
The School Board goes to Olympia every year - and they don't have the political baggage of pushing for State funding for a $5 billion tunnel that even most of the Democrats in the legislature think is nuts.
A number of people I've been talking to, including past school board members, have been saying we should just toss out the entire school board.
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