To the editor:
As a former school board member who has been involved in the very difficult decision to consolidate buildings in my district, I have noted with chagrin the attitude of some of the volunteers in the consolidation study group and the editors of the Journal-World.
Yes, these are very difficult deliberations with many facets to consider and the tough decisions do belong to the board, not the patrons. However, I am certain that had the input of the patrons not been sought there would be an outcry from Lawrence’s vocal and passionate community. If the school board had simply decided a course of action, without employing the services of a volunteer group of patrons, many would have accused them of high-handedness and not listening to their constituents’ concerns.
That study group got a small taste of what it is like to be a school board member who must balance the diverse interests of patrons, students, teachers and parents in an environment of ever-shrinking resources. Rather than criticize the board for seeking community input, I would laud them for trying to include the constituent groups in the process. The difficulty the “volunteer” working group had in reaching consensus simply illustrates the difficulty the “volunteer” board members also face. Please let your board members know what you think, but appreciate their service, rather than criticize them for seeking patron input.