Letter to the Editor

City of Lexington makes private decision to change school board
Posted on 03/21/2017

The Dispatch

Editor:
 Mayor Newell Clark communicated to me that the City Council intended to abolish the current Lexington City School board appointments at the end of 2017 and create an elected board with only seven seats. Apparently, this will be an agenda item for the March 27 City Council meeting, but the N.C. House is already developing the bill.

I am shocked that this effort can occur with no transparency. I’m concerned that our decisions to address the socio-economic challenges of our student body may be a driver, but I am left guessing. I am concerned that an election in the fall will be very disruptive to a successful start of the new balanced calendar.

The mayor communicated that there have been complaints to council about the school system and that council is tired of being in the middle. I am confused, because the council just reappointed three board members, two of which have been supportive of all school board decisions.

Last year, after concerns were raised by the mayor and selected council regarding our school and our superintendent , the school board hired a consultant. This consultant, utilized and recommended by the City of Lexington, was hired to assess our school system through interviews of board members, administrative and school leadership, staff and students. This consultant shared with us that he was very impressed with the effort and direction of our school system.

I hope the council will consider putting this decision on the 2017 ballot for citizens to decide.

John Burke

Lexington

Burke is chairman of the Lexington City School Board.