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Don’t strip school boards of power

Feb 24, 2017 by

In a piece written by Paul Hill and Ashley Jochim about the new Detroit school board (“Pointers for new Detroit school board,” Feb. 10) and more broadly about school boards in general, they articulated a view that would advocate for limiting the authority of locally elected boards. They seemed to infer that locally elected boards make poor decisions when pressure comes to bear from their constituents, so therefore, we should figure out a different way to do things.

With more than 550 locally elected school boards in this state making thousands of decisions a year it is inevitable that some decisions may not appear to be in the best interest of the students and the communities served. But that doesn’t mean we should abolish elected boards, or even limit their powers so crucial decisions are made outside of the democratic process.

Michigan’s public believes elected school boards work. In a recent EPIC-MRA statewide poll of likely voters who expressed an opinion about the behavior of local school board members, two-thirds indicated their local school board acted in the best interest of students or, in the least, balanced the interest of the students against their own self-interest.

Source: Letter: Don’t strip school boards of power

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