I am going to write a lot about amendment 8. It is an incredibly important issue especially if you believe in the the importance of local control of our schools.
First a primer about amendment 8 with pairs two nominally good ideas with one monumentally bad one. See if you can figure out the bad part.
The three parts are civics education, term limits for school board members and the creation of a state board that can authorize new schools, currently only local school boards can do so .
So did you figure out what the bad part was? Well it isn't civics education and term limits, ironically both of which we already have, nope, it's the creation of the board which would effectively end local control of education.
The League of Women Voters is against it as are six of our seven sitting school board members. Everyone of them but Scott Shine proving once again a broke clock is right more often than he is.
Well at the district 2 school board candidate forum, amendment 8 came up and all of the candidates were rightfully against it, well all but one, Nick Howland.
He said he was undecided but its more likely he knows what a terrible deal it is and didn't want to say he was for it, which begs the question why would he support it?
Let me be clear I am just speculating, we haven't had a conversation about it but I think the biggest factor is his donors love charter schools and they would like to see our public schools replaced by them and that is why they want to circumnavigate local school boards and create a state school authorizer.
Gary Chartrand, his circle of rich friends, the Chamber of Commerce, they all love charter schools and have an almost pathological dislike of public schools and teachers, especially if the teachers are in a union.
Why would somebody want to be on the school board who wants to dismantle public education? It is a great question and one we shouldn't just ask Howland and we have to look no farther than Scott Shine or Jason Fischer two prominent supporters of amendment 8 who are also a current and former school board members to see unfortunately these people do run and get ellected.
What do all three of those men have in common? Tons of money from Gary Chartrand and charter school supporters.
If you want to be on the school board and cannot quickly and emphatically say "no" about amendment 8, you shouldn't be on the school board. Nick Howland says, key word, says, he is undecided, but I don't buy that for a second and neither should you.
District 2 has some very good candidates, electing somebody who isn't sure local control is a good thing would be a bad thing.