A Levy, a Resignation and Headlines – What’s Next for West Ada?
The West Ada School District is dangerously close to spinning out of control. We've seen this movie before, will the outcome benefit the community? As you can see from the video above, last Friday Afternoon was an emotional shocker as West Ada Superintendent Linda Clark resigned after 37 years with the district. Clark was the superintendent for over eleven years. During her time, the district faced incredible growth, budget cuts, and yearly fights for funding. Clark's work in Meridian has been nationally recognized as she traveled the country discussing education issues. Governor Otter appointed her to the state board of education this year.
Clark says that she's leaving because of disagreements with the new school board. The new board has made allegations that the district can be managed better. The old school board is looking at recalling the new school board. Oh, and there's a levy that voters are being asked to renew for the next few years to maintain the district's infrastructure. Both sides are supporting the levy.
How can voter's support spending more money to the state's largest district when there's such acrimony on both sides? The truth is that this levy died when Dr. Clark resigned. Does anyone believe when two sides have vowed to fight each other that sends the right message to taxpayers? Who's going to invest in that cause?
What will happen is that the war of words will trickle, no overflow into the classroom. We've seen this before during Props one, two and three laws and recall. What both sides fail to realize is that kids still have to learn, and teachers have to teach. The challenge for West Ada educators is to avoid being drawn into the politics of this fight. Nampa faced a daunting challenge over budget issues a year ago. The district lost and replaced over 150 teachers during their budget crisis.
I'm no James Baker or Warren Christopher. However, I would urge both sides to stay out of the headlines and courtrooms and figure out how to work together to improve West Ada instead of tearing each other down. The students, teachers, and taxpayers deserve your best.