Op/Ed

Editorial: Charter change would make ACSD more responsive to voters

ANGELO LYNN

Either of two proposed changes to the Addison Central School District charter would make the district more responsive to voters — a move the board and the public should appreciate. The proposals are a response to initiatives by the Save our Schools group, which is seeking a larger voice in any decision to potentially close the elementary school of a member town.

Key to both proposals is including a public vote, rather than just relying on a supermajority of the school board to make the decision.

To that end, the ACSD board will hold a vote at its Monday, Feb. 13 meeting (see story on Page 1A) that will offer three scenarios: 

• One calling for any school closure to be decided by a supermajority of the ACSD board and a majority of voters in the host town; 

• another calling for a supermajority of the ACSD board and a majority of voters across all seven district towns; 

• and a third option to keep the status quo where a supermajority of the board can determine the fate of any school without a public vote. 

The goal of this exercise should be to keep the district’s elementary schools as strong and vibrant as they can be. Valid arguments can be made on both sides of how to achieve school excellence — through consolidation and the added resources that could provide or by maintaining small schools in towns that are committed to having them excel. 

Either of the first two board options provide district towns adequate protection of their elementary schools if they can muster the local support to keep them strong, while also providing an effective tool to close a school if local support is thin. 

If either of the first two options are the board’s decision, it will have listened well to district voters these past two years and responded accordingly. 

Angelo Lynn

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