Connecticut Post Editorial Page Editor Michael J. Daly weighs in on the Board of Education boycott, asserting in his upcoming Sunday column that now appears on line, “Well, I’d say to those boycotting board members, you don’t have the right to do that. You were elected to act, not stamp your feet.” An excerpt follows. Full column here.
While Rome burns, Bridgeport’s Board of Education continues its Jerry Springer routine, while 21,000 students and some 1,500 teachers keep their heads down and try to focus on what they’re supposed to be doing.
There’s not a one of the board members that does not now share some blame in what has become an embarrassing display of contentious bickering.
Meetings, at which the children’s business should be tended to, would seem to be on hold until further notice, with one group saying it won’t participate until one or more other board members resigns.
Well, I’d say to those boycotting board members, you don’t have the right to do that. You were elected to act, not stamp your feet.
The way I’ve always seen things work in Bridgeport, the majority rules. Somebody needs to take charge.
No one in their right mind is going to resign an elected position.
But with an elected position also comes the responsibility to exercise that authority in pursuit of the broader good, not in pursuit of a personal vendetta.
A perceptive, clear-thinking judge the other day concluded that the way the state of Connecticut parcels out money to school districts is “irrational.”
And if Judge Thomas P. Moukawsher couldn’t figure it out, imagine what chance the rest of us would have.
What he could figure out was that in one of the state’s recent budget crises–it’s hard to tell when one ends and the next begins–just as some poor districts were losing $5 million, wealthier towns were picking up that amount.
Maybe that’s where the “irrational” came from.
Moukawsher sort of kicked the door open to the school building and now the wind and rain are blowing through.
Attorney General George Jepsen, with an appeal aimed at parts of the judge’s order to sort things out in the next 180 days, has shoulder to the door, trying to close it and keep the potentially damaging effects of the elements out of the structure.
But wind and rain can also be cleansing.
For more than 40 years, by my recollection, the public school system has been out of whack, and glaringly so in places like Bridgeport and environs.
When the gilded Fairfield County family gathers for events–Fairfield, Westport, Greenwich, and so on–Bridgeport is the cousin with garlic on his breath and an ill-fitting jacket.
The rest of the family bears the occasional interaction with the city, but is pleased when the cousin goes home.
While this appeal is just another a bad idea, give Jepsen credit at least for recognizing that the judge put his finger on a number of issues.
And Jepsen conceded, “Nothing about this appeal prevents policymakers from immediately addressing those challenges, and I urge them to do so without delay.”