Our school board members are apparently determined to fill the board vacancy by appointment, rather than by holding a special election. This is a defensible stance, but I think a disappointing one, for the reasons I discussed here. The seat can be filled in only two ways: by the incumbents or by the voters. Letting the voters choose is the more democratic, less self-serving option.
What’s especially interesting is that the board is also apparently determined to choose someone who will not run for re-election. This means that not only will the seat be filled by appointment, but the appointee will not face any democratic accountability for his or her actions while on the board. We’re supposed to see that, somehow, as doing the public a favor.
I know there are arguments to support both of those choices, and reasonable people can disagree. But there seems to be something about school governance that leads officials to gravitate, when given a choice, to the less democratic option. Education seems to touch some chord of discomfort or distaste that people have toward otherwise fairly ordinary features of democracy. Somehow there’s always a good reason for setting them aside.
Good opinion piece by Hani Elkadi here.