Outgoing school board member Jeff McGinness is warning voters, in an opinion piece and in mass emails like this one, that the entire facilities plan will become impossible unless Hoover school is closed.
I’m happy to have McGinness contributing to the discussion. But where exactly is the argument? His entire piece hinges on the statement that “the administration team has said repeatedly that the district cannot afford to operate both the existing Hoover and the New Hoover.”
Does McGinness subject the superintendent’s assertions to even minimal scrutiny? How can it be true, for example, that the only possible way to find money in the budget is by closing an elementary school? If that is true, what will happen the next time the superintendent needs to find money in the budget? Will more schools have to close? Doesn’t closing an elementary school—and pitting one neighborhood against another—in fact endanger passage of the bond that will be necessary to follow through on the facilities plan? McGinness doesn’t ask.
McGinness also accepts at face value the superintendent’s analysis of how much it would cost to keep Hoover open, even though that analysis doesn’t even pretend to use actual costs.
When we want to know why they need the Hoover property, all we get are evasions. When we want to know what it costs to keep Hoover open, we get obfuscation. When we want to how much more we’ll have to borrow to replace the capacity lost by tearing Hoover down, we get nothing, because the district has never asked.
If the school board is to have any purpose at all, it can’t simply defer to administrators’ preferences, no questions asked.