Wednesday, August 1, 2012

Pasco School Board Elections: Let's Stick With Competence

As the election for the local Pasco County School Board is coming up on August 14th, I'm glad to see that I'm not the only one who would like to see a candidate with some competence and sanity elected to this important position.

Two candidates are on the ballot this year, Joanne Hurley and Don Stephenson, and since I have a son in the local elementary school, I have a vital interest in how the local school district is managed and what future directions it takes.

I expressed some reservations about Don Stephenson in my previous posts: "2011 - Summary" and "Pasco School Board Elections - My Gripes", especially with his fiscal stance, his opposition to the International Baccalaureate program, and his support of the Amendment 7. As we see American students performing poorly in math, science and engineering, as compared to other developed nations, we need to ensure that more resources are available to our public schools. Freezing taxes, diverting public resources to private schools and religious institutions and dismantling well performing programs like the International Baccalaureate, is not an acceptable solution. It will make our kids less capable of competing in the global marketplace, with no knowledge of other cultures and points of view.

At the same time Don Stephenson's opponent, Joanne Hurley, seems to be well prepared for this position, having served on the Pasco School Board for the last four years. She has a lifetime of experience in this area and seems to be free of the extreme, right-leaning ideas that Mr. Stephenson presents (like branding the IB program anti-American???).

I'm very glad that the Tampa Bay Times also recommends Joanne Hurley for the School Board re-election and that its article shares a lot of my own reservations about Don Stephenson.