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The handwriting is on the wall but it’s not too late to act

    We have reported week after week on the turmoil and controversy surrounding the dissatisfaction of parents, students and teachers in Greenville.    

These parents, teachers and students have been to school district board meetings month after month, expressing their dissatisfaction and asking to be included in discussions, asking for the matter to be placed on the board’s agenda.

 

    We applaud Jonathan Kusel on his efforts to work with all stakeholders: the district, parents, students and teachers. He has met with students, parents, teachers and concerned Indian Valley residents.

    To no avail.

    The district’s only responses have been carefully orchestrated meetings that have offered little in the way of substantive dialogue. Such dog-and-pony shows have not provided any opportunities for constructive discussions and solutions.

    As he develops solutions to critical funding problems, we believe Superintendent Glenn Harris has an obligation to all stakeholders to listen to concerns and include the students and families the district serves in problem-solving discussions.

    The problem is not isolated in Greenville; the county’s high schools face serious shortcomings, test score and academic performance indicators notwithstanding.

    All four high schools, indeed all the county’s schools, are reeling from reductions in staff and faculty and in services because of the state’s underfunding and across-the-board cuts.

    As unimaginable as it seems, the district clearly cannot sustain the number of schools it operates — something has to give.

    We have called upon Mr. Harris to be more inclusive and responsive. He has not heeded our call nor responded to the other district stakeholders.

    We point out to voters that Mr. Harris is running unopposed for election to the position of superintendent of the county office of education. While the filing date has passed, it is not too late to mount a write-in campaign.

    In Plumas County, with one school district, a single superintendent has run the office of education and the school district. In fact, they are two distinct positions, with the district superintendent “reporting” to the office of education superintendent.

    While having one person serve in both roles offers some efficiencies, we believe that in these contentious times some oversight would be prudent. Think of it as a kind of checks-and-balances system.

    Even if the campaign fails, it may serve as a wake-up call to a superintendent who appears to be disconnected and a school board that appears to be asleep at the wheel.


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