I was disappointed to see Linwood’s elected City Council president, Ralph Paolone, post a partisan opinion on his views about an elected Board of Education while claiming that an appointed board fosters non-partisanship. This opinion, which he posted to the Linwood Republican Club Facebook page and emailed to all members of the Linwood Republican Club, is the case in point as to why Linwood needs an elected school board. Maintaining the quality of Linwood’s public schools is not a Republican issue nor is it a Democratic issue – it is an issue for all Linwood residents and most importantly our children.
There is nothing wrong with wanting change along with more accountability from the Linwood Board of Education, nor questioning how politics plays into our educational system. I would like to see more diversity and new ideas on the board, which has struggled through a year of turmoil. Mr. Paolone minimizes the efforts of parents who have received no answers from the Board of Education, school administration and Linwood government.
Mr. Paolone cites no reason why at least the same quality of candidates Linwood residents have elected to our own City Council would not be present with an elected school board. Nor did he offer any data that an elected board would diminish the excellence of a Linwood public school education.
Because of my own involvement in the educational community, I do feel I can speak with confidence in this matter. More than 400 taxpayers signed a petition putting this question on the ballot and see the value in electing their own board of education. Vote yes in November.