School board chair regrets over Manatee Technical Institute plaque issue

June 15, 2013 

School board chair Karen Carpenter came to the realization that she was "dead wrong" -- her words in an email to the Herald Friday -- about her reaction to the dedication plaque at Manatee Technical Institute.

Initially, she wanted it replaced in order to remove the reference to disgraced former school superintendent Tim McGonegal. But that would break with well established district policy and set an awkward precedent for future boards.

Traditionally, plaques list the superintendent and school board that approved a construction contract along with the contractors and companies connected to the project. At a time when the district continues to grapple with budget shortfalls, the idea of spending $3,200 on a new plaque was out of place.

As Carpenter's email stated, "... we clearly have so many more important matters to address." Indeed.

"I will issue apologies at the next board meeting, in writing and in person; it will be on the agenda which will provide another opportunity for discussing this." The apology should suffice. No further discussion is really necessary.

Good move, Madam Chair.

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