Thank you for the opportunity to respond.
An elected school board, and the administration they oversee, must have a common purpose: quality public education. However, both entities must maintain their different perspectives on how to accomplish this purpose. Neither can just ratify the other and expect to achieve greatness.
Presently, both our county and state public school systems are ranked below average. To achieve the greatness that awaits us, we must first become good.
The school board and the administration are to be commended for the transparent way they have moved the district through its fiscal crisis. However, it is disingenuous to assert that the school board, as presently constituted, is now thusly qualified to handle the many challenges that lie ahead.
Attracting and keeping committed educators, increasing parental involvement, effectively implementing the Florida Standards, building needed new schools to meet population increases, restoring our bond rating and reducing debt service are all problems that should have been addressed before now and that cannot be solved by just continuing to tout our emergence from a "season of fiscal mismanagement."
Are we to believe that our school board can only deal with one problem at a time? Are we to accept that the recent fiscal crisis was so all-consuming for the last four years that we could not move forward to get anything else done?
Although the Herald editorial board endorsed Julie Aranibar, I am confident that voters will not decide between now and Aug. 26 based solely upon the opinion of a board which consists of just three people. The quality of our school system is too important to be decided by any "election by endorsement."
Please vote countywide -- today by absentee, by early voting beginning Aug. 16, or in person on Aug. 26 -- for James T. Golden, School Board, District 5.