Letter: Politics have no place on our school board
I am writing to support Kelly Alter, Lelia Conlin, Juan Pena, Dan Reynolds and Michelle Stecher for Eagle County School District Board of Education this fall.
Perhaps one of the most important races in this off-year election is for our school board. There are several candidates running seemingly on a platform against mask-wearing and in favor of going back to the basic three Rs of education, reading, writing and arithmetic.
The five candidates I support for school board are diverse, well-versed in education, have students in our schools (some public, some private), have served on PTAs and volunteered in schools, some have already spent years serving on the school board, and they are registered as Democrats, Republicans and independents — this is a bipartisan group that will focus on students and education and know that politics have no place on a school board.
Especially in these past two years, COVID-19 has been the most compelling and challenging topic for the school board, but to distill the work of the school board down to COVID and curriculum would be to far underestimate the complexity of the job — the unpaid job. You can argue about whether students should wear masks in schools or whether vaccines are safe. That touches the tip of the iceberg. Without having had a long interest in the working of schools, it is difficult to understand that there are so many equally important issues.
These include perpetual low per-pupil-funding at the state level; low teacher pay, such that it’s difficult to attract and retain great teachers; low housing stock, such that teachers can’t find housing they can afford; teaching a diverse group of students of varying backgrounds, and holding them all to a high level of achievement; and providing health care and meals for students who would otherwise go without.
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We need representatives who care about our students and educators, not those who are running on the single issue of the perceived notion that wearing a mask is an infringement of our civil liberties or “child abuse.“ Wearing a mask is a sign of respect and caring for others. Remember the names Alter, Conlin, Pena, Stecher and Reynolds when you vote. This is a mail-ballot election; look for your ballots after Oct. 8.