Vail Daily letter: The real collective agenda
I read Anne Hirn’s letter to the editor on Oct. 17 and was motivated by several of her comments and statistics. To quote Mrs. Hirn, the wife of Eagle County School Board District F representative, Patrick Hirn, “I am worried that by electing officials that represent ECCA, they will get a stronger grip on the board to advance their school’s agenda … The goal of having multiple districts on the school board is to ensure a balanced representation of the schools throughout our county.” I couldn’t agree more with Mrs. Hirn about a balanced representation and concern about advancing an agenda.
Mrs. Hirn states, “The candidates vested in their diverse districts are Tessa Kirchner, Carolyn Knox Keep, Felicia Battle and Kevin Kottenstette.” I would argue all of the candidates are vested in their diverse districts. They live in their respective communities, are involved in community activities and have raised their families with neighborhood children. All of these candidates are loving, concerned parents passionate about improving the state of education in their districts and all of Eagle County.
It’s time to address the facts about this election and not just opinions.
Fact: ECCA is lacking in diversity. This is something actively being addressed by the charter and the ECSB.
Fact: The three candidates whose children attend ECCA categorically deny any collective agenda.
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Fact: Mrs. Hirn stated the “entire district is well balanced with a 52 percent Hispanic population.” Not true: Brush Creek Elementary School is 16 percent Hispanic, Eagle Valley Elementary School 61 percent, June Creek 81 percent, Avon Elementary 85 percent, Gypsum Elementary 75 percent and Red Sandstone 30 percent.
Fact: Drive anywhere in the county and you will see four similar signs — only difference is candidate name and color — encouraging you to vote “in the right direction.” These candidates are Kirchner, Knox Keep, Battle and Kottenstette.
Fact: The Eagle County teachers union and the ECSB are currently in contract negotiations. The teachers’ and staff budget comprise the largest single spend of the entire school district budget. In the upcoming months, the ECSB will decide on the largest contract in its history. This will be worth hundreds of millions of dollars over the next four years.
Fact: These same four candidates have been endorsed by the teachers union. These candidates’ campaigns are also being funded by the teachers union.
Oh, there is a stacked group of individuals funded by special interests running for a collective agenda, it’s just not the ones you thought. As Don Rogers put it, “if it walks like a duck … ” In the words of Mrs. Hirn, the candidates just might “get a stronger grip on the board to advance” their collective agenda.
Diversity is what makes any board strong. With all of this talk about diversity in schools, what type of diversity is reflective on the school board? Four candidates funded by special interests currently running with an obvious agenda as well as Mrs. Hirn’s husband currently representing District F hardly seems balanced or diverse.