Board recall will have a chilling effect

Monday, July 2, 2018 5:44 PM

I’m gravely concerned about the recall effort against two Dolores School Board members, and dismayed that community members would support this. It indicates a fundamental misunderstanding of how school boards function, as well as an overestimate of the influence that individual board members have on the success or failure of a district.

Examining the minutes going back to January 2016, there is nothing to indicate that the votes of the two board members facing recall are different in any way from the votes of others. These board members had excellent attendance at meetings, they made reports and did research as pledged.

Aside from the cost of such a referendum to the district, recalls such as this smack of personal vendettas and will surely have a chilling effect on participatory democracy. What citizen wouldn’t think twice about running for a position that requires a tremendous amount of volunteer time each year, only to face recall because some community members are unwilling to examine the complex societal issues that are associated with the challenges faced by the school district?

We have ample evidence-based research demonstrating that school success (by an individual child and extrapolated to an entire district) begins at home, in the early childhood years between birth and 5, a period of time over which individual board members have no influence and, therefore, very little impact on the success or failure of a district as a whole.

Mary E. Dodd