A lot of good conversation and examining of ideas regarding the future of Manchester public education is going on in this new year. It is important that the public pays attention and weighs in.
Be sure to read Sunday’s City Hall column in this paper or at UnionLeader.com. Reporter Paul Feely captures some interesting conversations as aldermen, school board members and the new charter-revision committee go to work.
Should the mayor continue to chair the school board? Should the school board be responsible for its own budget? Should that board be smaller?
We gather that the current mayor and her predecessors think the mayor has enough to do without the school board role. That’s definitely worth looking at.
So, too, is a multi-year, staggered terms setup for board members, so that the entire board isn’t technically new every two years. We could buy into that; but the idea of eliminating representation by ward in favor of an “at-large” structure for all seats is problematic. Local representation is a vital part of keeping each ward connected. That should be preserved in some form.
With Manchester Proud and a new superintendent weighing in as well, this will be an important year. And let’s not forget the taxpayers who will foot the bill for change or for the status quo.