To the editor:
As I read the Nov. 12 Alexandria Times editorial, “Back to the classroom,” and letters to the editor about our public schools remaining closed, it was evident that the anger, helplessness and exasperation on behalf of families, students and our community has reached a boiling point.
Superintendent Gregory Hutchings wrote yet another column in the newspaper that had nothing to do with an action plan to re-open our public schools. Instead our citizens were left with another of his writings promoting a false narrative that most aspects of American society are racist, we need more money for our schools to be effective, low income families are marginalized, opportunity gaps between white students and students of color must be corrected and so on.
Our school system is funded by the readers of this paper and the voters of our city to the absurd amount of $300 million a year. The three Catholic grade schools and Catholic high school in Alexandria have been open since Labor Day providing a quality in-person education to families without any closures or COVID-19 outbreaks for close to three months.
Our Catholic schools are operating in the same city, dealing with the same virus but have pressed forward to educate because they have more courage and leadership than our elected public school board and superintendent.
Many Alexandrians cannot afford to send their children to Catholic school like the superintendent can. If he is sincere about his editorials and concerned about equality and equity, then open the schools and help the low-income, marginalized and deserving students that need to be educated and practice what you preach.
The excitement surrounding President-elect Joe Biden’s election victory will have little effect on Alexandrians’ daily lives. The election that matters will take place next year for school board and city council. If you are unhappy with the way things are being run in Alexandria, get behind candidates that share your views – or better yet be the candidate yourself.
Without bold leadership or courage to do what is best for our kids, the School Board and superintendent will continue to deny our kids the $300 million education we are all paying for.
-Frank Fannon, former member, Alexandria City Council