To the editor:
Alexandria City School Board members have been discussing possible changes to their election process and all residents should be asking questions.
One change would reduce the number of board members. How does this benefit the stakeholders? How are fewer representatives going to represent our more than 16,000 school population that is constantly growing?
Another proposal is staggering the terms of school board members and increasing their length of terms on the board. Again, how does this benefit the stakeholders? This will keep ineffective board members in office longer.
With our only city high school being only partially accredited, do we need to extend anyone’s term at this time? Run for re-election if you think your constituents are happy with you staying on board.
And the biggest concern is changing the School Board from a district voting system to an at-large voting system. This would ensure that voices and schools
and parents from the West End of Alexandria would never be heard. If we had an at-large voting system for School Board, as we do for City Council, we would most likely have no representatives from the West End.
We would have no Abdel Elnoubi speaking up for his constituents and going on the record saying that “weapons screening pilot – can’t get it soon enough,” while other board members are silent. At-large voting has been deemed illegal by a federal court in Virginia Beach, because it dilutes the voting power of the minority.
I urge all residents to contact the School Board and complete the survey opposing any changes to the current School Board election procedures. Tell our current School Board if they want to “ensure retention of institutional knowledge as a continuing body,” then they better stop sending out surveys and get to work on educating all students and providing safe learning spaces for all students and staff.
-Molly Kaiman, ACPS parent