LETTER: Don't give up your right to vote

Published: Thursday, August 14, 2014 at 12:06 PM.

The school referendum on August 26th offers a clear choice for Walton County voters.

Continue to elect our school superintendent, or empower three school board members to replace all voters in the county by appointing a superintendent. 

It’s time for us to take a stand as Americans. We have given up enough rights to government. Don’t give up your right to vote to three people on the school board who have no qualifications to appoint a superintendent and no training to run a school district.  

The rhetoric about school superintendent qualifications is political spin. Every public office in the county has the same qualifications, except judges. Do we eliminate elections because someone thinks we lack qualified candidates?  Walton County , this is offensive!

Out of 67 Florida school districts, only ten are ranked “A” in student achievement.  Walton County is on the “A” list, and seven of the ten have elected superintendents. 

There is no proof that changing a school system to an appointed superintendent improves education. There is proof that appointed superintendents stay on the job about 2 ½ years, and many are dismissed with large severance packages.  

Most districts with appointed superintendents have UNPAID school boards. Our school board members are paid almost $30,000 each, plus their state retirement funding is in excess of 40 percent of salary.  In total, they cost taxpayers about $250,000 a year.  Changing to an unpaid school board could give a raise of about $1,000 to each teacher. Maybe this is the change we should try.

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