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 ˝ 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.



This referendum is a deception.  The real motive is to control the school system.  The teachers’ union endorsed the YES vote. People who can’t win at the ballot box and other angry individuals already are forming a “committee” to influence the school board appointment. The only way to gain control of our schools is to take the public out of the equation, take away our vote.



Government, especially education, should be kept in the hands of the people.  Don’t give up another right to government. Keep your elected school superintendent.  Vote NO on August 26th.



 



Bonnie McQuiston



Santa Rosa Beach