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The Need for Transparency and Balance in Octorara School Board

Octorara Area School Board Meeting 11-20-2023

Last night’s Octorara Area School Board meeting laid bare some stark realities about the dynamics at play within our local governance. The outgoing board members, it seems, have taken to using students as a shield against criticism. This is ironic, considering some of these same members are known to describe students with special needs and IEPs as “unfunded mandates.”

The phrase “for the students” has become their go-to defense when their actions and decisions are questioned. However, let us not forget that these individuals were elected to represent more than just the students. They were chosen by voters, taxpayers, and the community at large to serve all constituents.

Disturbingly, there appears to be an underlying assumption among these outgoing members, and some who remain, that only they possess the knowledge of what’s best for our students. Their definition of “best,” however, leans heavily towards a questionable agenda. This raises concerns about the impartiality of their decision-making and the potential for ideological bias to influence policies that affect our children.

This is not a matter of finger-pointing or taking sides. It is, at its core, about the necessity for transparency, representation, and balance in the decision-making process. The members of the school board hold a position of trust – they are entrusted with the responsibility of making decisions that impact our children’s education and future.

As we bid farewell to these outgoing members and welcome new ones, let’s take this opportunity to reaffirm our expectations from our elected officials. We demand transparency in their actions, a balanced approach to decision-making, and representation that reflects the diverse interests of all constituents, not just those who align with their personal ideologies.

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Accountability is the cornerstone of democracy. Let us continue to hold our elected officials accountable and remind them that they are there to serve the community as a whole. We invite the incoming members to embrace these principles and work towards fostering a more inclusive, transparent, and balanced school board.

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