Letters to the Editor

School board oversteps

Two articles published Sept. 17 regarded the activity of public school board members; one dealt with the board chairwoman of the Fayette County schools; the other with the chairman of the Boyle County school system.

It’s difficult to comprehend how these elected public servants could be become actively involved in the hiring and firing of school personnel.

I was a school board member in Pennsylvania and served on the county and state school boards associations. My district required every new school board member to undergo training in order to fully understand the principle of limiting board business to policy issues.

Well-managed public school boards establish broad administration guidelines and approve or disapprove staffing, budgets, construction and tax proposals. They avoid micromanaging and dealing with individual school employees. In addition, the state school board association offers training for newly elected members to enable them to avoid these misguided situations.

Many times I was contacted directly by constituents with concerns; all of which were handled satisfactory by referring them to the superintendent.

To the extent that Kentucky board members get directly involved in selecting or discharging employees, it would indicate the need to undertake a program of new board member orientation.

R. Paul Baumgartner