Friday, June 13, 2008

Opportunity for Public Service

Fayetteville residents care deeply about educational issues and the future of our public schools. The upcoming School Board election on September 16th presents an opportunity for citizens to step forward and demonstrate their commitment to the teachers and students of today as well of those in the future.

Thanks to
Rose Ann Pearce of The Morning News for alerting patrons that recent legislation has changed the dates for circulating petitions and becoming a candidate. The new information about filing does not appear on the Fayetteville School District's website or the Washington County Election Commission's homepage.

The only race in the Fayetteville School District this year is for an At-Large Position that will be decided by all voters in the district.
Petitions are available at the County Clerk's office, and candidates can pick up petitions and begin collecting signatures on June 18th. The deadline for filing petitions signed by at least 20 registered voters in the district is noon on July 18th to qualify for the ballot. The Northwest Arkansas Times reported incorrectly that the filing deadline was August 4th

The incumbent board member is Susan Heil, who has not yet announced for re-election. She told a reporter
last month "at this point it is likely she will run again, but she hasn’t made a final decision on the matter." She has supported selling the high school to the University, building one mega-school, adding 9th grade to the high school, and closing Jefferson School. If you're for that, she's your candidate.

Coffee shop talk is that
Jim Halsell will be a candidate for the position, and he should be encouraged to run. He has been very active as President of the Washington Parent Teacher Organization and was instrumental in an securing the agreement between Washington Elementary School and the UA School of Architecture to build a new "outdoor learning environment" at the school. Unlike the incumbent, he is believed to support the BuildSmart plan for a world-class high school on the present campus adjacent to the University and near the Blair Library and the Walton Arts Center.

Halsell was recently
honored among the "The Best of the Best"at the school district's 11th annual Outstanding Volunteer Banquet. That is indicative of his dedication and leadership by example that is so necessary for a thoughtful and effective school board member, and he would be an excellent choice.

Ready to Rumble?

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