Monday, Nov. 10, 2008 | The San Diego Education Association has spent a lot of money to elect politically ambitious novice John Lee Evans in place of devoted, big-picture incumbent school board member Mitz Lee. SDEA has achieved a labor-indebted majority on the Board of Education, just as it enters into contentious contract negotiations for its teacher members during grim budget times. Maybe that majority will provide our teachers some financial security — but maybe it won’t. When there’s no money, there’s no money; and personnel is always the largest expense of any school system. Furthermore, this newly configured labor-friendly board majority may exhibit such tunnel vision governance that it will fuel criticism and renewed opposition from those enemies of public schools, teachers’ unions and elected boards of education who always welcome opportunities to discredit and dismantle the fragile status quo.
Personally, I hope SDEA President Camille Zombro, Superintendent Terry Grier and the five-member elected Board of Education will understand that they share a paramount common responsibility: to provide the best possible public education for San Diego children.
They will have their work cut out in the coming lean year, and the community will miss Mitz Lee.