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  • Writer's pictureNettie Webb

Save Our Schools’ Reaction to School Board's Competency and Administration's Lack of Leadership

Updated: Nov 17, 2023

Save Our Schools is critical of the school board’s decision making after a lack of competency during the October 24th working session. The October 24th school board working session has revealed significant concerns about the decision-making process, with multiple instances of misunderstandings and a lack of clarity.

During the working session, it was evident that there were significant issues with understanding the intended use of the facilities master plan and what each scenario for improvements detailed. Further, During the meeting, instances of voting on motions left board members and attendees unsure about what they were actually voting on. Additionally, upon realizing that T. C. Miller is not well-suited for a Pre-k facility, the board also tabled the question for discussion at a later meeting, a consideration they did not make when closing school when adequate data wasn’t readily available. Furthermore, the closing of two schools, including a 30-year innovation program, only to look for ways to expand other schools to fill capacity and start innovation programs seems reckless with money, resources, and stability of students.

Deputy Superintendent Wodika and Superintendent Edwards did not provide sufficient clarification, input, or explanations during previous discussions on school closures. Save Our Schools has repeatedly urged them to be clearer in their communication with the school board. However, on October 24th they were increasingly vocal, highlighting a lack of leadership and care during the closure discussions, not an inability to engage in the school board’s conversations.

Disrespecting and misrepresenting community input, Dr. Gupta claimed community members want to "take money away from Bass" and create larger class sizes, with the derogatory comment that they are "selfish human beings." Save Our Schools strongly opposes such accusations and emphasizes their dedication to smaller class sizes, which they believe is essential for a better learning environment for all students. The controversy surrounding a $15 million allocation for Bass Elementary School has been a focal point of concern. Save Our Schools questions the rushed nature of this decision and its thoughtfulness. They find it illogical that an additional 10 classrooms can accommodate 600 students effectively. The allocation of resources in education must be well-considered and aligned with the needs of the students and the community.

Save Our Schools believes that the decision to close schools has far-reaching implications for students and the community. It is essential that all aspects of the decision-making process are conducted with utmost competency, transparency, and a focus on the long-term vision for Lynchburg's education system.

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