I hope you will consider printing yet another letter regarding the sale of the number 6 school. By the time this letter is printed the vote on the sale will have been taken and so this letter is not for or against the sale to the Simone Group and Mt. Sinai. Rather I am writing about the School Boards decision to recommend the sale of the building to Mt. Sinai and to put it to the community for a vote.
As everyone knows the majority of the School Board in District 15 is made up of representatives with private school (as opposed to public school) and orthodox Jewish affiliations. They have done a fantastic job of advocating for the best interests of all the students of the district (public as well as private) as well as for the homeowners in the district (who have no students in the schools but pay real estate taxes). Over the years the school budget has stopped its relentless upward climb, school buildings are being used more efficiently, services that can legally be provided to private school students are being provided and new programs are being instituted in the public schools. The members of the School Board deserve a great deal of thanks and recognition for all they’ve done and unfortunately it has not always been given to them. The changes they’ve instituted have always been examined with a magnifying glass by the members of the entire community.
Now let’s talk about the recommendation that the Board made to sell the school to the Simone Group. Clearly there was a great deal of strong feelings regarding the proposal. The community vote was the proper place for that final decision to be made, but in my view the School Board could not and should not have made any other recommendation.
Firstly it would have been irresponsible for the board not to have recommended the highest bid from a responsible company proposing a reasonable use (it may have even been illegal to not make that recommendation). It, properly, is the responsibility of the whole community to vote on this recommendation.