Mitch Gruber

Statement on RCSD Governance Referendum

The vote for a referendum on the governance of the school board was not an easy one, and I doubt that anybody walked away from last night’s City Council meeting happy.

There are reasons for those who oppose this measure to be unhappy. There isn’t a plan forward that is specific enough. There are precedents from elsewhere that show mixed results. There are those who are fearful that it would mean ceding local electoral power.

There are also reasons that those who support a referendum are unhappy. They read Dr. Aquino’s report that called for a “total reset.” They examined RCSD’s proposed budget and question its financial health. They see so many more schools entering receivership this year.

I received many phone calls from constituents on both sides of this debate in the last few weeks. My vote in favor of a referendum was not an endorsement of anyone’s plan; it was an acknowledgement that all of these concerns are valid and deserve further conversation. The community needs to grapple with these issues between now and November’s referendum. I will do my best to help drive a large voter turnout in November, and would welcome the opportunity to talk to anyone directly about this complex issue over the next several months.

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