I’ll give Butcher the benefit of the doubt for not looking at it in so crass a way — he noted that he’s looking out for his own school district’s well-being, and I get that — but I think even he would say it’s about what’s best for children and families, more than anything else.
And what’s best for children and families — as I know from experience — is to have a choice. To have options. To be able to control your own educational destiny. If you’re really committed to bettering the lives our community’s youth, that goal should take precedence over everything, including your own school district’s bottom line.
Educational leaders are held to a higher standard than dollars and cents. They are obligated to uphold a cause: What is best for the kids? Worrying only about what’s best for your own enrolled students isn’t enough. There’s a bigger picture in play, and if county school administrators are honest with themselves, I think they’d have to admit that.
Over this past Martin Luther King Jr. Day weekend, we are reminded a lot of the days of school segregation and the battle for civil rights in the educational arena. Carlotta Walls LaNier spoke at Friday’s Unity Breakfast at Somerset Community College. She was one of the “Little Rock Nine” — a group of nine students who enrolled (albeit against great resistance) at Little Rock Central High School in Arkansas following a U.S. Supreme Court decision that struck down segregated schools as unconstitutional.
These nine students were not the only ones to try to enroll — around 100 or so did, mentioned Walls LaNier — they were just those that were chosen. Walls LaNier felt that Little Rock Central offered a better opportunity to get the kind of educational experience she wanted, and she had to battle to get it.