For years, the University Place School Board abandoned its role as advocate for students and residents. Instead of listening to us and leading the district, the board surrendered control to the superintendent, and community members are told what the district will do. Representative government requires its leaders to respond to the voters, not vice versa.
As a former school board member, I know elected leaders must listen to voters. Community members did not want the school district to spend $1.2 million valuable education dollars buying a bus yard for which Pierce County gave the district free use for 20 years.
Community members want more money spent in the classroom and less in overhead, but the board refuses to discuss spending priorities, instead vesting all fiscal management in the superintendent alone.
University Place can restore accountability to the board and a voice to the community with the election of Fitzsimmons and Arrington. Both are accomplished leaders, both will listen to voters and make the district responsive to student needs and community goals.