The people have spoken

Published 2:02 pm Tuesday, November 15, 2016

In analyzing last Tuesday’s election results, we will stick to a singular focus: the ballot measure in Prince Edward County that gave people the choice of whether to directly elect their school board.

The answer was, overwhelmingly, “yes,” with 76 percent of participating voters approving the proposal. That’s slightly more than a 3-1 margin.

In this space recently, we offered the opinion it would be a meaningless change because directly electing school board members wouldn’t change, fundamentally, the reasons the Prince Edward County Public School division lags behind the rest of Virginia and even other neighboring counties in terms of student success.

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However, the people have spoken. What this means now is that those who fought and voted for the right of the people to directly elect their school board members have as large a responsibility for seeing that the right people are elected. Now, that’s different in everyone’s minds, we grant you. Perhaps some of the people who fought for direct elections should run for office themselves.

Here’s what we want to see in elected school officials — members who focus on: what is best for students and their teachers, not “agendas,” whether political or personal; what is fundamentally wrong with the division and offer concrete, reasonable solutions to those problems; and work to build bridges among fellow board members, the administration and public.

Only in these ways do we believe the voters’ collective voice will have truly been heard.