American taxpayers entrust more than $550 billion in spending to public education every year. FUSD School Board members wield significant influence over student performance. Board members are tasked with solving problems such as achievement gaps, budget shortfalls and aging facilities.
However, the discrepancy between effective and ineffective school system governance is very clear for Flagstaff. Our school board members are lacking in organization, leadership and understanding of their role, which is diminishing their capacity for good decision making and strong educational leadership. This is the inception of dysfunction. When these practices of good governance are not upheld early on, relationships within the board and with administrators become strained.
As has been previously reported earlier last year by both KNAU and the AZ Daily Sun, the FUSD school board did not thoroughly vet current Superintendent Penca adequately, nor conducted a professional background reference check appropriate for a national search.
Our Flagstaff students, families, faculty, and community demand more discussion of effective school system leadership and one that empowers good governance. A dysfunctional board can mean years of stalled progress on improving schools. This is the fault in our school board. Let your voice be heard. Make a difference. Hold FUSD accountable and demand reform, especially during this time of a pandemic.