To the Editor:
I would like to, once again, voice my support for extending the contract of Dr. Lucero, as I have heard this might come up on the June agenda. Aside from the reasons that I have laid out in previous correspondence for keeping Dr. Lucero, there is another equally important reason to have continuity and consistency at the head of our schools.
After speaking with a member of the Board of Finance this weekend, they reiterated the need to have a strong leader running our schools who is behind the much-needed infrastructure plan that will dominate our city landscape budgets for the next 10+ years. If we were to allow Dr. Lucero to leave, we run a significant risk of jeopardizing the entire infrastructure plan that has been laid out and so far, approved by the city and state. There is no guarantee that a new superintendent would recognize the need or support the current plan, which could cause a massive and costly reevaluation of the entire initiative. This scenario will cost both time and money, neither of which we can afford as demonstrated by Representative Cottrell here:
“In 2009 there was a report that showed the schools needed $174 million in repairs, and less than half that was funded,” Cottrell said. “What was a $174 million problem is turning into a $600 million problem because it was not dealt with promptly. … When we try to go cheap on school repairs, it hits us later.”
Finally, I would like to publicly applaud Joshua Esses for publicly acknowledging that he would likely support renewing the superintendent’s contract. No person is ever going to be able to satisfy or please all members of our Board of Education, nor are they going to make decisions that please 136,000 residents and 17,000 students but recognizing that we need consistency and continuity to follow the path that the current administration has laid out, will improve the district. That is a statement I whole-heartedly support.