To the editor:
More than a year ago, the Independence Board of Education adopted a policy requiring all school administrators to live within the school district’s boundaries. Many people, including the editorial board of The Examiner, urged the board to reject the policy. As we approach the upcoming school board election, candidates should be asked if they would reconsider or repeal the residency policy.
• What has been the administrative turnover at the school building level as a result of the policy? High administrative turnover is a hallmark of unstable and struggling school districts. At the beginning of 2014-15 school year, all middle school principals will have fewer than two years in their current position. Truman High School will have another new head principal.
• What waivers have been granted and why? Current administrators and future applicants for open positions deserve to know if the policy is enforced consistently and transparently.
• How has the policy impacted the recruitment of new administrators? It appears that the policy has forced the district to hire administrators from smaller rural districts, which may face different challenges than those in Independence.
The public deserves an open and honest evaluation of this policy. Current and future board members should ask specific questions and demand specific answers. If the policy does not meet its objectives, then it should be reconsidered for more reasonable solutions.