by Max Brantley
Has it occured to members of the Pulaski County School Board -- where a one-vote majority is bent on tossing union representation of teachers -- that the problem in the district might have been years of leadership by an inept, and in some cases corrupt, administration, further enabled by boodling School Board members?
Righteous School Board members should clean their own house -- such as by calling for expense account queen Board member Mildred Tatum's resignation -- before unilaterally tossing hard-working teachers' desire for respect out the window. (Of course, Tatum is a key vote in the anti-union cabal so the "reformers" won't be embarrassing her anytime soon.)
Here's the six-year record: Overpayments to a superintendent. A half-million in illegal purchases. Excessive overtime in a maintenance department bearing responsibility for crumbling schools. Sweetheart deals on lawn mowing and media services (no-bid deal that paid $300,000). Draining of indidvidual school funds. Spending federal Katrina emergency money on lacy underthings, running shoes and other clothing for a district employee. Improper and undocumented travel expenses. And more.
And the problem is a teacher group that reveres the letter of its legal contract? What's wrong with this picture?