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August 25, 2021 at 4:00 a.m.

No representation

Editor, The Commercial:

The White Hall School District has a school superintendent, a person chosen by voters in the district -- either directly by them or via members of the White Hall School Board, for whom they voted.

The Pine Bluff School District does not. The person chosen to oversee the district (now amalgamated with the defunct Dollarway School District) never received a single vote from a member of the Pine Bluff School Board, which no longer exists, either. Rather, that person was selected by the head of the state Education Department to oversee operation of whatever body he chose to call the board's replacement.

"Overseer" is not as popular a term, calling to mind the straw boss designated to carry out the directive of a big boss. Minus public input, that basically is what the city has now, though, a straw boss who, in theory, was named to oversee the district as it got back on sound financial footing. With no accountability to any voters, there seems to be little incentive or inclination to do that, since it would mean the straw boss would have no straws left with which to play.

Ultimately, of course, the final decision rests with a person who was elected by the public. I have little doubt that, if the word came down from the Governor's Office for the state to step back from running our city's schools, these lesser potentates would find a "miracle cure" whereby they could return control of the schools to the people who pay for and populate them.

D.H. Ridgway,

Pine Bluff

Print Headline: No representation


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