558 N. Main St., Prineville, OR 97754 | (541) 447-6205
The CCSD zone system will work if more people get involved
February 04, 2013
After once again mulling the idea of abolishing school board zones, the Crook County School District voted in a split-decision to keep the zone intact.
Board members initially advocated to get rid of the zones because it had limited the number of quality candidates for vacant positions. Since people can only run for a school board position if they reside in the corresponding zone, recent vacancies have yielded very few candidates. To illustrate this problem, board vice-chair Doug Smith noted that one candidate during a recent vacancy could not run because they lived on the wrong side of Main Street.
Despite these concerns, the board ultimately decided to keep the zones primarily out of concern that multiple candidates from one region could take over the board to push a specific agenda.
As it turns out, we will soon see whether the board made the right decision. When the board first proposed to abolish the zones, we agreed that it could improve the candidate pool.
Although we still stand by that position, we don’t believe the existence of zones necessarily guarantees a poorer pool of school candidates. Yes, that has happened in recent years, and getting rid of the zones might help, but the board chose to keep them, so now we hope for the next best thing.
We urge concerned citizens from all regions of Crook County need to get involved. People who want to help lead local schools into the future need to put their name on the ballot — and they have until March 21 to do so.
Now is the time to prove that the zone system can produce quality candidates in spite of recent history to the contrary. Not only would this increase the likelihood of a better candidate pool, it would presumably bring a diverse set of ideas to the board. The board could end up with members that represent a larger sect of the Crook County population.
The board zones are here to stay. Now, the community needs to make the best use of them that they can for the benefit of our schools.