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Letter: Spring Cleaning In Alexandria

To the Editor:

Spring begins on March 20 and many in Alexandria will find themselves in the yearly act of cleaning a house from top to bottom, a traditional act that helps to keep everyone accountable.

The same needs to happen at Alexandria City Public Schools, as various recent press reports have shown just how unaccountable Alexandria City Public Schools is becoming and how much of a house cleaning is needed down at 2000 North Beauregard Street.

Scott Newsham, a former member of the Alexandria City School Board, has even gone so far as to suggest that Alexandria needs to return to an appointed rather than an elected school board. An interesting notion, since voter turnout for school board elections is traditionally low.

However, considering our own school board does not have their own taxing authority and depends upon City Council for funding, City Council should play a bigger oversight role when it comes to ACPS. It was clear at a previous work session when Alexandria’s Vice Mayor, Kerry Donley, took ACPS to task that there needs to be a house cleaning. Vice Mayor Donley hit the nail on the head when he said that the lack of accountability begins “at the top” and that the fiscal mismanagement will have broader implications between the City and the school system.

It should. Alexandria’s kids depend on it.

Michael J. Carrasco

Alexandria