There is something disturbing going on with the race for the Alexandria School Board in District A. According to very recently amended campaign finance reports, three years ago, incumbent School Board member Veronica Nolan received $27,500 from the pro-charter school organization Leadership For Educational Equity. The disturbing part is that she failed to report the donation in her campaign finance reports for three years, until recently. Nolan, who reported $40,000 in her campaign war chest in 2015, failed to disclose this additional amount of $27,500 until Sept. 17 of this year.
Leadership for Educational Equity (LEE) used to be affiliated with the nonprofit Teach for America, which is a nonprofit organization where yet another District A School Board candidate Chris Suarez, who recently moved to Alexandria, taught for two years early in his career. Suarez’ campaign kickoff event was hosted by former District A School Board member Stephanie Kapsis. Kapsis, who has also endorsed Suarez, is now a managing director of pro-charter school organization KIPP DC.
The real questions, however, are why Nolan sat on such a large amount of money for so long, and what is her position regarding charter schools.
The Alexandria City School Board is not a place for people to play fast and loose with budgeting and financial requirements, nor is it a place for people to pad their resumes. It is a place to ensure that our students and families have proper stewardship of our schools and the very large budgets behind them. Let’s elect honest politicians who play by the rules and run for office without ulterior motives; people who don’t play games with the public’s trust at any level of elected government. If you live in District A, I suggest you consider Marc Solomon and Jacinta Greene for School Board. They are newcomers who are not caught up in these shenanigans. In District B, Jewelyn Cosgrove deserves your vote and in District C, Meagan Alderton.
Gail Gordon Donegan