The superintendent of Williamson County Schools is pleading with parents to take an interest in local elections. Mike Looney’s open letter follows a move this year by elected officials to limit the political influence of schools.
A bill in the state legislature that narrowly failed would have given county commissions direct oversight for how much a school district can spend on lobbying, which schools are doing more and more of.
Looney’s letter makes no mention of any particular candidate, only that some have no experience and may want to change something that – in his view – doesn’t need changing.
“Let’s be honest, there are individuals running for office who are not satisfied,” Looney writes. “In their view, we need change. Some believe we have too much debt; our schools are broken; our hospital needs to be sold; and the list goes on….”
Looney says his call to action is not a direct response, but he points out that it does matter to schools who is in office at all levels. He says education has grown more political as national interest groups involve themselves locally.
“You can’t – these days – separate managing a large organization such as Williamson County Schools with nearly 5,000 employees and think that politics isn’t part of the task. It certainly is – more so now than ever.”
Most elections being held right now in Tennessee counties are party primaries for local offices. But often, whoever wins will be uncontested in the General Election in August.
Early voting has been slow most places. Election Day is May 6th.