Shirley Saffer withdrew as a candidate for the election of the Christina School District Board of Education seat today. This leaves it down to three: Jeff Day, Meredith Griffin Jr., and Kimara Smith. There will be no incumbent for the race since Saffer withdrew.
I’ve met both Day and Griffin before. Smith is a relative unknown. One of the candidates concerns me… A LOT!
Griffin serves on the Rodel Foundation of Delaware Advisory Board and is on the Governing Board of the Delaware Charter Schools Network. Neither of those positions would disqualify him as a candidate for the Christina board but it gives me great pause.
I believe it goes without saying that the Rodel Foundation is a huge supporter of Delaware charter schools. As well, the Delaware Charter Schools Network is the state cheerleader for charters. For those who aren’t in the loop, there was a major lawsuit against Christina and the Delaware Dept. of Education last year. The parties wound up settling over the local funding formula. As well, Griffin serves as a member of the Wilmington Education Improvement Commission. While these are all worthy volunteer efforts by the well-known Wilmington minister, I find his membership on these organizations, specifically Rodel and DCSN could cause a conflict were he to win the Christina Board of Education. The DCSN Governing Board is elected by the different charter schools that make up the network. Christina School District consistently loses more students to charter schools than any other district in the state.
Without knowing his platform or why he is running for Christina, I would be hard-pressed to judge his motivations. I can only go by what I know. Delaware is filled with folks who serve on multiple boards, committees, task forces, and even elected positions concurrently. The clincher for myself would be who files for Red Clay’s board seat. The deadline is Friday, 4:30pm. I just don’t like the idea of charter friendly folks getting on local school boards. If they want to spend their time on charter boards, go at it. But this…