Sometime soon, a school board near you is going to appoint a new trustee.
Yep. Another one.
The revolving circle of resignation/appointment is coming to temporary rest again, although this time not because someone simply has had enough and ain't gonna take it anymore. Jim Purtee, who was appointed at the end of April, is battling a health problem and, for the good of all, is giving up his place on the Coeur d'Alene School District Board of Trustees.
We know there are those who say "good riddance." Purtee did not endear himself to some when he posited the possibility of district-wide school uniforms, or when he voted to kill two progressive but controversial educational programs, International Baccalaureate and Primary Years Programme. But Purtee's motives were almost universally acclaimed when he pitched his staunch support behind the district's successful bond issue in August, and we believe he would have proved to be a valuable voice for children and steward of taxpayer dollars.
So where does that leave us? Where we've been several times already in just the past few years: With a looming school board vacancy that likely will need to be filled before next May's election.
It's our hope that highly qualified citizens step forward when called upon to apply for any school board vacancy. It's also our hope that those currently on the board will look favorably on an applicant who might not march to the beat of the same drummer as the rest. This is not to say the board members all think and act identically, but there is less diversity in the thinking on this board than we believe would best serve the 10,000-plus students of the district.
We agree with the idea that people learn little from those who agree with them; that enlightenment comes from different perspectives respectfully considered. Even if the Purtee replacement is only on board for the duration of this school year, one with views distinctly different from those now on board could prove enormously valuable.