LETTER TO METRO COUNCIL ENDORSING KEVIN STACEY FOR SCHOOL BOARD

I’m writing you this morning to ask you to please vote on November 5th for Kevin Stacey as the District 7 School Board Representative. His opponent, Ms Player would be a wonderful appointment for almost any government position, but this is more than a government position, it isan education position, and as such requires a professional educator in the seat.

In the past weeks, Ms. Players supporters have presented a strong argument about her ability to build coalitions, navigate government offices, and lobby for employees.Those would be helpful skills if the board was looking for a new chair, but the board already has a competent chair. The school board position that council is considering is an appointment for a place among 9 board members, all with an equal voice.

Knowing how schools work is more important than knowing how metro government works. The appointment is for little over 9 months, which leaves little time for a new board member to catch up on intricacies that go into school governance. Too often decisions are based on how they’ll appear in the board room with little consideration of how they’ll translate to the classroom. Mr. Stacey knows this better than anyone.

District 7 has the highest concentration of English Language Learners in the city. That makes having relationships with those families and experience with educating their children, more important than having strong relationships with metro council and the mayor’s office.

The problems that have hampered the school board over the years derives from having more seats occupied by people with knowledge about politics, rather than education. A vote for Mr. Stacey would communicate that we consider those immigrant families a vital part of what makes Nashville great.

The biggest challenge that MNPS faces right now is the retention and recruitment of teachers. This is an issue that goes beyond procuring raises. Teachers have expressed on manyoccasions that they feel their profession is not one that is valued by the city. Actions over the last budget cycles have served to confirm that belief. By appointing a professional educator to the District 7 seat, metro council has the rare opportunity to send a strong message to teachers across the city that we see them, and we value them. It would be tragic to let such an opportunity slip through our fingers due to political considerations.

Kevin Stacey is endorsed by both the Chair and Vice-chair of the now seated school board, Anna Shepherd and Amy Frogge. Under their capable hands the board has already shown signs of shrugging off the dysfunction that has long plagued them. Should metro council not make every effort to support the current leadership? A vote for Kevin Stacey would show council’s belief in the current leadership and send a message that the two entities are already becoming more aligned.

MNEA endorses Kevin Stacey. Once again teachers have raised their voice and made their preference known. Ignoring that voice would serve to reinforce the remove belief that teachers are better seen and not heard or worse yet, that those outside of the classroom know better than those that are in the classroom. Please do not take this endorsement lightly.

It’s for these reasons and more that I believe Kevin Stacey is the best choice for the appointment as school board representative for district 7. Please help make that a reality. In the words of Martin Luther King Jr., “It’s never the wrong time to do the right thing.” A vote for Kevin Stacey is the right thing.

T​hank you for your consideration and your service,

T​homas”TC” Weber

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