School board with both elected, appointed seats is democratic way

 School board with both elected, appointed seats is democratic way

John Igliozzi is president of the Providence City Council and chair of the Charter Review Commission. He represents Ward 7.

I cannot imagine a more democratic process than electing parents and civically active folks to represent their neighborhoods on the city school board to complement those appointed by the mayor. Providence’s Charter Review Commission (a body that reviews city constitution changes every 10 years) recently recommended a proposal to move from a nine-person, mayoral-appointed school board to a 10-person hybrid board.

The new board would include five nonpartisan elected members from five equal regions of the city (north, south, east, west and central) and five members appointed by the mayor. Terms would begin in 2025.

A hybrid school board would ensure accountability for all and empower parents, guardians and families. Moving to a hybrid model is not an indictment of the current board but one that drives the city forward with equal representation. You are accountable to a broader group of people when you are elected. When you are appointed, you are accountable to one. Are we adding politics to our school system? I would argue, what’s more political than having one person select nine?

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