In preparation for the Sept. 8 ICCSD school board election, the Save Hoover Committee submitted the following question to candidates: If you are elected, will you support amending the long-term facilities plan to keep Hoover Elementary School open?
Four responses stood out, not only because they acknowledge the need to revisit a vote that has never garnered community support, but also because they represent the will to think critically about long-term decisions. These responses came from Phil Hemingway, Brian Richman, Tom Yates and Chris Liebig.
These responses are grounded in a respect for our community’s preference for keeping schools open. They cite the lack of a specific plan for the Hoover land as problematic, and they question whether the progress of the Facilities Master Plan is truly contingent upon the Hoover closure. They question whether it is fiscally responsible to destroy much-needed elementary capacity and whether closing a school to save a fraction of a percent of operational costs is a wise precedent to set.
To be sure, Hoover’s closure will most directly affect the Hoover attendance zone. And yet, voters throughout the district want to know candidates’ positions on this issue because of what it represents: the need to make decisions informed by — and not in conflict with — deeply held public values, the need to ground such decisions in compelling arguments and credible data, and the need to approach future challenges with a critical and questioning mind.