LPOSD’s administration and school board are perfect examples of people who live inside a bubble but claim to hold an outsider’s perspective. They listen only to each other and engage in group-think.
It’s the definition of a broken administrative culture, and it’s on display at school board meetings. The superintendent or an administrator propose something, LPOSD insiders agree, often respond with praise, and the board votes unanimously to approve.
School board members are elected to be responsible stewards of public funds, there is not a lot of dissent noticeable in anything the administration proposes. Even if an occasional member expresses doubt about the wisdom of a proposal, ultimately everyone votes for it anyway.
A likely reason is board chairman Steve Youngdahl, who habitually interrupts, curtails or shuts down discussion when it veers in a direction not to his liking. During a recent meeting, viewable on LPOSD’s video, he rudely shut down a female board member twice during her first few words, then terminated the discussion. She never got to speak.
He exhibits condescending behavior toward audience members, becomes argumentative, even refers to them as “the usual suspects”.
The public’s impression is that of a compliant school board that will approve whatever the administration wants, whether it’s huge budgets, high salaries, or another levy.
We can do better. Let’s start with voting down the Delphi-technique job they did in approving this newest levy. It should be replaced with a more fiscally responsible one with actual cuts.
Clark Fork, ID