Letter to the Editor: Board has ‘ethical duty’ to act

Community member Jill Fallows Macaluso provides her thoughts on the current state of schooling.

My current role is as an ethics & compliance officer. This experience has taught me that, while ethics and compliance go hand-in-hand, they are not one and the same. Ethics is a much taller order. It’s about doing the right thing, not just following the technical letter of the law, rule or policy.

While schools across the state are safely and fully reopening for in-person learning within CDC and state guidelines, we are operating without a clear plan and with no accountability from the Board of Education. A plan to return to our schools is likely the most significant issue that this board will confront. Yet, the board delegated authority to Dr. Scott McCartney as the sole and final decision maker, and we have witnessed inertia and a lack of transparency as a result.

The board’s position is that decisions regarding increasing in-school learning are operational matters left to Dr. McCartney. However, it is obvious that decisions of this magnitude are policy matters and clearly involve goals and objectives for the district. These decisions require action by the board— the very people we elected to handle these extraordinarily important issues.

Even if this flawed delegation of responsibilities were correct, the board still has an ethical duty to act. The board may not shirk its obligations to the township and pin everything on Dr. McCartney. I can assure you that none of us voted for board members in November with the understanding that they would have no say in the most important decision about our children’s education of our lifetimes.

I respectfully request that each board member personally reflect on their ethical responsibility and have the courage to do the right thing and act now.

Sincerely, 

Jill Fallows Macaluso