Statement regarding NAACP Litigation Settlement

Statement regarding NAACP Litigation Settlement

Statement of Leonard Presberg regarding settlement of the NAACP lawsuit by seeking from the court an order to elect members of the Board by district rather from the county at large, Fayette County Board of Education Meeting on Jan 9:

Tonight the board has the opportunity to take the historic step toward reconciliation. Through our action tonight we reaffirm the concept that each and every voter should be able to elect a representative that is accessible and accountable to the district they represent.

Each of our districts vary greatly in demographics, density, commercial activity, number of schools, and a variety of other factors. Each and every voter in our County should have the right and ability to elect a School Board Member that is a member of their own community and is aware of their unique local concerns.

The fact is that the at-large voting method used for our elections is most likely against the law. Not only would it be a huge waste of money for our cash strapped system to fight this lawsuit, but it is one that I do not believe we would win. But the fact that we cannot win only underscores the point: settling this lawsuit and moving to a district voting system is the right thing to do. For too long too many of our citizens have felt disenfranchised.

I am proud to be able to make this motion and vote for this settlement. This day has been a long time coming and we reach it only though the hard work of a lot of concerned and dedicated citizens. This has been a divisive issue in our county for far too long.

We need to move forward, together and united, to deal with the very real issues of finances and capacity that face our district. We need to move forward, together and united, to make sure our system is teaching the 21st Century and Technology skills that will benefit all of our children. We need to move forward, together and united, to continue to push the Fayette County School System towards not just maintaining one of the best systems in the state, but becoming one of the best school systems in the country.

I urge all of my fellow board members to join me in voting for this motion.

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