The New Hampshire Union Leader endorses the following candidates for Manchester Board of School Committee:
Ward 3: Chris Stewart. When it comes to city school funding, Ward 3 incumbent school board member Chris Stewart understands the real problems. Excessive employee benefits are a “fiscal cancer,” he shrewdly observes, and he has opposed draining reserves. He has pushed for better contracts, more efficient spending and needed curricula reforms. But his effectiveness as a school board member stems not just from his analyses. He plays well with others and works to build coalitions to get things done. He is an asset on the board and should be re-elected.
Ward 6: Robyn Dunphy. One of the issues we have brought up for years is the board’s dearth of long-term planning. Dunphy is campaigning on the need for better planning and vision at the board level. She sees the flaws in lurching from budget to budget. She is a former teacher who does not believe that more spending always equals better results. With Dunphy on the board, maybe the district can finally start to develop a long-term vision.
Ward 7: Ross Terrio. A former Republican state representative who has run for school board before, Terrio could make a positive difference if elected. He decries the personal attacks that have come to characterize so much of the dysfunctional board, and he wants to craft frugal budgets that direct scarce resources to their most productive uses.
Ward 9: Gail Barry. Barry, who favors the city spending cap, would find more money by cutting non-essentials such as school board member health benefits and by negotiating more reasonable contracts with teachers. A former Republican state representative, she also sees the need to bring more civility to the board, which is more than can be said for her opponent. She wants to make the board more responsive to parents, which is a big issue and would be a much-needed reform.
Ward 11: Christine Duffley. Duffley is the mother of two special-needs kids, one of whom is blind (and adopted). She has some unique insights into the school system, but more than that she takes a very cautious and analytical approach to school issues. She is not one who will quickly jump on any bandwagon. We expect that she would provide some thoughtful and positive leadership on all issues.