For many, the sale of Lincoln School in Davenport for $30,000 instead of $290,000 sent a message that the school district must not need money that much. If you can sell a shuttered school to a non-profit for a fraction of the list price rather than accepting another offer that would have spurned a multi-million dollar development then how can you ask taxpayers for increases later? Especially when the offer you accepted went to a tax-exempt entity rather than one that would have generated tax dollars annually for the school district through property taxes on the new housing.
Yesterday, the Davenport Education Association held a press conference to announce the school board candidates they are endorsing in the next election. The union is backing two newcomers and two incumbents, and the incumbents are two people that supported acceptance of the $30,000 offer. One of those board members - Linda Hayes - is employed by the church that is buying it. The other - Dan Gosa - said he would "take $1 for it (the school) if it would help a community..."
Hayes added "money doesn't fix everything" before abstaining from the vote, since voting would have been a conflict of interest. The public does not yet know whether or not Hayes abstained from discussions about the sale during closed door meetings because the district so far has refused to release audio recordings from those meetings.
I would think that if you are a teacher - in Davenport or elsewhere - the LAST thing you want to endorse is the idea that "money doesn't fix everything" and that it is okay for the school board to leave money on the table when the district you work for is making serious cuts to staff because its in a challenging financial situation.
Would the additional $260,000 solve all the district's financial woes? Definitely not, but accepting the best offer sends the message that every dollar matters and endorsing two candidates that can't grasp that concept is a real head-scratcher.