Why has Eugene Weekly chosen to drive a narrative that the 4J school board is dysfunctional? Board meetings have been contentious, but dissension and dysfunction are different. In fact, the board has accomplished much that directly benefits students and staff. Some of the most significant accomplishments are thanks to Gordon Lafer — because he listens to kids and educators, does his homework and has gained his colleagues’ votes on issues he’s championed.
Thanks to Lafer, librarians are returning to our elementary schools, everyone working for the district earns at least $18 an hour, construction workers who build and repair our schools have fair benefits, and there are menstrual products in girls’ bathrooms. Lafer wants to see smaller classes and to keep good teachers working at 4J. He’s an advocate for regional equity within the district, and he has ideas that will move 4J forward on these issues. His opponent, no doubt a good person, has far less understanding of our schools and has accepted huge donations from a conservative mega-donor who has lobbied against school funding. Bottom line, we just cannot afford to lose Lafer’s vision, dedication, experience and effective leadership.