Issues News WLAIC

WLWV School District: Long Range Planning Committee needs reviewing

Public Statement from WLAIC

The WLWV School Board recently demanded the resignation of Doris Wehler due to appalling, racist comments she made in a recent podcast.  Ms. Wehler was as long-time member of the District’s Long Range Planning Committee (LRPC). She expressed no regret and claims the support of other LRPC members.  The LRPC has significant influence over the District’s education framework, and the views expressed by Ms. Wehler are antithetical to the stated long-term goals of the district. If this is truly the “position of other members” then the future education of WLWV students is in jeopardy. 

WLAIC believes the WLWV District School Board should explore whether the LRPC is aligned with the District’s goals and objectives.  We further believe that the Board should address this situation openly, with transparency and accountability, and with robust public input. Long-range planning that is dominated by racist views or financial conflicts of interest poses an existential threat to the school system.

WLAIC believe that it is in the interest of WLWV students that the Long Range Planning Committee’s scope, appointment process, and procedures be examined.  

  • The LRPC has significant influence over the education framework and programs of the District, and the Board relies heavily on their advice.  But the ultimate direction for an educational framework should reflect the vision of the Board not just their advisors. Without faith that the LRPC is acting on behalf of the students, the Board is severely hampered.
  • The LRPC provides bond oversight.  As such, they are overseeing their own plan.  Oversight of major financial decision should be provided a committee with no financial interest in the outcome  
  • Currently and historically, the LRPC has included real estate brokers and investors. This is not a WLWV phenomenon, but a national trend since School Districts decisions have a significant influence on real estate value. The LRPC is privy to and makes recommendations regarding the District’s real estate transactions.  The inclusion of brokers and investors on the Board should be discouraged since the conflicts of interest are clear. If the district purchases land from an LRPC member, without independent review, then by definition the transaction is not at arm’s length.  

The West Linn Alliance for inclusive community urges the School Board to take a comprehensive view of current long-range planning processes and determine if the current system is in the best interest of our students.