If there is any question that the Community Schools Ownership Initiative has become a de facto political party or political action committee, one has only to read the campaign announcement of Region 3's most recent write-in candidate.
One only has to consider Michael Zamborik's answer to the question about why he didn't attend a candidates' forum sponsored by the One County For Education group: "I was told that I did not have to because it originates by the green group (One County for Education.)" and "it was best not to go." When asked who told him, he said a leader of the CSOI.
That's fine. There is nothing wrong with working within the political system to affect change; and political organization is not a sin as long as it stays within the boundaries of the law.
But, what does it say about the next school board or future school boards in Warren County?
If the overriding impetus for running for school board is to pave the way for a significant portion of the school district to effectively secede through the establishment of a charter school, then what would these candidates see as their role on the board beyond the secession?
If their primary concern is the charter school, that makes their concern for the balance of the county secondary at best, apathetic at worst. And one wonders, will Mr. Zamborik be taking his cues from his handlers at the CSOI during his entire tenure as a school board member or only until the charter is safely secured?
One could argue that under the current organization of the Warren County School District - dividing board membership evenly among three regions - it is reasonable for the representatives of those regions to do the bidding of their "constituents" primarily. It's a good argument.
And yet, in government, even a government as small as the WCSD, there is important work to be done for the whole. We hope that the "charter candidates" will simply announce their support for the charter school initiative and then tell us what they plan to improve the educational opportunities for the rest of Warren County, because, up to now, they haven't.
The WCSD is not a confederation of three individual districts. One can imagine the chaos and impotence of a Congress where representatives eschew the national interest, but simply tend to their own districts. The same is true on a smaller scale here.