The Mayor’s Role in Education: Response to Arizona Daily Star 9/4/11 Editorial
Here is my response to the Arizona Daily Star’s September 4, 2011 editorial.
To the Arizona Daily Star Editorial Board:
Good morning! I am writing to thank you for your September 4 editorial. The people of Tucson are well served by your close coverage of our first competitive Mayor’s race in eight years.
I write to offer a response to your concern that I plan on “tackling the education system.” You wrote that, “the mayor of Tucson has no power to fix it.”
As you know, Tucson’s future as an economically viable metro area is rooted in a strong education system. While it is not the Mayor’s job to manage our educational institutions, it would be irresponsible for any Mayor to ignore them.
When I am Mayor, I will work hard to support and improve our educational institutions. In my 180-Day Work Plan, I wrote that, “I intend to meet regularly with Superintendents of all Tucson school districts as well as representatives from local colleges and universities, including the Chancellor of Pima Community College and the President of the University of Arizona, to see how the city can help foster excellence in education – both K-12 and beyond.”
I don’t expect that a Mayor can do much good all by himself. But a collaborative approach can work. In addition to using the bully pulpit of the Mayor’s office to support education, I intend to organize business leaders to make Tucson’s case to the state legislature in support of our schools, colleges and universities. They say you can wring your hands or fix the tractor, and there’s plenty of fixing to do.
Please don’t hesitate to let me know if you’d like to meet to discuss this or any issue in my 180-Day Work Plan in more detail. I know I don’t have all the answers, and am interested in your perspective on how we can move Tucson forward.