A few Jeffco residents have recently written that they feel Superintendent Dan McMinimee's departure is a loss to Jeffco Schools. However, as a parent of two Jeffco students who would have been negatively affected by the cuts in McMinimee's recent budget proposal, I strongly disagree.
Originally, I too thought that although McMinimee's performance had been average at best, the board should consider a one-year contract with much higher expectations. But then just a few weeks later, McMinimee plunged 17 elementary school communities into chaos after suggesting that some should be closed and others would be reconfigured to K-5, 6-8 schools in a mere seven months. His recommendations were announced only days before the deadline for the first round of choice enrollment, and well after all the school information nights.
On top of that, he also suggested cutting multiple programs and resources that directly affect the classroom, despite the Jeffco School Board members' specific request that any budget proposal keep cuts away from the classroom. Hundreds of families at those schools scrambled to find out what those cuts would mean and whether they would suddenly be forced to make unplanned enrollment decisions.
And then, after we'd written letters, held school meetings, worried about how our students could be hurt, and after hours of public comment at the board meeting, McMinimee turns around and informs the board that - surprise! - the district can use retirement savings and doesn't need to make all those cuts after all. How can anyone still think McMinimee's departure is a loss after that show of utter incompetence?
I'm excited about the superintendent search and look forward to a dynamic leader who is much better equipped to address the achievements and challenges in our Jeffco Schools.