Diamonds to the teacher union and the Dallas School Board in deciding to drop ill-advised legal dueling and get back to the negotiating table today. This bitter battle has gone on long enough, and done enough damage to the educational continuity of district students. A county judge ordered daily negotiations, and the board appealed the order, arguing it was hard to get the same five members at each session. Fair enough, but talking resolves disputes, court filings do not. The decision to drop the appeal coupled with the union dropping a request for a contempt of court ruling against the district paved the way for a needed return to the table
Coal to the many people using the newest technology to play the oldest, and one of the meanest, crimes on the unsuspecting: digital scams and theft. As Jennifer Learn-Andes showed in a two-part series last Sunday and Monday, the bag of tricks used by these people is deep and diverse, the damage that can be done dangerous and even at times irreversible. Cyber threats have been around as long as computers have been online, but it seems as a nation we remain too slow in realizing the full potential and the need for better efforts to protect the public.
Diamonds to Diocese of Scranton Bishop Joseph Bambera for consistently voicing cooperation with the state Attorney General’s Office as it moves to release a grand jury report on priest sex abuse statewide. Most recently, Bambera promised the diocese will release the names of all credibly accused people named in the report, which has been tied up with court challenges. A judge ruled that a version of the report with some names blacked out can be made public, but Bambera promised to release all accused individuals when the report is released. This scandal has tainted the Church, nationally and locally, for years, and the best way to restore trust is to embrace transparency. Bambera took a good step in that direction.
Coal to Crestwood School District for what appears to be a botched opportunity to continue providing pre-kindergarten services with the cost carried by the state. It’s complicated, because last year’s program came about thanks a bit of luck: Tunkhannock Area School District only used half of a Pre-K Counts grant won through application with the Luzerne Intermediate Unit, and the state said OK to the transferring the money to Crestwood. Superintendent Joseph Gorham said Crestwood opted to apply for a new grant this year on it’s own because that could increase the amount rewarded, and that argument as merit. How the district thought it could win a grant this year but failed has some merit. But it seems pretty clear that applying through the LIU would have greatly increased the odds of winning a grant simply because the state favors agencies with a track record that the LIU provided. Increasing the odds of winning the grant to help underprivileged students should have had higher priority than increasing the chance of getting more money.