Giving local education a voice is a good step

We’re excited to hear the Clinton County Economic Partnership Operating Board has recommended to Partnership members that the organization’s bylaws be amended to include adding the superintendent of the Keystone Central School District as a non-voting member of the board.

The proposal includes adding the county planner and solicitor, too.

But strengthening the relationship between the Partnership — the local “Chamber of Commerce” — and the local public school district is overdue.

To put it bluntly, something’s got to change when it comes to the local school district’s image … and performance.

And perhaps that image is about to change as the school board this week begins interviewing candidates for superintendent.

Among the Partnership’s many key goals, tasks, responsibilities and activities, we believe, is helping to insure a strong local public education system so graduates have opportunity to become employees of and ultimately leaders in the local business community.

It makes a lot of sense.

That’s why a lot of chambers of commerce include phrases like this in their mission statements: “participate in the educational delivery system … as it relates to the economic vitality of the area.”

You’ll also see wording on holding joint career or job fairs with local schools, encouraging and organizing talks by local business leaders to students, fostering local business leaders’ tours of Career and Technology Education programs, facilitating internships for local students at local businesses, building relationships with career guidance counselors, even hosting roundtable discussions among business leaders and educators to help fashion curriculum.

Keystone Central School District needs this kind of collaboration now more than ever.

The Partnership does include the word “education” in its Chamber of Commerce page on its website at

It reads, “The Clinton County Economic Partnership continues the Chamber tradition by providing meaningful and informative programs and networking opportunities to its membership. We connect businesses and community through leadership, advocacy, and education. The Chamber Committee is dedicated to serving the business community by hosting many Chamber-related events. Our events and programs are designed to build a stronger relationship between our members and the community.”

We’re sure the Partnership board has its reasons for recommending the public school superintendent have a non-voting role on the board, even while the local university’s representative has a voting role.

Perhaps that’s a discussion for another time.

For now, adding the local educational system’s leader to the Partnership Operating Board is a great first step.

If local public schools are to get better, it will take the village to be a part.

It does take a village to raise a child.