Kelly Byrne

Vote April 5th

2022 Springfield Public Schools Board of Education Candidate

Stronger schools. Stronger kids. Stronger community.

Please help me to bring a fresh perspective to the Springfield Public Schools Board of Education by supporting my candidacy and voting in the April 5, 2022 election where you will get to choose 2 new members to join the 7 member board.

I’m a father of two children in the SPS district, a fourth grader and a first grader. My wife is a local Realtor and I am the Managing Partner of a local business, Say You Can, which invests in and develops real estate locally and nationally. I graduated from Kickapoo in 2003, where I was a key member of the boys basketball class 5A state championship team and I received academic all-state honors. I’ve grown up in Springfield, attended Springfield Public Schools, invested heavily in this community and now help guide my children through their Springfield Public School Education.

I believe our public schools can be better, and I believe my perspective as a self-made businessman will play a key role as one of 7 members on the board of education.

The board is elected by the voters of the school district as a system of checks and balances to oversee an administration that is not elected. The board has been failing for years at fulfilling this responsibility, and has instead chosen to be cheerleaders for the administration without questioning its direction.

I will not only fill a chair. I will fulfill my responsibilities to provide oversight of an administration that is not elected. I am beholden to no one other than the voters of the school district, and I will never shy away from difficult discussions or conversations.

Here’s a few things I believe we could be doing better:

In March of 2020, the board voted “To support the Superintendent’s decisions for the district, without deliberation and precedent…” Essentially the board ceded its powers to the superintendent due to the nature of the Covid-19 pandemic as an emergency measure. They STILL have not rescinded this resolution. It took until late in 2021 for removing this resolution to even come to a vote, at which time it was voted down 4-2. Any power I would have as a board member would not be mine to give away to an unelected administration. The power is the voters’ and it’s loaned to me as a board member. I never would have supported this resolution and I will work to immediately put it on the agenda for a new vote, and I will vote to rescind it.

Virtual schooling was a mess. Kids fell behind and we are now seeing the results from that wasted year. I will make sure we don’t repeat our mistakes.

Textbooks have disappeared from our classrooms, and have been replaced by a patchwork of online curriculum. Parents and kids need a guide for what is to be taught in the classroom. Let’s bring the books back.

Teach our kids how to think, not what to think. Provide our kids with the tools necessary to execute critical thinking skills. Get the politics out of the classroom and provide a rigorous education for all kids.

The board and administration can listen better. Speakers at meetings have recently been limited heavily and the board policy is such that they will not respond to speakers. I want more communication, not less, and it needs to be two-way.

Transportation has been a mess. Our start and end times for many schools are unreasonable and after we were told that was the sacrifice we needed to make to provide more service to more kids, we are now providing less service than ever.

Stop marginalizing parents and teachers to be replaced by technology and an ever-growing administration. In terms of educating kids, parents and guardians come first, then teachers, then the administration, then technology, and finally buildings. Let’s stop mixing up our priorities.

The voters passed essentially a blank check in the form of the last bond for improving many buildings across the district. Now that they’ve run through that there will be another bond requested in my 3 year term. I believe buildings don’t educate our kids. Many of our brightest kids are in some of our worst classrooms such as Central and Rountree. Fancy buildings don’t educate our kids. I believe my experience in business and specifically in real estate development uniquely qualifies me to provide the necessary oversight over future capital improvement budgets.

paid for by Kelly Byrne for school board, Tyler Creach treasurer