By DANIEL HERATY
DEARBORN – A candidate with years of area school board experience could soon win a seat on Michigan Association of School Boards Board of Directors.
Members of the Dearborn Board of Education voted for Romulus resident Robert McLachlan for the position at its regular meeting Aug. 22.
A member of the Westwood Community School District in Dearborn Heights from 1985 to 1993, McLachlan currently serves on MASB’s Government Relations Committee, which votes on legislation.
“I just want to serve the association that served me,” he said. “I found MASB to be a very welcoming organization.”
McLachlan is one of three candidates for a three-year term at the position. He is running against current Board of Directors Representative Donald Hubler and Southgate Community School District Board member Darlene Pomponio.
The ballots, submitted to every State school district, will be collected by Sept. 7. The results of the election will be announced at the MASB Board of Directors meeting Sept. 16 in Lansing.
McLachlan said he plans to make no changes to the organization, but would like to see a different approach for charter schools, which were created after Proposal A was approved by voters in 1994, allowing for changes to school funding and educational reform.
“I would like to see the association and the electorate take more of an aggressive action to change the way schools are funded,” he said. “The whole agenda to lift the cap on charter schools would destroy the education system.”
He said he opposes that charter school system because they are not “on the same playing field” as public schools.
“They have lower operating costs, quite often they’re for profit,” he said. “Charter schools also have the flexibility to pick and choose the students. Public schools can’t do that.”
U.S. Rep. John Dingell (D-Dearborn) offered his support for Dingell in a statement via email.
“Everyone in Michigan should be delighted to have Robert McLachlan support public school education in Southeast Michigan on the MASB Board of Directors, particularly at this difficult time, of tight education budgets,” Dingell said. “I appreciate his advocacy to protect public funding of education and I am confident that he will [be] a strong and honorable representative for Southeast Michigan.”
McLachlan has been married for 23 years to his wife, Theresa. The couple has two adult children.
(Daniel Heraty can be reached at [email protected])