David Felton, Board of Education

David Felton is a Republican candidate for the Board of Education and is currently a member of that board. Professionally, he owns an information technology services company. He and his family have lived in Weston since 2001.

In his two years on the Board, he said he is “always trying to advance transparency” by disseminating information on social media about when the Board meets, how it meets, and “how to tune in.”

He said he believes too much discussion occurs in the Board’s executive sessions, and that more about test scores and school safety should be discussed in public.

A problem, he said, is that “the Democrats have a stranglehold on the tri-boards.” [Occasional joint meetings of the boards of Selectmen, Finance, and Education on specific matters are referred to as “tri-board” sessions.]

Mr. Felton said he believes the majority of the Board of Education’s work is done by its chair and the vice chair [members of different political parties], who meet with the superintendent each week, where he believes “decisions are made and conversations held” that he and other members only get information about second hand.

On school security, Mr. Felton said, “I’ve gotten mixed information on what we can discuss outside of executive session.” He said he can find no law prohibiting public discussion of security matters and that the Board “fell short” on having a public conversation about whether to have School Resource Officers (SROs) at each elementary school.

“When we had a discussion about school security, I had the mindset that it would be an all-of-the-above approach, looking at mental health. Why are people showing up with guns and shooting our children? We have to look at how people obtain these guns. What is causing a 21 year-old male to decide to get a gun and kill kids?”

To the question of whether the school district is top heavy, Mr. Felton said, “I don’t know. The question is, if enrollment is declining but our administration headcount is increasing, what is the academic return on investment?”

Mr. Felton said a discussion of renovating school facilities should begin with “a look at how we educate children inside the buildings. Then we can look at changing the brick and mortar.”

He said the town should have started socking away money back in 2017, when a study showed $38 million was needed just to renovate Weston Middle School and millions more were needed to address needs at other schools.

In terms of goals, Mr. Felton said Weston should “be known as academically challenging, taking the bare minimum standards set by the state and pushing our kids.” He also said he has been “a real proponent of trying to get vocational programs back in Weston.”

Regarding a reported decline in test scores, Mr. Felton said, “I think part of the problem in Weston is we have high turnover on the Board of Ed. I’ve been on the Board just over two years. It takes more than two years to see data that you can hold people accountable to.”

“Test scores were in decline before I was on the Board,” he said. “I think it’s hard to pinpoint the exact reason because of a lack on continuity. As sad as it sounds, I’m the most senior person on the Board. I’m the guy with the most institutional knowledge. That’s insane.”

“I do love being part of the Board of Education,” said Mr. Felton, “as much as at times I feel marginalized.”

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