Arlington School Superintendent Larry Cuban yesterday accused newly installed County Board Chairman Walter L. Frankland of making reckless and inaccurate statements about the county school system motivated by a personal vendetta against Cuban.
"To Mr. Frankland, the facts are the enemy of truth," said Cuban. "He continues to make inaccurate statements, and worse, he maligns an entire school staff when his real target is the superintendent."
Cuban was reacting to remarks Frankland made Tuesday when he assumed the chairmanship of the County Board, Arlington's governing body. Before courthouse audience of 75, including School Board Chairman Ann Broder, Frankland said the quality of education in Arlington schools was deteriorating at the same time that the cost per pupil soared.
Frankland also accused school administrators of underemphasizing academic achievement, and said "leadership from the school administration is not evident."
"All I'm doing is reflecting the complaints I've received from parents, teachers and administrators," Frankland said yesterday. "I just don't see any reason to let them [school board members] think things are satisfactory when they're not.
Cuban and Frankland have been adversaries since 1975 when they fought over the controversial transfer of then Washington-Lee High School Principal O. U. Johansen to an administrative post. After Johansen filed suit, Cuban and other school officials testified in court that the real reason for the transfer was Johansen's alleged incompetence and inability to deal with minority faculty and students, although the officials had previously given other reasons.
Frankland was one of the leaders of organized opposition to Johansen's transfer, and also a Republican-endorsed candidate for a County Board seat. He won the election, but could gain Johansen only a one-year extention as principal. Last year, Frankland appointed Johansen to fill a vacancy on the school board.
"Mr. Frankland's peculiar, personal vendetta goes back five years," Cuban said yesterday. "Mr. Frankland has defined himself as a critic of public schools. Any person who is dissatisfied can go to Mr. Frankland and in a shool system this size you have to expect some grievances. But he has elevated complaints into a federal crime and then hurls it like a thunderbolt at the entire school system."
Cuban, who was appointed by a school board backed by the independent Arlington for a Better County coalition in 1974 ad now receives a salary of $48,508 a year, conceded yesterday that it would be unlikely that the school board, which will be dominated by Republican backed members when his term expires in 1981, will reappoint him. He also admitted he has received several job offers, but said he has refused all of them.