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Why School Boards?
Five Reasons for Local Control of Public Education


At our Delegate Assembly on Saturday, January 11th, I had the pleasure of addressing the Assembly, and emphasizing to our members on how critical their roles are as locally elected school board members. Here is a summary of what I said:

Are school boards necessary?

Should the present governance structure of our nation's public schools remain in place?

The answer, in my humble opinion, is unequivocally, yes.

Significantly, no one questions why planning boards, municipal governments, and state legislatures exist. And yet, some people advocate turning over control of school governance to those same bodies, saying we should let someone else take charge of our children's future.

School boards, elected by their communities, represent the community's beliefs and values. Who better than these community representatives to shoulder the responsibility for preparing children to live productive and satisfying lives?

Consider these five reasons that a school board, which represents a community's beliefs and values, should be the decision maker in today's schools:
  1. School boards look out for our children- first and foremost. Education is not a line item in a school board's budget- it's the ONLY item.
  2. chool boards are the advocates for the community when decisions are made about the children's education. The school board represents the public's voice in public education, providing citizen governance for what the public schools need and what the community wants.
  3. The school board, in collaboration with its administration and state guidelines, sets the standards for achievement in the local school district district, incorporating the community's view of what students should know and be able to do at each grade level.
  4. School boards are accessible and accountable for the performance of the schools in each district. Can anyone imagine a more accessible and accountable elected body than a local school board?
  5. School boards are the community's education watchdog, ensuring that taxpayers get the most for their tax dollars.
Given all of the above, can anyone seriously ask why school boards are necessary?

School boards should be proud of what they do. They commit every day to make sure that the students in their districts are provided the very best education that is possible. There is no higher calling, or more serious responsibility.



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