October 20, 2014

Why Do School Board Elections Matter?


As the November elections quickly approach, many are contemplating whether to take the time to vote. Some predict it will be a low voter turn out since, in many communities, there are no high-profile elections. School board elections should be considered high profile elections.

The major responsibility of a school board is to hire the superintendent, then work together to oversee the school corporation operations that include budget, personnel management, facility planning, and establishing policy for a variety of issues. 

A good school board can have a significant, positive impact on the education and future of the children in your community. The overall quality of our public schools depends on your school board and the decisions that they make about how children are educated and how tax dollars are spent. The future of public schools is at a crossroads because of the variety of views on ways to reform the public system to make sure our children are prepared for their futures.  It is up to all of us to know and understand what each school board member believes and supports. 

It is imperative that the school board candidate wants to serve the community.  It is a time-consuming and sometimes controversial role.  Candidates choose to run for the school board for diverse reasons; some for the best interest of the children, some for personal issues the candidate wants to address.  No matter the reasons, once elected, school board members serve as a board to make those vital decisions. A school board that is unwilling to collaborate for the best interest of students can cause much turmoil in the already unstable world of public education.

As you learn more about each of the candidates, some considerations might include:

  • Does the candidate focus on one or two issues or on a broad range of topics?
  • Will the candidate be willing to work well with other board members to accomplish important tasks?
  • Does the candidate seem to understand that the role of the board is to provide oversight and accountability – not micro-manage the day-to-day operations?

Our local school board elections are a great opportunity for us as individuals to express our views on educational issues by voting for the candidate that best aligns with those views. Voting for your school board is a powerful way to support your children and community.  Your voice in the local education decision-making process matters – it is up to all of us to vote on Nov. 4.

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