On Tuesday, you will have an opportunity to vote for school board members. Are schools less important than jails? Vote as your response.
There is no lack of issues: enrollment growth in most local districts, building and renovating schools, neighborhood school closures, gradual loss of state and federal funding, more state and federal uniform curriculum requirements with necessary associated testing, effective teacher evaluation and a two-decade statewide decline in national normed testing scores.
Kudos to the willing candidates. Boards operate as a body, making decisions accordingly. The effective board member is measured by the ability to interact and contribute to collective decisions; and one who listens and considers carefully his/her vote in the context of the good of the district. School board elections are purposely non-partisan with the candidate’s single most important challenge is to ensure the child’s quality education as a public charge.
School board members who operate as described are truly local heroes and heroines. They receive no pay for endless hours of study, meetings and related work. Since we are frequently divided on decisions rendered on behalf of our children, the board member is regularly under pressure to vote for individual requests.
As a superintendent of schools in Iowa and Illinois for 30 years, now retired, my greatest inspiration was always the privilege of working with these unsung public servants.
Leonard E. Roberts
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