Return home

EDITORIAL: Time to wish new board of education members well

Posted 5/24/22

Last Tuesday, voters across the region went to the polls on Tuesday, overwhelmingly approving school district budgets as well as electing candidates to serve on their local board of education. The …

This item is available in full to subscribers.

EDITORIAL: Time to wish new board of education members well

Posted

Last Tuesday, voters across the region went to the polls on Tuesday, overwhelmingly approving school district budgets as well as electing candidates to serve on their local board of education.

The vast majority of local districts put up budgets for voter approval that fell below the state’s tax cap figure — showing both restraint and fiscal responsibility.

Despite the pressures of inflation and residual impacts of the COVID-19 pandemic, districts appear to be maintaining programs while holding the line on expenses.

Additionally, there were also no shortage of school board candidates willing to put themselves out there for an opportunity to serve their communities.

Serving on a local board of education, regardless the district, is a thankless job. When it comes to education, rural doesn’t mean small. There are no shortage of challenges facing districts large or small.

While some outside observers may focus on one or two meetings a month, the job of a school board member, when done correctly, involves hours and hours of preparation each week — from becoming familiar with literally hundreds of district policies to reviewing lengthy board packets of information each week from district administrators to responding to constituent concerns — the commitment can be daunting.

And the rewards? Money?

Well, there is no monetary reward. All board of education members are volunteers who serve — many for multiple terms and some for decades — simply to try to provide the best education possible for the children of the community.

Prestige?

Perhaps, but in an era where civility often seems in short supply, board of education members often find far too little respect and far too much vitriol — often for circumstances beyond their control.

Service?

While some board members may be influenced to run out of their own experience or spurred by a one or two key interests, we find that, over time, board members realize that there are many pressing, often interconnected, issues.

For those board members whose service is ending, we thank them, whether we agree or occasionally disagree, for their efforts.

For those board members in waiting — as most will start their new terms on or around July 1 — we wish you well as you get acclimated, attend trainings and learn what you can before you get started.

While it is far too soon to make any judgments on the impacts these new board members can or will make, it is not too soon to send our appreciation for seeking out the volunteer office in the first place and to hope they keep students and the communities they serve at the center of their future decision-making processes.

Comments

No comments on this item Please log in to comment by clicking here