Why Should You Care About Your Local School Board?

Oct 18

Why Should You Care About Your Local School Board?

We have an important election coming up for the Anoka-Hennepin School Board. The Anoka-Hennepin School District is the largest school district in Minnesota, with an annual enrollment of approximately 38,000 students. As a result, school board members serve as leaders not only in Anoka-Hennepin but also statewide.

You might be wondering why you should care about this election? Below is an excellent article that illustrates the importance of school borad elections.

(Reprinted from a My Faith Votes email sent on October 17, 2017)

Why Should You Care About Your Local School Board?

By Ross Izard

I think we often get caught up in the hype of state and national elections. We argue about the relative merits of candidates for president, Congress, and governor - and these are important conversations. But do you realize that you might likely influence your community more directly through your local school board?

While the specific powers and responsibilities of school boards vary by state, a central theme is present: School boards provide an accessible way for parents, taxpayers, and citizens to make their voices heard in education policy, such as school choice, teacher selection, curricular content, and the values that schools uphold and teach to students. These matter, and they have the potential of influencing an entire generation.

While state and federal lawmakers alone have the authority to pass and alter laws, school boards often have significant latitude when it comes to determining policy and procedures at the ground level. In some states, school boards are granted even more authority under state constitutional “local control” clauses.

The authority to determine policy and direction in a school district makes school boards critical governing bodies for anyone interested in education-related issues. A great deal can be accomplished by talking directly to the elected bodies responsible for overseeing the actual operation of school districts themselves.

Your efforts to influence your school board may not make the paper, but could lead to lasting change in your schools and community. Sometimes, these changes have broad and even national implications. For instance, in Douglas County, Colorado, a locally elected school board is currently the key decision-making body in perhaps the most important constitutional debate over parental choice in education in American history. Yes, your involvement does matter!

There are numerous ways to get involved with your local school board. In many cases, board members make themselves directly accessible to members of the community via phone, email, or community meetings. Many others are active on social media. Citizens can also attend school board meetings, which nearly always allow for public comment directly to the board. And, of course, you can impact who sits on your school board by voting.

This fall, over 700 school board seats are up for election, representing over 10% of K-12 kids in America.

Remember, you can’t count on someone else to represent your views. If you aren’t there to speak up, chances are that no one else will—or that someone who believes something different will do so in your stead. So get out there and get involved!

My Faith Votes is a non-partisan movement focused on motivating Christians in America to participate in local and national elections and be active members of society. By partnering with local churches, pastors, and national faith leaders, My Faith Votes mobilizes and equips Christians to lead the conversation on the place of faith in culture and politics.

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