School Board Elections & Budget
Votes Need Much More Participation
Of all the matters that community members become involved in, and vote on, School Board Elections and School Budgets generally have a relatively narrow range of the kinds of voters who actually show up, and schools therefore often miss the perspectives of many in the community. Parents vote, teachers vote school employees and political operatives vote. Much of the outrageous costs these days is not local, but lies in the priorities voted on at the state level: unfunded mandates, free childcare, free preschool, free college…. and pension for all the employees pile up until we now vote on board budgets in the millions, often without thorough understanding. How to combat these outrageous costs? Whether it can change a school board choice or not, or approve or turn down a budget, other community members can and should participate, at least to their maximum ability. So, go to meetings, learn about the curriculum and what the expenses are for the many things that go into schooling (whether busing, teacher hiring, new programs, safety or cafeteria food). At least you will have a chance to vote for the board member that will best represent you, and those with other perspectives will have the chance to hear yours. If enough with other perspectives participate at least some of it will sink in. And you will have the satisfaction of at least having spoken your mind.
And “Yes”, a good teacher or professor, or child care person can make all the difference in a young individual’s life. But the chances that those “helpers along the way of life” will be extraordinarily good influences will grow dramatically depending on who helps the entire system grow in a healthy way. It can’t get better in the way you want it to unless you participate. A tree only grows beautiful if it is watered and well-nourished. Even if it is not healthy every little bit helps.