Thursday, September 06, 2007

I am a candidate for school board

In our small local school district (5,000+ students), a "Citizens Committee" PAC forms every 2 years to search for, endorse, and support candidates for school board. It got a late start this year, but I joined the candidate search committee in the beginning of July, was asked to resign and stand as a candidate and, six weeks later, was an endorsed, official candidate running unopposed for office.

So effective January 1 I will be a school board member. I got a mailing from my state school board association with some helpful reminders:

"A school board sets educational goals and establishes policy for the school system based upon state laws and community values. Perhaps the most important responsibility of a school board is to employ a superintendent and to hold him or her responsible for managing the schools in accordance with the school board's policies."

Another important role: "School board members help build public support and understanding of public education, and lead the public in demanding quality education. The school board serves as a link between schools and the public." I like the formulation that "the board is a policy-making body and members are the chief advisors to the superintendent on community attitudes. Board members do not manage the day-to-day operations of a school district; they see to it that the system is managed well by professionals."

I think that's all right. I am looking forward to this opportunity to serve, but have no illusions that it will be easy. But I'm going to do my best.