School board: a way to give back

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We’re not saying that anger alone should prompt a resident to run, but it should drive a passion to serve the community and become a part of the decision-making process. Those who are elected with a single-item agenda typically find far less success on a school board than those who are looking to make the best decisions for the community at large.

In addition to creating the budget each year, school board members also set policy for the district, and select the superintendent.

There are typically two Board of Education meetings per month, each of which requires extensive study beforehand. Essentially, trustees have to do almost as much homework as students. They are also expected to be visible at other school functions throughout the year.

It’s a serious time commitment for no pay, but there are also extensive training opportunities to help board members become more informed and more productive. In addition to mandatory workshops on financial oversight and school district governance, organizations like the New York State School Boards Association and the Council of School Superintendents offer workshops and conferences on a variety of topics.

The deadline for filing a petition to run for school board is April 22. Serving as a trustee — even running for a seat — is a great way to give back to your community and really make a difference in the lives of so many people, especially our children.

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