The expression that “all politics is local” (Tip O’Neil- former speaker of the US House) rings so true now that the school budget vote is upon us in New York State. The yearly exercise of the franchise is one of the greatest features in American Federal Democracy. In America, the 10th amendment of the Bill of Rights returns to the states powers not reserved to the federal government or denied to the states. Education falls under this provision. In New York State, the final say of power within the local school district are the voters. Today, school budgets were put up to vote. Candidates for the local school board sought election to a mostly volunteer position of public service. The civic duty of voting during a school budget election, or for Board of Education representatives is critical to how a school district enacts education within its boundaries.
I wanted to take this moment and thank school board members, both past and present, for the service that they have rendered in local communities across the state. From the smallest district of Raquette Lake, to the largest districts of the BIG 5, many hours are spent trying to make sure budgets are crafted correctly, the best teachers are hired, and the greatest number of children have the best education possible. While there is a ways to go in many places, the passion of BOE members is palpable.
If you are interested, there are a wide variety of resources available on the jobs of a BOE member. The New York State School Boards Association (NYSSBA) has a website devoted to the calling of School Board member. Dr. John Sipple has developed a wealth of resources for citizens and school board members at the New York State Center for Rural Schools If you are interested more, please go to their sites.