STAND UP 4 PUBLIC SCHOOLS: SAY THANKS TO YOUR LOCAL SCHOOL BOARD
November 15 will mark the sixth official statewide observance of School Board Members Day in Illinois. This is the community’s opportunity to say ‘thank you’ to your local board of education and honor their commitment and dedication to providing a local voice for your education decisions.
When it comes to public service school board members are some of the most selfless volunteers around. They are your neighbors, friends, coworkers, parents and everything in between, but they are also the front-line advocates fighting for quality education opportunities for every child. They serve without the expectation of a paycheck in a position that requires long hours and continuous dedication to the betterment of the community.
Everyone knows that school board members attend meetings, but those hours represent just a fraction of the actual time that they devote to being an educational leader for the district. They also attend extracurricular events to support schools. They participate in professional development opportunities to learn how to be better board members and gain insight into new educational ideas and policies. And often they are involved in other community events, representing themselves, their community and their district. Many of these activities take them away from time that could be spent with their own family.
More than any other public servant, school board members must listen to the voices of their community and then craft a vision, mission and goals for their district to accurately reflect the desires and objectives expressed by those voices. They must guard two of the community’s most precious resources — their children and their tax dollars — while working to create the best educational environment possible with the resources available.
Too often outside groups and antagonists are quick to criticize school board members without knowing all the details that went into the decision making process. As a result, the efforts of the local board of education often go unrecognized and unrewarded. But the fact is communities flourish when educational opportunities are robust, and school board members champion that cause on a daily basis.
November 15, 2014, has been designated as School Board Members Day in Illinois. Help us join with others from throughout Illinois to stand up for our local school board members, while they are standing up for public schools.