Local school board members are dedicated citizens who carry out the truest form of representative government - volunteer public service. School board service is perhaps the purest expression of grassroots democratic principles upon which our nation was founded.
In these challenging times, school board members are called on to be the policy makers for our school district and are often called upon to make tough decisions. The week of Jan. 27-Feb. 1 has been declared School Board Recognition Week by the Missouri School Boards Association. It's a time for educators and citizens across the state to salute these unpaid volunteers who serve public education on behalf of their communities. It seems fitting that at least once a year we thank them for their time and dedication.
Being an effective school board member is no easy task. Lay school leaders need to be knowledgeable about many complex educational and social issues. Board members govern individual school districts, establish local policies, approve educational programs, provide necessary physical facilities, hire the superintendent and share in costs by raising necessary local funds along with state funds to operate district educational programs.
School board members' service ensures that decisions about our public schools are made as close to the needs of our children and communities as possible. Further, our local board members serve as examples for our young people of the excellent tradition of volunteering that is a hallmark of our society.
School board members face challenges every day. For their untiring personal dedication and commitment to public service, let's give our school board members a hand.