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Daily News Editorial

By Staff | May 14, 2008

This is National School Board Week, a good time to thank those dedicated people who spend long hours taking a lot of grief for matters over which they have little or no control.

Let’s face it. School board members are dealt a rough hand. They are criticized for schools taking the lion’s share of county budgets. At the same time, a good portion of those budgets is mandated by the state and federal government.

They’re continually caught in the middle of personnel issues. And, with dwindling rural populations, they’re tasked with improving education with fewer tax dollars.

Often, particularly in smaller communities, they find themselves forced to consolidate with another school district out of necessity for mutual survival. At that point, their job actually becomes disbanding their school district, something that evokes resentment from people who want to keep things as they always have been.

And then they face the criticism that “the school that’s there now was good enough for me when I was a kid”. In all actuality, the person saying that could be a grandfather who attended the school when it was new.

So with all the trials and tribulations, why on earth would anyone want to serve on a school board?

The fact is that school board members are dedicated to improving education for their and their neighbors’ children and at the same time be responsible to taxpayers. It’s a seemingly impossible balancing act that citizen volunteers continually perform year after year.

If you feel you have what it takes, consider serving on a school board yourself. It takes dedication, time, and commitment, all without pay but when you see those kindergartners or first-year teachers coming eagerly into the front door, you’ll know it’s all worth it.