First and foremost, our schools in NW Iowa are excellent! Our schools in Iowa are good and I know we can bring them back to the heyday of Iowa education and once again reclaim the number 1 education system in the nation. Right now, our state hovers around 23rd to 33rd in the nation depending on the ranking system that you look at. That is not what Iowan’s expect or deserve.
Part of the equation in getting our schools back to being national leaders in education is to select good school board members to fill the school boards. For years, school board elections have been thrown to the category of not important by the average voter and it turns out they are vitally important.
Some school boards in the state and in the nation have gone away from focusing on educating our children to focusing on progressive issues. Parents have said enough is enough as can be evidenced in elections and in laws being passed across the country. A good example is Virginia where a governor’s race was decided by school issues. We need our school boards to focus on educating our children, keeping parents front and center, providing for good strong budgeting, and in maintaining a safe environment for our children to learn in.
School board elections are important because they determine the policies and direction of the local school district. The school board is responsible for making decisions about the curriculum, budget, and other important matters that affect students, teachers, and parents. The outcome of these elections can have a significant impact on the quality of education provided to students.
One school board that I have experience with, the Spirit Lake School District, exemplifies what a good school board should be doing. They have an unspent balance of 4.4 million dollars, while at the same time the teachers pay is in the top 15% of the state. They are a leader in what schools should be doing and that is educating students. They do this with technology, a J-Term Project Based Learning, 21st Century Skills Teaching and many other ways. The district’s students score higher than the state average in math and language standardized testing, and the graduation rates are higher than the state average.
All these things that are happening in Spirit Lake Schools is happening across NW Iowa in other school districts just like Spirit Lake. School boards are the heart of great schools, and we have some of the best that are filled with board members who care about kids and that the kids are educated to the best of the school’s ability.
That can change if school board members are elected who would rather focus on progressive issues. Let’s keep the focus on educating our kids because it is what we do the best here in NW Iowa. I implore each eligible voter to vote on November 7th for the local school board races and while you are at it vote for city council, mayors, and other ballot issues. Find out about the candidates to all these races and make an informed decision as to who you are going to vote for.
Here in Iowa, school board elections start on October 18 with early voting and election day is the same as city elections, November 7th.