Just What Should We Look for in Schoolboard Candidates?
The ISD’s throughout Texas and across the country have worked hard to grow their empires. Sources of Education funding ( State, Federal, and local funding) comes to the ISD administration. The small committee of people are tasked with the creation and management of budgets for the respective district. What has occurred through the years is the administration has grown, along with the budget required by the ISD. One could argue there are so many students representing a diverse population both economically and cultually, it is a direct impact on the needs of the community. This point of view is not standing up to scrutiny in the majority of the ISD’s in Texas nor in other states.
We have gone toward an education system where people from prestigious colleges and posessing high visibility in community organizations rule. These people determine how taxpayer dollars will be used in the district. I am not disparaging their qualifications, only to say that the qualifications do not inherently mean they have common sense nor the experience required for a job managing millions of dollars and thousands of students. People in those school districts pay exorbitant amounts of money in school taxes. There is a duty to provide good stewardship of funds and programs to the entire community.
Money does not guarantee a person will excel beyond their wildest dreams. There have been a lot of studies that show when students have it too easy, they don’t necessarily become good citizens. These people continue to expect everyone in society to contribute to their quality of life. A good case in point, is the highly educated people of privilege who brought down Enron. The people making the trade decisions and influencing poor accounting policies were from elite households and had the finest educations. One might also point out without relevant experience, people easily get into trouble on big projects. A good example of the result of lack of experience is the President of the United States.
What are the ISD’s doing to build character within the school community? Is it building character to squander money in the ISD? Are we teaching the children all things are possible with other people’s money? There is no way anyone can convince me that schools should cost in the tens of millions of dollars and be “architectural gem” to provide good educations. Are you getting bids? Are you making smart choices on bond money?
Sadly, the school administrations are not doing a good job. I would suggest the school boards need to be made up of people with varying backgrounds and expertise to counter balance each other and provide well-rounded solutions based on a total approach. There should be a person who truly understands budgets and school financing, a teacher who understands political trickery at schoolboard level, a person who is able to see both sides of an issue and bring good solutions to the table, a person who has experience in IT inclusive of emerging technologies, a person well-versed in state textbook curriculem, a person who possesses knowledge of buildings and structure, and a leader who can facilitate.
The school superintendent should look over the management of teachers and receive the guidance from the School Board. This should be his only job. Simple is better for all concerned, rather than a manifestation of grandiose ideas at the expense of everyone in the community.
Looking into the expenditures of the various school systems in our state, has been eye opening, frustrating, and points to something that has evolved over years of the community not paying attention. The evolution of a corrupt, power hungry, expensive school system in Texas did not happen over night. It will take several cycles to strip away the problems, beginning with school board replacements at local and state level.
What can we do? Please send messages on facebook, email, and twitter to remind everyone of the importance of voting. If you have data on the local candidates, share it! The quality or lack thereof in the education system will directly impact future leaders in our country. It is up to the communities to change current school system challenges.