Thanks to Everyday Heroes!
A Lawyer, a Grandmother, and a Track Coach Walk into a …
... school board meeting. No, it’s not a joke – far from it. In fact, community members such as these three are among the 198 school directors across Lancaster and Lebanon counties’ 22 school districts. While their “day jobs” vary widely, school directors share a critical leadership role central to the success of public education in our communities. And these friends, neighbors, and colleagues aren’t in it for the paycheck (there’s not one!). They even run for election every four years to earn the right to carry out this volunteer service.
As the Pennsylvania School Boards Association (PSBA) shares, “It is difficult to imagine a position in the public sector that has a more profound impact on the future, or that is a better example of true volunteer citizen service, than that of school director. However, it is not easy work. Public education is complex, highly regulated, and the demands upon public schools continue to grow. School directors have an important responsibility to ensure that all perspectives are heard and that the policies enacted, budgets adopted and other decisions school boards make properly balance the needs of many constituencies while fulfilling the constitutional mandate to provide an education to all children.”
Given this complexity, supporting school board members is critical, especially as they first dive into the world of school district finances, school law, and educational policy. IU13 proudly serves local school districts by providing newly elected board members (plus any veterans who wish to participate!) with an Orientation for New School Directors each year school board elections are held. This January event assists school directors by providing the opportunity to:
- Interact with veteran school board members – informally and through a panel discussion – and meet other newly elected local school board members.
- Learn about the legal authority of the school board and essential school law concepts.
- Become acquainted with Lancaster-Lebanon IU13’s role and services, including the cost-effective collaborative programs in which districts participate.
As January is School Director Recognition Month, please join us in saying “thanks” to your district’s school board members – new and veteran. Why? School directors volunteer, on average, 20 hours a month to help run the schools in our community. The nine members of your local school board work together to make difficult decisions for the betterment of the students in your school district. They vote on multi-million dollar budgets, hire staff, select textbooks, review bus schedules and curriculum, to name a few.
During this month of recognition we ask you, the school directors’ fellow community members, to show your appreciation for their service. Please show your gratitude in some way for their time, effort, and dedication to public education’s advancement. Thank them for advocating on behalf of our collective interests and making the difficult decisions. Most importantly, thank them for being everyday heroes and making our students’ success their priority.
Learn more about PA school board members from PSBA here ...