It's important that members of a community don't underestimate the significant influence that school board members have on their community. Choosing qualified school board candidates is essential for achieving community goals and progressing as a school district.
School board members need to have an adequate level of knowledge in certain areas to function effectively. The following are seven topics on which members of a local school board need to be adequately informed.
The role of public education in the community
A good school member needs to not only understand the role of public education in the community, but also have an appreciation for the importance and influence of a community's schools.
The educational goals of the community
Communities in different parts of the country may differ in terms of their educational goals and priorities. It helps if school board members have a long history of connection with the particular community that they're serving. This makes them aware of the community's educational goals and also increases the chances that they'll share the same goals and values with their neighbors.
The communication skills needed to work in a team environment
School board members cannot act alone and can only make progress if they work as a team. That's why school board members are most effective when they have past experience working and excelling in a team environment.
The financial capabilities and limitations of the community
Every school board has to work with a budget. School board members must have a good understanding of the budget that their school district is working with so that they can propose projects and changes that are financially realistic.
The educational challenges that the community faces
Different communities face different educational challenges. While some school districts might be working to raise test scores, others might be focused on improving school security and enrollment rates. School board members need to understand the challenges of the school district in which they're working.
The educational resources that are available to the community
School boards are most successful when they make full use of the educational resources that are available to them. It's therefore helpful if school board members understand the benefits offered by local resources such as public libraries, museums, and educational institutions.
The history of the community
School board members are more successful at connecting with others in the community when they are familiar with the local history. School board members should be thoroughly educated in a community's history to more easily relate with the community members they represent.