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Strengthen your community, vote

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opinion Superior, 54880
Superior Telegram
(715) 395-5002 customer support
Superior Wisconsin 1226 Ogden Ave. Ste. 1 54880

John Ashley

Why is your vote so important in the upcoming school board elections?

The local school board helps make decisions and determines how the community’s children are educated and how tax dollars are spent. Voting for school board members is a simple but powerful way to support student success and strengthen the community.

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School board races often tend to generate little attention. However, the decisions made by school boards often affect virtually every important aspect of local schools from curriculum to athletics, school boundaries to bus schedules, and much more.

The day-to-day responsibilities for running a school district are delegated to the district administrator, but school boards serve an important role in ensuring that a community’s children receive the education they deserve and ensuring taxpayers are well served.

School boards are specifically responsible for:

 • Hiring and evaluating the school district administrator.

• Making the policies and rules necessary to govern the school system.

• Setting the school district budget.

• Setting the annual property tax levy.

•Approving staff contracts.

• Determining student expulsions.

• Approving referendums.

• Buying and selling school property.

What qualities, skills and experience should you look for in a school board candidate?

Here are some questions to consider:

• What is the candidate’s vision and goals for high academic achievement for all students?

• Does the candidate inspire parents and other stakeholders to have confidence in the local public schools?

• Does the candidate understand the school board’s role is about the big picture, setting the direction for the district and providing oversight and accountability rather than day-to-day management?

•Does the candidate focus on a single issue or is he or she concerned about all the issues that come before the board?

• Does the candidate’s approach make it likely that he or she will be able to work effectively with the rest of the board to get things done?

Voting in school board elections is an important civic duty. Local school boards affect the overall quality of the school system now and in the future.

You want the most qualified people elected who are willing to collaborate and work as a team. Learn about your candidates. Understand why they are running for the board and what they hope to accomplish. Weigh your decision carefully and then vote.

John Ashley is director of the Wisconsin Association of School Boards, a nonprofit association of Wisconsin school boards.

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