Making Democracy Work

School Board Project: Become a Voice for Our Children

What's arguably the most important but least valued public service job? Why should we all care about it? Here's the LWV's School Board Project: Become a Voice for Our Children
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Download, read Run for - not from - your local school board. - Brian Hicks, Post and Courier Read, download A Voice for 113,000 Kids by Melinda Hamilton,The Chronicle

The League of Women Voters is deeply concerned about public education and the 113,000 children served by public schools in Berkeley, Charleston, and Dorchester counties. Whatever other educational opportunities there may be, the vast majority of our children depend on public schools. Our children are our country's future.

The League was not surprised but nonetheless disappointed by the recent South Carolina Supreme Court decision on Abbeville.

That decision let the South Carolina legislature off the hook for ameliorating the "corridor of shame" along I-95. These rural and mostly African-American schools cannot improve without a funding formula that ungirds poverty districts.

All the more reason that our local school boards are important and that we must come together as a community to build a strong, informed public advocacy for public education.

We Start with our 2018 School Board Elections

The League has been hard at work on its School Board Project for the best part of a year. The focus on the 2018 school board election is a critical first step to help our children by encouraging the best leaders possible to be candidates for local school boards. The League wants to elevate the conversation around that election and create teams that will help voters understand what is at stake.

Across the three county area served by this League, 14 regular school board seats will be filled as well as 26 constituent school board seats in Charleston County. While the League will not endorse candidates, we will do our best to help them prepare their campaign. We are starting with a training session Saturday, February 24, 10 a.m. until noon, Lonnie Hamilton Public Services Building, 4045 Bridge View Drive, North Charleston 29405.

Scott Price

Scott Price, Executive Director of the South Carolina School Board Association, will be the keynote speaker. We will also cover the fundamentals of becoming a candidate.

The training session is free of charge and open to the community. The League specifically invites people who would consider becoming a school board candidate or working on behalf of a candidate, and those who generally want to engage on behalf of public education.

What Should School Boards Do?

1. First and foremost school boards should look out for students. Education is not a line item on the school board's agenda--it is the only item.
2. When making decisions about school programs, school boards should incorporate their community's view of what students should know and be able to do.
3. School boards should be accessible to the public and accountable for the performance of their schools.
4. School boards should be the education watchdog for their communities, ensuring that students get the best education for the tax dollars spent.