School Boards

Students on School Boards: Balancing Representation and Fairness – District Dossier

Earlier this week, I published a story for Education Week on the phenomenon of students with real, consequential votes on their local boards of education. 

As part of our exploration of how students experience civics in public school—beyond just their government classes—this story hinges on an imminently logical question: Students are affected by every board decision. So why do they seldom get a say on them? 

While it’s relatively common for students to serve in an advisory capacity, they very rarely get a full board vote. 

My story looked at this issue mainly from a conceptual standpoint. It also profiled

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Few Student Board Members Can Vote. Should That Change?

Senior Ananya Tadikonda, the student member on the Montgomery County, Md., school board, says the pledge of allegiance at the opening of the board’s May 30 meeting.

—Kaitlyn Dolan for Education Week

In the final months of her tenure on the Anne Arundel, Md., board of education, Josie Urrea doubled down on her efforts to dismantle the student ranking system she says promotes too much competition and stress among students.

Urrea’s hard-charging approach on a tough topic belies the fact that she is just 18 years old and one of only a handful of U.S. youths who hold full or

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Los Angeles School Board Takes Stand on Abortion. Should It?

The Los Angeles district’s school board has passed a resolution to “stop the bans” on abortion, an unusual move that prompts several broader questions for the nation’s more than 14,000 school districts: Should boards wade into divisive social issues? And how common is it for them to do so?

The resolution, approved as a special order of business May 21, is a clear rebuke to Alabama lawmakers, who recently passed a law banning nearly all instances of abortion in that state.

“This is an anti-choice movement that will particularly impact women of color and low-income women,” the Los Angeles

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Should School Boards Take Up Abortion, Immigration, and Other Social Issues? – District Dossier

The Los Angeles district’s school board has passed an unusual resolution to “stop the bans” on abortion, thrusting the district directly into the heart of a searing national debate about abortion—an issue the U.S. Supreme Court could choose to address in the near future.

The resolution, passed as a special order of business May 21, is a clear rebuke to Alabama lawmakers, who recently passed a law banning nearly all instances of abortion in that state with no provisions made for victims of rape or incest, and to other states that have moved to curb abortion.

“This is an

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Superintendents Under Fire: The Tricky Calculus of When to Quit

Broward County Superintendent Robert Runcie survived a recent effort to oust him from his job over his leadership before and after the mass shooting at Marjory Stoneman Douglas High School.

—Lynne Sladky/AP

Superintendents sometimes find themselves the targets of angry calls for their firing even when there’s been no official finding of misconduct or wrongdoing.

Such a scenario has been playing out in the Broward County, Fla., district where a vocal contingent of critics has been calling for the dismissal of Superintendent Robert Runcie over his handling of the shooting at Marjory Stoneman Douglas High School in Parkland in which

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National School Boards Association Pushes for Federal Special Education Law Overhaul – On Special Education

Is this the year that Congress will take up the long-overdue renewal of the Individuals with Disabilities Education Act—plus boost funding for the law? 

The National School Boards Association wants to see both. Advocating for “full funding” of IDEA is a perennial issue, but the association is also drawing attention to the fact that the law, last reauthorized in 2004, needs to be rewritten to address more up-to-date concerns about educating students with disabilities. 

“This is our big initiative, our big push for this Congress,” said Thomas Gentzel, the executive director of the school boards association.

And the organization is

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North Dakota Moves Forward on Law Barring Felons From School Boards

News in Brief

North Dakota’s Senate has endorsed legislation that would bar felons from serving on school boards.

The measure is being sponsored by Republican Nichole Poolman, a school teacher from Bismarck, and Richard Marcellais, a Democrat from Belcourt and a member of the Turtle Mountain Band of Chippewa.

The state Indian Affairs Commission requested the measure. Director Scott Davis says the bill applies to all schools, but tribal leaders are increasingly concerned about school board candidates who have a criminal past. Davis points to a woman convicted of embezzling from a district on the Fort Berthold Reservation who was

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Betsy DeVos Tells School Boards: ‘Freedom Is Not a Threat’ – Politics K-12

Students, teachers, and parents—they all need freedom in order to meet their potential.

That was one of the main messages in prepared remarks by U.S. Secretary of Education Betsy DeVos to a National School Boards Association meeting in Washington on Monday. As she has before, DeVos stressed that students sitting in crumbling and dangerous schools, as well as those bored or struggling in their classes, are relying on adults to “rethink” education and let them achieve “education freedom.”

She urged the crowd to ask themselves why students were still assigned to schools based on their addresses, why students are forced

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How Many Seats Do Teachers Get on the State Board of Ed.? In Most Places, None


| Updated: August 16, 2018

State boards of education craft policies on curriculum, assessment, and other areas that directly affect day-to-day classroom life. But the professionals most affected by those decisions—teachers—often don’t have a seat at the boardroom table.

And when they do have a seat, they don’t always have a vote.

Just nine states specifically set aside a seat for teachers on their appointed state board of education, according to preliminary research conducted by the National Association of State Boards of Education. That includes Missouri and Delaware, where new laws were signed this summer that

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