School board elections, those often overlooked exercises in grassroots democracy, are Tuesday in the Brainerd, Pillager, Pequot Lakes and Staples-Motley school districts.
While almost everyone has an opinion on who should be elected president or governor, school board races draw relatively few voters even among those people who have children in the kindergarten-12 grades. Just because there are no big election rallies or television commercials to get everyone excited doesn't mean there's not a lot at stake in school board elections. How well we educate our children in preparation for the work world or post-secondary education is going to determine whether the United States will able to thrive in a global economy in the remainder of this century. Without innovative technology and a skilled work force the U.S. will become an also-ran in the world market competition.
The decisions school boards make are vitally important to preparing children for a challenging future. How big should classroom sizes be? Are local schools preferable to larger, centralized ones? How important are athletics? Should school dietitians be offering more healthy choices in an effort to fight child obesity? How should districts deal with the challenge of increased diversity among students and a growing number of students who speak English as a second language.
These decisions require thoughtful, committed leaders who care about kids and who are willing to offer their time and talent to the voters. The least voters can do is to show up and cast a ballot on election day.
Brainerd Dispatch ©2013. All Rights Reserved.