Three School Board Positions on April Ballot
ANCHORAGE - There are 15 days until the city's next election, and if you look past the mayor’s race, bonds and propositions, you'll also find several school board seats up for grabs.
The question is, do people even know who's running and do they even care? Six people are going for three school board spots, and while you might not recognize their names or faces, the roles they play in our community are huge.
It's a job most people don't ever pay attention too. A seat on the Anchorage School Board means picking and keeping an eye on the superintendent, and making sure the budget stays balanced and quality education for every student remains a top priority.
“[It’s] setting the goals and priorities for the district and making sure that our spending priorities are in line with those goals,” said School Board Vice President Jeannie Mackie. They spend countless hours that are often ignored by the public.
“People only notice you when you make mistakes,” said Jeff Friedman, who is leaving the board after nine years and three terms. “It will be different, it will be a big change to have those Mondays off.” Choosing your school board candidate is a responsibility he says every voter should take seriously. “It's a huge undertaking, nearly 50,000 students, I don't remember how many employees. Public education really drives the economy: Your house is valued partly on what neighborhood school your children might go too; employers move here if they think they can hire educated employees.”
That’s something Mackie agrees with. “If you care about your local educational system then you should care who is on your school board.”
The real bottom line is making sure the best person to represent our kids is sitting at the table to make the tough choices for them to succeed.
“The School Board is the public's voice in public education,” said Mackie. “They should mirror what the community finds important and what the community's values are in the educational system.”
Friedman says school board candidates may not be as visible as other public officials, but you can still call them up and ask questions or look at their websites to find out their priorities for the school district.
Please click here for information on the School Board candidates.