As November approaches, you can often hear a buzz in the air--the buzz of elections and civic involvement. Many people will early vote across our city, while others will wait until November 3 for the Election Day energy.
Last week, parents and KIPPsters from KIPP's Third Ward and East End campuses met with candidates for Houston ISD District III and District IV seats. The candidates willingly shared their perspective and experience, as our KIPPsters asked questions (yes, the majority of the questions came from 8th graders) about educational philosophy and ways to collaborate and work together.
Often people ask why school board elections matter so much...and as a former history teacher, this is my FAVORITE question.
My response often starts with "Well, please let me tell you why I genuinely think a school board election matters more than most any other election. Yes, seriously, as much if not more than presidential or mayoral elections."
1. You pay taxes to your school district.
Even if you rent, you pay taxes through your rent. Your property tax goes to the school system. Although we can talk school finance and state funding all day, you make your check out to the school district. In America, there should never be taxation without representation.
2. School Board Trustees represent you.
Elected officials represent everyone in their district. They don't know what you want or need, if you don't connect with them and share your thoughts and expectations. And for those of you who might say, "Oh, school boards don't matter to me. My kids are in public charter schools, or my kids are older now, or I don't have kids," my response is simple. “This matters because you want a safe and thriving society, and we all know that will only happen with an employed and educated citizenry."
3. This is education we are talking about.
If Knowledge Is Power, and power is freedom, I don't need to say anything else. Education and opportunity matters most.
So for those of you who have yet to vote, get out there and do so. If you have an open school trustee seat on your ballot, pay close attention to making sure their beliefs and priorities align with yours.
Harris County early voting dates, times, and locations: 10/26-10/30, 7:00 am – 7:00 pm
Election Day poll sites
Find your representatives (Hint: click on Info after you submit your address)
League of Women Voters' Guide