Guest editorial | ParkRecord.com

Guest editorial

Chuck Klingenstein, Jo Ann Funseth, Meg Leaf, Kelly CronleyMembers, Citizens for Better Education,

During this fall’s 2016 election season, we will have the opportunity to elect four out of five Summit County Council seats and three out of five Park City School District (PCSD) Board of Education seats. It is important we think about this now as deadlines for filing for candidacy are rapidly approaching. County Council filing is available from March 11th to March 17 at 5 p.m.. School Board filing is open now through March 17 at 5 p.m.

Focusing on the Park City Board of Education seats opening for Districts 1, 2 and 3 (see http://www.pcschools.us/index.php?page=48 for district boundary information), we are asking citizens who reside in these districts to consider running, whether or not an incumbent decides to run for re-election. It is important to have a vibrant election season, with candidates and citizens discussing and debating the many issues facing the School District.

So what does our school board do? Borrowing from the Great Schools website, (http://www.greatschools.org/gk/articles/what-makes-a-great-school-board-member/), we learned their roles are very similar to those of our City and County governments. We elect members to make certain the goals and objectives of the community are met. The School Board’s main responsibilities are to:

  • Set the vision and goals for the District as outlined in the strategic plan, learning plan, and facilities master plan
  • Adopt policies that give the District direction to set priorities and achieve its goals
  • Hire, direct, and evaluate the Superintendent and Business Administrator
  • Adopt and oversee the annual budget
  • Manage the salary negotiations process for employees of the District
  • Board meetings focus on a variety of topics, such as approving the school calendar, adopting curriculum, overseeing construction, and approving contracts with outside vendors. A successful School Board will balance discussion of the seemingly tedious business of running the District with close attention to the District’s priorities for academic achievement.

    Could you be a candidate? Do you know someone who could? Some attributes that help define a good School Board member include:

  • A passion for education
  • A desire to learn and build knowledge
  • An inquiring mind
  • The ability to establish effective policies and procedures
  • Recognition of his/her fiduciary duty
  • A desire to advocate for children, teachers, parents, and staff
  • Of course, no one person is likely to have all of these attributes; hence, there are five members of the Board. Together they bring the collective wisdom and knowledge of all in making their decisions.

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    Since the bond election, our organization, Citizens for Better Education, continues to focus on attending school district meetings, asking pertinent questions, contributing research and assistance toward improving our education system, and now encouraging a robust election process for the school board. That means the opportunity to choose between at least two candidates for each seat. Our community and our children deserve the best we have to offer. We should not take the School Board’s role and actions for granted. The largest allocation of funds from our property taxes goes toward education, especially when you add money from the Uniform School Fund in the form of Weighted Pupil Units (WPU).

    Along with this funding, we invest great trust in our school district to help our community’s children become successful and happy young people. And so, we encourage you or someone you know in our community, to consider bringing your/their talent to the school board and help us all make excellence in education a priority and reality for Park City.Time is of the essence!

    For more information: https://www.facebook.com/citizensforbettereducation/