Don’t forget about education this summer!
Decisions about everything from curriculum and class size to budgets for classroom supplies are made by elected officials and appointed policy makers. But YOU can be part of the process! Here are four actions you can take to support your neighborhood public school.
1. See if your School Community Council (SCC) is holding elections this May
All SCCs are made up of parents, grandparents, faculty and staff to decide how a school will allocate its LAND Trust funds. They also discuss other issues vital to the school. Not only are leadership positions often uncontested, many SCCs struggle to find willing leaders. With typically a one meeting per month commitment, this is a great start to getting more involved in public education.
- Find information about your School Community Council on your school’s website.
2. Check when your school district determines the budget
All district boards have public meetings and many are in budget discussions right now. You can attend a meeting, sign up for public comment, and let them know what’s important to you in the budget — whether that’s funding for teacher salary increases, changes to hourly employment, and more.
- Consider asking how your school district plans to implement HB373 by Representative Eliason if you have a deficit of counseling funds at your school.
- The legislature also allocated Teacher and Student Success Act funds this year (Sen. Milner) and it’s a great time to ask when schools can see them in their budgets and how their use will be determined in your district.
3. Think ahead to November
Some district school boards may have seats up for election this November (the Primary Municipal Election is August 13, the General Municipal Election is November 5).
- Check this list of Utah School Districts to find your own district and see if there are seats open for election this year. Contact local districts for candidate registration information. Find out how to file as a municipal candidate at the Lt. Gov’s website here. Please note – some board member replacement positions require applications to be filed through local school districts. See local district board webpages for more information.
4. Get to know who represents you
We each have one state school board member and one district school board member representing our interests in school policy, regulation, curriculum and funding matters. Have a concern or compliment? Contact them!
- Find out what School Board District you live in here. Then look up your state school board member here. You will see when your board member was voted into office. All board members serve 4 year terms. If you are planning to run for school board, check to see when your seat is up for reelection (none are up in 2019, several are up in 2020 and beyond).
- Or look up both your state and local district school board members at vote.utah.gov (enter your address and select “Contact my Elected Officials” in the right hand column).