We are hearing a lot lately from school boards who have stepped up and made a case both locally and statewide for both restoring and increasing funding for schools.
So many different kinds of groups make money pitches for so many causes that the temptation may be to lump these school boards in with the rest. But that’s not where they should be. When members of the Bath County school board advocate for better funding, they are doing it for the children of this community: for the up-to-date books they need for their classes, for the after-school programs that help struggling readers, for new school buses to safely transport them, for buildings that offer the physical settings needed to learn, for course offerings and technology that will enable them to graduate to a career or go on to postsecondary education, and on and on.
In other words, their only vested interest is in the children they were elected to serve. Let’s remember that during January, when Kentucky observes School Board Recognition Month. Let’s also remember that when Eric Conkright, Brenda Holder, Hurschell Rawlings and Christy Shaw champion local schools and students, it comes with a personal cost. Your board members may spend hours reading materials and looking over reports to prepare for a single board meeting. These laypeople take time out of their schedules to obtain training to become knowledgeable about the leadership, budgetary process and other details they need to know to do their jobs. And, like celebrities minus the adulation and high pay, they must be prepared to be questioned anywhere by the public – in this case, parents, grandparents, taxpayers – wherever they go, whether it’s the grocery store or a ball game.
This month, stop them with a “Thank you” for the work they do on behalf of the Bath County school system and its students and staff.