Leatherneck Blogger

Jackson, Missouri Board of Education

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I reside in the Jackson School District and Jackson schools are considered outstanding. But having attended school board meetings I’ve noticed things that I believe need addressing. One in particular is the unresponsiveness to the concerns of the parents and other stakeholders in the school district.

Jackson R II policy states “a specifically designated time will be set aside for public comments at all regular meetings…” In order to state one’s case before the School Board, you must first meet with the superintendent. Only then can you get a “comment form.” To get on the agenda the form must be returned to the superintendent five days prior to the school board meetings. Even when these procedures are carried out faithfully, it does not guarantee a place on the agenda. On top of everything else, no extemporaneous comments are allowed.

Having attended and commented at County Commission meetings, the Commission is open to public comments whereas the School Board tightly restricts them. Commissioners probably don’t enjoy all the feedback they get but they listen politely and respond. Perhaps the School Board should follow the County Commission’s example.

Many parents are feeling helpless to influence the decisions of the School Board. We need a Board of Education that is accountable to the stakeholders, not to an unelected official. School Board elections are coming up in April and there are candidates running who support local control and work tirelessly toward that end. If change is to come voters must educate themselves and vote.

Esther H. Bohnert

Written by Leatherneck Blogger

February 20, 2013 at 06:00

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