There are school board elections in most towns around the state on Tuesday, and the Iowa Association of School Boards can offer advice to voters. This is no endorsement of candidates or checklist — I-A-S-B’s Lisa Bartusek says they’re general guidelines for what makes a good board member.She says good school board members focus their efforts on serving all children, rather than just some specific group of students. Bartusek says school board members make decisions over the course of three years on every issue that comes before the board, so rather than a position on a single issue, no matter what its interest, voters should look at a candidate’s ability to see the big picture. And Bartusek says to beware the candidate who promises to get elected and single-handedly make sweeping change.Individual school-board members have little or no authority, she points out, so they must be able to work as part of a team since it’s the board as a whole that makes policies and decisions, acting on behalf of the community. The role of school boards, the issues confronting education and laws from state to federal are always changing, so the ability to keep on learning everything an effective board members needs to know will be critical to success.
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