OPINION: The school board does not accurately represent those it serves



For years, RJUHSD has had a school board system in which five school board members are elected and make decisions for the district. However, only some of the board members actually have a child currently attending an RJUHSD school. Weird.

Even weirder, our school board members are hardly affected by the decisions they make. The school population is the first to receive the decisions of our school board. Shouldn’t the school board be made up of people that are affected by their own decisions?

The current school board consists of some parents of children who attend an RJUHSD school. Parents. People who are hardly affected by these decisions.
Especially recently, the school board has received disapproval because of the controversial decisions they have made in the midst of COVID-19. However, regardless of where the school board members stand politically, they should not have any right making decisions that hardly even affect them.

Our district should instead incorporate a school board system in which teachers, administrators, and students are elected into the board. This makes so much more sense because the people that make our decisions with our district should also be affected by them.

I understand that RJUHSD has implemented a community-led school board for years. But, I could make a safe argument that our teachers are more educated than our board members, not because I disagree with the decisions they make, but because teachers are simply more involved in school. These teachers are in the trenches while the board has only come to school to observe random classes.

Instead of electing random people who are rarely affected by their decisions, we should adopt a new system for our school board in which students, faculty, and teachers are elected into office every four years or so.

Similarly, no one has really questioned their position of office simply because some of the board members are incumbents and have been on the board for years. Incumbents are factually more likely to be reelected after every year, just because they are a familiar name to voters; including uninformed voters.

It makes sense for voters to not look deep into who is on the board. After all, this is a school board, not a presidential election. Parents usually don’t care for who is on the board as long as they are able to get the job done.

This question of restructuring our school board has most likely only been brought up recently because of the controversial decisions the board has made because of COVID-19. Most people, including me, did not care about the school board until now.

However, most people are only bringing up this topic of discussion because they disagree with the current board members’ political beliefs. I could care less about where my school board members stand politically.

The only reason the school board should be restructured is because the board members are hardly affected by their decisions compared to teachers, administrators, and students. The school board should represent the school population.

We have had students represent their schools at board meetings and address issues, but students should also be able to take part in the actual decision making process. Students are often underestimated by adults while most students are actually more intelligent than adults, or at least more informed of current school situations.

Most counterarguments would say that if teachers and students were elected onto the board, they would only be interested in issues that benefitted them, while the parents that have been on the board in the past are interested in benefiting their children in the district just the same.

The only problem I would forecast is the fact that there are not that many teachers or students that actually care about the school board let alone want to participate. Being a school board member is definitely a commitment, and there may not be enough willing students and teachers to even fill up a school board.

Regardless of what the district ends up doing, our district needs to be more fairly represented, because I personally feel no sense of representation in my school board. I would much rather be represented by a teacher or student that is being affected alongside me, rather than a random parent that receives almost zero percent of the effects of their decisions.

Restructure our board and let the students’ voices be heard.