Why Would Anyone Want to Be on Their Local School Board?

School board members are typically unpaid volunteers, often parents who step forward to shape school policy, choose a superintendent, and review the budget. In most places, and during most times, it was a relatively unremarkable, yet vital position, one that few people paid attention to, or even knew who the members of the local school board were.

But times have changed, reflecting the divisiveness that exists when our country at this moment in time.

Look at some of these examples:

  • A Central Bucks County (PA) School Board Vice President claimed that he received death threats on him and his family as a result of his stance on the wearing of masks in school.
  • A Nevada school board member said he had thoughts of suicide before stepping down amid threats and harassment.
  • In Virginia, a board member resigned over what she saw as politics driving decisions on masks.
  • The vitriol at board meetings in Wisconsin had one member fearing he would find his tires slashed.
  • In Vail, Arizona, speakers at a recent meeting took turns blasting school board members over masks, vaccines, and discussions of race in schools — even though the board had no plans to act on, or even discuss, any of those topics. “It’s my constitutional right to be as mean as I want to you guys,” one woman said.
  • in Mesa County, Colorado, school board members were escorted to their cars by officers who had been unable to de-escalate a rowdy meeting.
  • In several states, embattled board members who do not resign are facing recall efforts. Ballotpedia lists 59 school board recall efforts against 147 board members in 2021.

So I’ll ask my question again, who would want to be a member of a school board today?

My thanks go out to all school board members for your willingness to take on such a vital position, and I wish you the best as you work through these challenging times.


73 thoughts on “Why Would Anyone Want to Be on Their Local School Board?

  1. Yes, in the news I’ve seen increasingly aggressive behaviour from the participants of these session meetings toward the board members… Every time I just think, jeez how do you expect these people to do their jobs without anyone hating on them constantly…. Just terrible…

    Liked by 3 people

  2. In my school district, the school board can get the same health insurance as the employees, so there’s some benefit. On the other hand, as you said, they don’t get paid and have to tolerate a lot of grief. I had a recent discussion with one board member who said the only reason he’s stayed on the past two terms is that no one was willing to take his place.

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    1. the health insurance is a nice perk – and they may need it after these meetings. It’s no surprise that school boards are having trouble finding someone to run for a position…

      Liked by 1 person

  3. A very good question Jim.. a thankless task by the sound of it but I am sure that the students benefit and if you have children in a school you are at least have an invested interest.. It seems there are few consequences for those who feel that being discourteous to others is a right. Certainly issuing threats of violence online is a hate crime and should be reported.. trouble is with children at the same school it would have a knock on effect.. so no not a job I would take on… thought provoking .xx

    Liked by 2 people

    1. I was thinking the same thing – what type of person would want to run for such a position. chances are they have an agenda, and not necessarily one that focuses on academics…


  4. I keep seeing these really sad videos on TikTok with school board members being (verbally) attacked by parents who are just absolutely awful and I honestly felt so bad for them. Imagine trying to keep someone’s kid safe and that’s the thanks you get.

    Liked by 2 people

      1. The problem is that I think some people are just awful in general COVID just showed their true colours. I feel like I’ve seen and heard things that I can never unsee/unhear and it sucks.

        Liked by 1 person

    1. I guess on the one hand it’s good to know it’s not limited to the U.S. But on the other, let’s hope that things calm down soon and people become more respectful of each other…

      Liked by 1 person

  5. Arguments about vaccines and masks in my tiny town have escalated to shouting matches on FB, Jim. There was a supposed to be a school board meeting on Tuesday because a number of our teachers are threatening to quit if forced to get vaccinated or wear a mask. The meeting had to be cancelled due to an outbreak. Today is Thursday and four more unvaccinated people are dead. School is starting two weeks later, if it starts at all.

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  6. My daughter had a boy in her class at junior school who was obnoxious and became even more obnoxious when his father became a school governor! I do recall some decisive moments at PTA meetings if someone new came up with NEW ideas! Innocent days compared with the current problems.

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