Thanks to candidate Bess Altwerger for submitting her response:
Question, "What do you think the job of a Board of Education member is?" Please address the following:
1. What power does the position convey?
2. What is the best use of that power?
3. To whom is the Board of Education member responsible?
As a parent of two HCPSS graduates and current HCPSS teacher, a career-long teacher educator, and passionate public school advocate, I believe that the primary responsibility of the BOE is to provide the best education possible for all of our students. We are fortunate to have elected rather than appointed school boards in our state. This means that the BOE is a representative body that should solicit input and be responsive to all of their constituents. These include teachers and their representative body (HCEA), parents and families and their representative body (PTA) and various segments of the general community. I believe strongly that all BOE decisions regarding policies and budgeting should be based upon input and collaboration with these constituencies. The BOE has a responsibility not just to hold open meetings and community events for public input, but to consider very seriously the concerns and issues that are expressed. While the BOE must work with the Office of the Superintendent in a spirit of cooperation, it must act as an independent body and take bold actions as needed in order to be responsive to the voters and educators of our county. The BOE must be willing to enact policies that protect local control over curriculum and assessment. It should also advocate for the necessary budgetary resources to ensure that we provide a high quality, fully equitable education for all of our students. Finally, it must negotiate with the HCEA for a fair and respectable contract that sustains and rewards our outstanding teachers.
April 18, 2014 2:35 pm