Feb. 9 - 15 is School Board Member Recognition Week.

You probably weren’t aware of that fact; neither school board in this county is big on blowing its own horn.

What do school board members do, not only in Tippah, but in other school districts across the state?

The answer: A lot.

To perhaps oversimplify, school board members, elected by you and spending your tax dollars, have the ability to rock your world – to make it far better, or far worse. Here’s how.

School board members are tasked with guiding the long-range operation of the school district. Trustees play a critical role in insuring the quality public education which is a vital link to a more prosperous future for the state of Mississippi.

It’s not an easy task. Trustees have to try to reach that goal of quality education despite funding cuts, unfunded mandates and other obstacles to effective school operation.

The decisions school board members make directly affect the future of those students, and through them, all of us, and the future of the school district’s area.

Children who are well-educated, and hence have the skills to earn a good living, contribute to society as creative tax-generating individuals. They are the kinds of people who form a capable workforce, the sort industries seek as they bring jobs and paychecks by locating, relocating or expanding here. They are the sorts of people who may draw others of their kind to locate near them, raise children, and contribute to the community.

Conversely, children who aren’t well-educated, who have no skills to sell, run an increased risk of growing into adults who must turn to crime to support themselves. They may become adults who are a burden to an area, not an asset to it. Such people will often scare off industry’s jobs and paychecks, repel the people needed to make a wholesome community.

As such adults, devoid of useful skills to trade for jobs, they have a higher chance of winding up on welfare, or in the criminal justice system. If they do, they become mostly tax users, contributing little financially, putting a heavier burden on the people whose tax dollars finance government.

That’s what’s at stake.

The old saying is “it takes a village to raise a child.” It also takes well-educated children to become the productive adults who form the village who raises the next group of children.

Or don’t.

Give school board members your support, or tell them how they can do better, because they’re entrusted with educating this area’s most valuable resources – our children.

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