By Hipolito Navarrete, Managing Editor/Publisher

The Los Angeles Unified School District has a crucial election coming May 16. Regardless of your politics, it is crucial that you vote. LAUSD is the second largest public school district nationwide and the board members are crucial to the opportunities created for their students. LAUSD cares for around 734,641 students and manage a budget that is around 7.59 Billion dollars. School Boards are a critical part of the communities they serve and are accessible to local residents because they are, generally, concentrated on a small geographic area, and the Board members live in the area. Although that is not the case with LAUSD as it comprises an area of 960 squared miles of the city of Los Angeles, its Board Members are very active within their districts,

The Center for Public Education describes the role of the School Board as follows.

The local school board is a critical public link to public schools. Whether elected or appointed, school board members serve their communities in several important ways.

  • First and foremost school boards look out for students. Education is not a line item on the school board’s agenda—it is the only item.
  • When making decisions about school programs, school boards incorporate their community’s view of what students should know and be able to do.
  • School boards are accessible to the public and accountable for the performance of their schools.
  • School boards are the education watchdog for their communities, ensuring that students get the best education for the tax dollars spent.

School board elections are critical to all folks that reside in the city. even if the do not have children attending the district schools, or do not have children of their own. Daily happenings at the local public schools affect everyone’s  lives. School board members are community leaders that are not just invested in the education of the youth but also in creating opportunities that will be available once these students leave the k-12 education system. In other words, they are the folks that bring the tools necessary for the future leaders  of our country and world, our children. As changes in public education funding threatens the programs that have been helping these public non-profits, students need strong advocates that understand their challenges and create much needed opportunities. For those that do not have children, may be the focus needs to be shifted as to what we need and deserve as a community of humans. We deserve students that are well educated, that are prepared, compassionate and thoughtful. We need students that are thinkers, philosophers, inventors, instigators, technologists, scientists, etc. Because of those expectations, we need to provide the best that our collective public dollars can offer them.

What our public education needs is leaders that look to invest in the future of the students they serve. Industry fail workers constantly if the worker expects to be “taken cared of” by the company they work for. The moment industry perceives a skill to be obsolete they abandon their employees with the excuse that it is just business. After all, the business of business is to make money. A student must be taught to be innovative, to be a creator, to be self-motivated and to work in collaboration with others. They must be so much better prepared than just to be a potential employee, they must be taught not just to survive, but to thrive in an industrial world that is trying to be more efficient and will replace a human for a machine without consideration for the family they affect. That is the history of industry.

The school board elections in any part of the country are critical and are the backbone of a community. Change comes from the quality of education students receive at these institutions. Vote on your local school board elections, be part of the solution.