I recently read about the state Senate's efforts to eliminate the Utah State Board of Education through SJR16. Having served on the school board from 2000-04, I believe this would be a huge mistake. The board consists of residents from all walks of life who add a nonpartisan perspective to one of the most dynamic institutions in the state.
When I served, one of our biggest challenges was attempting to rein in the "super school board" at the capitol so we could do our jobs. Sometimes, we were more successful than at other times, but we always worked toward that end. I served with men and women who were not only passionate about public education in Utah, but most importantly, were also concerned about the welfare of our students. Not having to keep any political party happy allowed us to be objective and to do good work for the children of Utah.4 comments on this story
The beauty of serving in the environment we did is we had top-notch professional staff that kept us informed, educated us, if you will, then allowed us to do the jobs our constituents elected us to do. I adamantly believe the state school board should remain both nonpartisan and intact as an independent agency from the state capitol. It should be allowed to do its vital work so it can then join forces with our lawmakers to make the educational environment in Utah the very best it can be.