Protect the Children Part 5: Understanding Your School Board’s Current Composition

By John Amanchukwu Published on May 29, 2024

This is Part 5 of a 14-part series on how to confront leftist indoctrination in your child’s school. If you want to be part of the parental revolution, this series will help you learn how to reorient school systems back toward biblical ethics to ensure our kids can safely learn, grow, and be nurtured in environments that prioritize knowledge over dogma, truth over lies, and virtue over vice.

 

According to the National Center for Education Statistics, there are more than 13,400 public school districts in the United States comprising nearly 100,000 total public schools. Overseeing this K-12 education infrastructure are an estimated 95,000 school board members at the local or county level, the vast majority of whom are directly elected by their communities. Occasionally, school board members are appointed by a city council, a mayor, or another local elected official or body. 

The board’s purpose is to oversee how a school or system is run, which programs are implemented, what the curricula should or should not include, where the annual budget should be directed or spent, and whether a superintendent should be hired or fired. In effect, the school boards set the academic and managerial policies and goals of a particular school or school system.

In addition to these responsibilities, school boards hold public meetings so they can hear directly from concerned parents and members of the community regarding specific concerns, ideas, events, or initiatives. In theory, school boards are supposed to reflect the values of the communities they represent and set policy accordingly after receiving feedback.

As has been evident over the past several years, this is not always the case.

Regardless of how many individuals sit on a particular board (usually between three and 15 people), the body is almost always comprised of local citizens, community leaders, and municipal officials who live or work in the area they oversee. While superintendents are responsible for the day-to-day operations of their respective schools and systems, they ultimately report to their respective school boards.

How School Boards Function

Typically, the board holds a public meeting every month and discusses the latest budget developments, the latest news within the school or system (such as winning a state championship in a particular sport or holding a job fair), and the specific goals pertaining to academics in the current or future school year.

School boards outline the itinerary of each meeting and what topics will be discussed. When making a specific decision, the board usually holds a vote on that issue.

It is common for the motion to be approved by voice vote in order to avoid potential controversy as well as to expedite the meeting.

Additionally, the board usually makes time for public comments from parents and the community. These comments are recorded by video and/or audio, and a board member or volunteer keeps the minutes of the meetings so that there also is a written record of what was discussed.

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This particular element of the meeting is the most important for you. The public comment period is what allows for the necessary engagement and appropriate pressure to be applied when dealing with the radical ideologies and corruption in your school system.

Lastly, depending on state law, local school boards will sometimes announce future meetings on potentially controversial subjects. It is important to pay attention to the board’s publicized schedule and whether there is a public hearing on a matter that may require your attention.

Elected vs. Appointed School Boards

Most local school boards are elected at the municipal or county level by voters, allowing for direct accountability. This is the preferable method. However, in some areas of the country the school board is appointed. For example, in Auburn, Alabama, the city council appoints the members of the school board, which creates a second layer of bureaucracy between the board and the people. However, there is a county school board that directly elects the officials who oversee the schools outside of Auburn City schools. 

It is important to determine whether your school board is elected or appointed, as that will greatly impact the method by which you engage and potentially attempt to impact the decisions your school board makes.

For elected school boards, the model is fairly simple. 

  • Determine how prevalent radical ideologies and practices are in your child’s school or system.
  • Identify the individuals on the board, and determine their relative sympathy levels toward radical ideologies (We’ll talk about this in greater detail in Part  
  • Start showing up at these meetings to learn how they flow and what elements the individual board members prioritize.
  • Locate a schedule for your school board’s next public meeting/hearing. (Typically, these are posted online or can be delivered by e-mail through an online sign-up.)
  • Sign up to speak on a particular topic at the next public meeting/hearing.
  • Raise your issue of concern, provide evidence showing why it’s a problem, and make a specific request for how to resolve this issue.
  • Follow your public comments with direct e-mail appeals to each school board member.
  • Take the matter to your support network and begin building momentum for change that can be expressed at the next meeting. 
  • Designate alternate leaders to convey the message if you are removed from a meeting or if you cannot attend.
  • Repeat the pattern until the concerns are resolved or until it becomes clear that members of the board need to be replaced.
  • If necessary, use the ballot box to resolve the issue.

For appointed school boards, the model is a little different. The remedy may well require public pressure campaigns on the mayor, city council, or the municipal body that appoints the board. 

That model requires turning the next local election into a referendum on the judgment of the officials who appoint school board members. This means you not only must do everything one would normally do when dealing with elected school board members, but expand the campaign to deal with city/county officials as a whole.

This sustained campaign requires a far more robust support network for activists and a near-constant stream of public advocacy and education efforts in local newspapers, meetings, and community events. The threat of losing one’s city council seat or mayoral race over the action or inaction of school board officials is unlikely to make you many friends in local government, but it may well help provide lasting change if done properly.

 

 

John K. Amanchukwu Sr. is the Amazon bestselling author of Eraced: Uncovering the Lies of Critical Race Theory and Abortion (Salem Books, 2022). He currently serves as the first assistant and youth pastor of Upper Room Church of God in Christ in Wake Forest, North Carolina, where he lives with his wife, Crystal, and their three children.

This article has been adapted from his resource, The Cyclone 400 Tool Kit: Protecting Our Children and Reclaiming Our Communities.

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