The School Board Election is on May 4th – do you have a plan to vote?
Whether you’re a parent with a child in the K-12 school system, a young person attending school, or just a community member — the decisions that school board trustees’ make affect you!
Use Forward Montana Foundation’s handy guide and make sure you have to plan to vote in the upcoming school board election on May 4th.
Check out what Forward Montana Foundation’s interns and students have to say about the upcoming election:
Why in the heck are the school board elections important? Why does your vote matter?
The school board elections are important because…
- Trustees have massive influence over the policies of the schools individually;
- Candidates once elected will shape general guidelines for a variety of different issues that the schools cannot individually decide on themselves;
- School board elections are also often overlooked, with much fewer votes than in the general elections;
- School board trustees are tasked with making important decisions about school budgets and the allocation of money. This can impact sports, extra-curricular activities, and other school programs!
Voting in the school board election matters because…
- K-12 students are directly impacted by the school board’s decisions, and do not have the ability to voice their opinions through voting;
- As voters we want our community and other future community members to have access to the resources for education, mental health, and engagement.
What Do Trustees Even Do?
They’re kind of like the congress people for the public school system! Just like on Capitol Hill, they create policies and vote on them every month. These policies relate to our K-12 Education system and our greater community!
But what if I don’t have kids in the school system? Should I still be voting in this school board election?
YES! Elected Trustees still impact YOU!
Trustees have a huge impact on our communities taxes, land, and educational philosophy. They…
- Levy local property taxes;
- Purchase town land and buildings for school services;
- Decide on schools’ construction, expansion, or closure;
- Select course textbooks;
- Determine course content and the inclusion of topics such as sex-ed, climate, and representation;
- Influence the quality of education of our future voters- more educated youth means a better educated community for all of us!
Trustees also have roles in making decisions about the health & well-being of our community! They…
- Establish and maintain the school food services that many students rely on everyday;
- Establish and manage funding for mental health resources for students;
- Influence police presence on school campuses and decide whether or not teachers are armed;
- Decide school closures during the pandemic to prevent the spread of Covid-19 throughout our greater community;
- Determine precautions to be taken to protect our teachers and children from Covid-19 exposure.
As taxpayers, we invest money into the school systems, let’s make it the best it can be and support the future leaders of our community! An educated community is a strong community.
How do I make a plan to vote?
Where: This all mail election is coming to your mailbox soon! If you are not registered to vote at your current address be sure to visit your elections office to request a ballot and update your registration. You can make sure you’re registered to vote at your current address at app.mt.gov/voterinfo.
When: Mail your ballot back before April 27th to be sure it arrives on time, or hand deliver it to your elections office by May 4th
Who should I vote for: Check out your local newspaper’s opinions and LTEs to see what your community is saying.