I know schools are a hot button in conversations right now.

My social media feed is showing all my friends living in other states returning back to school – most in person, some in a modified manner and a few completely remote like us. Yes, I’m a little jealous of those back full-time. It seems like a distant dream when my kids were in school full-time. I don’t even like to speculate when we’ll go back because it will inevitably lead to disappointment.

The truth is, I have never spent so much time thinking about my kids’ education as I have the past 6 months. We have great public schools and I’ve never given any other options much thought. Until now. I feel as though the curtain has been pulled back on our public schools, and the Great Oz has been exposed. All the shortcomings of public education are now on display – Covid has managed to poke a hole in everything and education was no exception.

Our district certainly has it’s holes.

We currently have board members who are deciding the fate of our kid’s education and it’s a little scary. (we really do want to support the public school system and are working hard to find a solution within.)

We have sat through hours and hours and hours (including a 6 hour meeting tonight) of virtual school board meetings over the last couple months. I’m embarrassed to admit I had not been to one before – but in the past I felt as though the board did a good job of representing my voice. That no longer rings true. And as I sit and watch these 5 school board members in boxes on my screen – I realize just how important local elections really are.

We always participate in our elections – but I have a renewed sense of civic duty to really research candidates and vote those that represent my voice. It’s a simple civics lesson. But sometimes I’m staring at a ballot of positions thinking, “Does it really matter? What harm can any one person really do in this position?” IT MATTERS!

I’m watching these board meetings in complete disappointment that these people (at least some of them) are making decisions for my kids. And instead of making concrete decisions they just kick the can down the road only to make us sit through another lengthy meeting and never come to a conclusion. In the meanwhile, families are pulling their kids out left and right and the school district continues to weaken. They’re losing funding. They’re losing involved parents. They’re losing my confidence. It’s discouraging.

Even more discouraging is realizing all these decisions – indefinite remote learning without in-person options and the subpar virtual program they spent way too much money on to name a few – all lie on the shoulders of 5 board members. 5 people who were elected to those positions to represent us. Voting matters.