Stephen Pruitt

Stephen Pruitt

January holds various meanings for different people. It is the beginning of a new year, a new legislative year, a time to refresh ourselves and I would argue our perceptions, and a time of hope. There is another aspect of January that many overlook, it is Local Board of Education Appreciation Month.

As I have stated many times before, it does not take a special month for me to appreciate our board members, or anyone else associated with the education of our students. Saying that, it is important to pause and recognize the work and commitment of our local board members in Kentucky.

Being a local board member is challenging. They have a tremendous responsibility. They have to make decisions on everything from how we ensure our students are fed to hiring the superintendent. They have to make difficult decisions that affect the lives and quality of education of students in their district and even hard decisions that affect the families and their taxes. They do not get to take a day off. They do not get the luxury of ignoring the community that elected them.

Local board members have to make tough decisions, while also resisting the temptation to exert themselves and their own personal opinions into matters in which they have no place. Trust me, this is tough, but our best board members know how to work at a policy level to continually increase the quality of education for all students in the district.

At the end of the day, our local boards understand that they are there for students, not the personal interests of adults. Sure, there are some exceptions and unfortunately they get the attention. But, the vast majority of our board members are proud to stand with and for children. They are proud to take a stand to make hard decisions to give our students the best opportunity for a brighter future.

I call on all Kentuckians to thank their local board members. Even if there is a board member you do not agree with them, thank them for their time, service and dedication. They have earned your respect; I gladly give them mine. Thank you, local board members, for your service to our children.