California Educator

February 2014

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Advocacy Education Policy Elaine Merriweather was instrumental in helping bring transitional kindergarten to the district. Teachers win public confidence — and school board seats BY SHERRY POSNICK-GOODWIN 32 Educator 02 Feb 2014 v2.1 int.indd 32 to be an expert on what's happening in public schools to run for a seat on the local school board. But it helps. And nobody is more of an expert than a local educator elected to the job. CTA members serving on school boards use their expertise to decide school policies on class size and student progress. They are responsible for budgets, curriculum, employee contracts, and hiring and firing staff — including administrators. They work with school staff and community members to create a "vision" for a school district and help implement that vision. Sometimes they make difficult decisions. Better than anyone, they understand exactly how budgets affect classrooms. They know what resources teachers and classified employees need to get the job done. And they provide firsthand experience and a teacher voice that is often missing in policy-making. (Note: It is illegal for teachers or other school employees to run for the school board in the district where they are employed. But there is no conflict of interest to run for a seat in a district where you reside.) OU DON' T H AVE FE B RUARY 20 14 1/27/14 3:52 PM

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