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The time is now: Vote

| October 31, 2021 1:00 AM

Idaho’s parents and educators, you care deeply about your students and their education. You support your schools and teachers in many ways — and voting is the most effective means to voice what you want for your children. As students’ most powerful advocates, it is imperative that you speak up at the ballot box.

Parents and educators, you are arguably the best-informed voters in any election that involves your schools because you witness the needs, challenges, and successes of your school districts every day. You also know the goals and dreams of your students and are passionate about supporting those aspirations. While every citizen of Idaho is impacted by education in our state, some citizens are more directly, more immediately, and more profoundly affected than any other voters: the parents of current students and the educators who serve them.

Idaho Education News reported last week that 48 Idaho school districts will have contested school board elections on Nov. 2. These elections are critically important to our schools and communities. School board members are representatives of the community’s core values and beliefs in developing policies and making important decisions for their neighborhood schools.

Parent turnout has been historically low for school board elections. Several school districts in North Idaho report fewer than 20% of parents voted in recent elections. A majority of these districts’ parents did not exercise their right to vote and thus did not have a voice in choosing the district leaders whose decisions would directly impact their children on a daily basis.

Effective representation can happen only if everyone votes. Board elections are intended to be non-partisan. Local decisions are best made by those in the community who will make serving our students their highest priority.

History is replete with examples of elections decided by only a handful of votes, especially where voter turnout is generally light.

Parents and educators, you do so much every day for your children and students. This week take time to learn about the candidates in your district. Decide who will best represent you and who will best serve the students in whose lives and educations you have invested so much. Your single vote could make a tremendous difference in the trajectory of your school district. On Tuesday, Nov. 2, let your voices be heard. Vote!

Region I School Superintendents Association:

TOM ALBERTSON

Lake Pend Oreille

PAUL ANSELMO

West Bonner

JAN BAYER

Bonners Ferry

DR. SHON HOCKER

Coeur d’Alene

ALICIA HOLTHAUS

St. Maries

TODD HOWARD

Wallace

DR. BECKY MEYER

Lakeland

RUSS MITCHELL

Plummer-Worley

DENA NACCARATO

Post Falls

LANCE PEARSON

Kellogg

WADE PILLOUD

Kootenai

LES WELLS

Mullan

BRAD PATZER

IDLA

Retired Idaho Superintendents:

DR. DON COBERLY

TERESA FABRICIUS

WIL OVERGAARD

DR. GEOFFREY THOMAS