How We Save Public Education Now: Our Path Forward!
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Alright, so our lawmakers have failed to hear our voice and have passed and signed the Omnibus Education bill into law. But now is not the time to dwell on this bill’s passage, it is the time to look forward and find our path to save, restore, and improve our public education system. As we see it, that path forward is through our Local School Improvement Councils, or LSICs, and that path of local, community-based control was actually strengthened by this education bill. Local control has never been more important, and local control means US!
LSICs are supposed to exist and meet publicly a minimum of four times a year, in conjunction with each and every school in the state. LSICs are to be made up of three teachers, one bus driver, one school service person, three parents, two at-large members, student body leaders, and the principal. Although the principal does serve as an ex officio member on the council, they are not supposed to lead the meetings or determine the pathway of the body. The council is tasked with electing a chair to create official agendas and facilitate all meetings, which, to be clear, are all required to be open and accessible to the public.
LSICs hold the power to defeat charter schools, demand funding for support staff and social workers, address disparities in educational and disciplinary outcomes, and implement community school programs and initiatives. LSICs have direct access to County Boards of Education, the State Board, and County and State Superintendents. If passionate teachers, school personnel, parents, and students lock arms not only can the threat of charter schools and ESAs be defeated, but real, lasting, positive change can be won. This is how we beat the greed of privatization. This is how we create true community school models that work for all West Virginians. This is how we move forward!
Contact Families Leading Change Director Jenny Anderson NOW at email@example.com to organize an LSIC training in your county. Local control means us, so let’s take our power back!