PUBLIC EDUCATION BASICS
Public education has many moving parts and it is in our best interest as a community to understand how each part impacts the quality and output of public education.
Public education policy and funding comes from federal, state and local bodies. Educators and itinerant staff (i.e. speech language pathologists, occupational therapists, physical therapists, school psychologists, nurses, social workers and school counselors) are all professionals that require 1 or more degrees in their field of study to educate or support students in public schools. In addition, teachers and itinerant staff require accreditation through the state of Colorado, as well as through their individual governing associations, which require continued education to maintain their licenses. Educators are professionals and experts in their field, guided by codes of ethics particular to each discipline.
School district superintendents and central administration staff often do have degrees in education and have experience teaching within the classroom. However, it is not a requirement and some of these leaders do not have degrees or professional backgrounds in education. A school district’s superintendent is hired by its current school board.
School board directors are elected officials, elected by the citizens living within each school district. These elected officials serve in term limits. School boards oversee the school district’s funding, review and set district policies, evaluate school programing and student success through such programing, and set school district goals. School board tenures and governing are supposed to be nonpartisan with focus on student and employee success, safety and growth.
It is crucial that the public understand how important it is to vote for who they want to serve on their local school boards. The elected school board members work for their constituents and in the interest of ALL the children they oversee within their public school system. They should not work towards achieving personal or political agendas.
Neighbors for Education is dedicated to ensure that the public understand the processes and issues that are impacting public education within their community. We celebrate the positive support local school district leadership is providing and advocate for accountability when they are failing or causing harm to our students and our public education system.
Visit our GET CONNECTED page to see if your school district has an NFE chapter and to learn about that school district’s BOE activities.
State-Level Information from the Colorado Department of Education
- CDE Latest Update for the Public (One-Stop-Shop)
- CDE The State of Education Report (2018)
- CDE Vision, Mission, Strategic Plan
- CDE Strategic Plan Document 2017-2023
- CDE Long Range Financial Plan
- CDE Internal Action Equity Plan
- CDE Equitable Distribution of Teachers Overview
Other Useful Links to Get Educated
- Current Colorado Legislation Tracker
- Colorado General Assembly, House Education Committee
- Citizen’s Project School Board Election Information (coming soon)