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We shouldn’t denigrate school board members

A recent letter to the editor questioned the qualifications required to serve for school board. While the writer states the minimum requirements to run for school board, he ignores the fact that 75 percent of board members have a four-year college degree or more, and 88 percent have a two-year college degree or more, based on our 2011 statewide membership survey. The Buffalo Board of Education specifically has several members with advanced degrees and broad professional experience.

Regardless of one’s education level, the fact is, school boards are one of the most open and democratic institutions in our society. Approximately 5,000 men and women are members of local school boards in New York, all serving as important trustees of the state’s nearly 700 public education systems. To denigrate them by implying they don’t have the wisdom, knowledge or experience to vet proposals brought before them by education professionals is unfair to them and the people who elected them.

Timothy Kremer

Executive Director, New York

State School Boards Association