Battle of the Board

This year in Indiana many elections will take place in November regarding the future of Indiana. With spots such as the Senate, three of voters will get to decide who represents them on the local School Board.
There are currently seven members on Paoli’s school board. President Bill McDonald, Vice President Scott Blankenbaker, Secretary Julie Hopper, Christopher Boyer,Gary Jones, Peggy Manship and  Gary Owens make up these seven. This year, Blankenbaker, Jones and Manship are up for election.
Blankenbaker will be running against Kathy Padgett. Jones is not seeking another term and running for his spots are this year with Lila Tucker, Wayne Fugate and Todd Meredith fighting for his position.  Peggy Manship is running unopposed.
The race to get a spot on the school board is on, but do we, as the students, really know what a spot on the School Board means?
“The School Board is responsible for approving contracts, setting policies, such as discipline and dress codes and approving budgets,” said Superintendent Casey Brewster.
To put in simple terms, being a part of the School Board comes with a lot of responsibilities. Members decide on any purchases made for the school, including buying more land for sports and other activities and any equipment needed for classrooms, such as the Chromebooks.
“The School Board has to approve on any purchases over $75,000,” said Brewster.
Along financial approvals, the school board is also in charge of some of the discipline and policies in the student handbook.
“The school board decides on rules and policies in the student handbook such as being in the cafeteria before a certain time in the morning, the attendance policy and the dress code,” said Brewster.
While the school board does decide on policies such as attendance and dress code, they do not have full control of the student handbook.
“All of the policies the school board has control are not in the handbook, nor are all of the policies in the handbook controlled by the school board. Information such as diploma types and their requirements are not made by the school board,” said Brewster.
Like any other organization, the school board has a meeting that usually falls on the first Monday of every month. During these meetings, the board members discuss issues related to the school and how to resolve these issues. The public is welcomed to attend these public meetings.
“Any person from the community can come and talk and discuss any issue they are wishing to have resolved during the meetings,” said Brewster. “The only thing the school board requires is a notice of when somebody wants to talk.”
It is clear that the school board is made up of people who are very passionate about Paoli Schools, and who only want the best for the students and faculty. Being on the School Board is a huge responsibility that only people dedicated to the job can handle.

Story by: Emma Walker