With the end of mid-term election season quickly approaching, nearly every poll, blog post, and even MSM news story has come to a similar conclusion: at least one house in Congress (and possibly both) is almost guaranteed to flip from one party to another. And on a larger scale conservative and center/right candidates should also make rather significant gains in statehouses and governorships from sea to shining sea.
Frankly, much good will hopefully come out of this election cycle.
But is our work done on November 2nd? Have we truly changed our country after the election results are all tallied? Are we to sit back and simply revel in what we have done before focusing on 2012?
The answer to each of these questions is clearly NO. The unavoidable truth is that there is MUCH more work to be done.
However, I don’t mean just on a national scale – I mean in our own backyards.
The state I live in, Oklahoma, does something very interesting each fall when people are thinking about holiday plans, the end of the school semester, and anything other than politics: they have school board candidates in every district across the state file to run for office…during the first Monday through Wednesday in December.
Yep, if you want to run for school board in Oklahoma, you have to file at the most random time possible.
What this also means is that a month after the election season finally “ends” for 2010, a new one starts right back up. And most people don’t even know it.
In fact, a majority of people probably have no clue that people are filing for an office that directly impacts their kids and their communities in some very dramatic ways. And it is only natural that if they don’t know about school board filings, they surely do not know about the school board elections.
And we wonder why school board elections on the second Tuesday in February across Oklahoma typically see voter turnout anywhere between 3%-5% in each community.
Thus, for many school board candidates ignorance is bliss at the ballot box.
But so what? Who cares about school boards anyway? You should. Why?
Because think about this:
The President of the United States chooses and thus advises the Secretary of Education, who heads the Education Department. The Education Department is pressured by the National Education Association (a powerful and liberal teachers union) in a variety of ways to impact education legislation in Congress. Then the same issues being pushed by the NEA at the national level are then also pushed by local chapters – the Oklahoma Education Association in my home state – who also lobby and look to persuade state legislators, the state Department of Education, school administrators, and school board members about issues they deem important. In turn, the state Department of Education and state legislature then set guidelines and mandates for school district administrators and school board members across the state who in turn pass them on directly to the teachers who spend 8 hours a day inside the classroom with our children.
Thus, our last line of defense in this chain of national impact at the local level in education are school board members who are willing to stand up and fight for fiscal responsibility, authentic educational accountability, school choice, unbiased teaching materials, and unheeded transparency within the education system.
So, sure, it is great that the House is going to change hands in a few weeks, and I am excited as anyone to see folks from across the country stand up in defense of our freedom and liberty over the coming years.
But if you really want to impact your community and the future of your kids, don’t stop after November. Don’t allow your natural inclination to rest and relax after your victory so that you lose sight of your local community. Don’t let the strides we have made on the national level get overlooked at the local level – especially with school boards. Don’t cease working to save and change the country you love so much.
The time is coming to transition from a national mindset to a local one. The time is coming for conservatives to run for these local and vitally important offices or energetically support those who do run. The time is coming to get off the sidelines in local elections just like we have in the national ones.
Simply put, the time is coming when we will continue to work for freedom and liberty in our local educational systems.