Every Election Matters

The day after an election is the perfect time to prepare for the next election. Lick your wounds, do an analysis, and get ready for the next one.

Several contested races for school board were decided in my community this week. We were very optimistic that we were riding a wave of parent outrage that we had seen expressed in Loudoun County, Virginia, and San Francisco, when entrenched school board members were ousted by the voters. In the greater Saint Louis area, we had some wins and, unfortunately for the students, we had some losses.

During my canvassing for a candidate, I stopped at a house that was having a lively birthday for a bunch of 6-year-olds. Yet the mom stepped out of the party to talk to me. She was angry that she could not send her child to public school, because it was, as she said, “full of trash”. She was angry that she has to pay twice for school — as a taxpayer and for a private school for her 6-year-old. She wants better schools for her children.

The whole community should support the parents who are demanding a stop to junk schools.

One reform candidate, Izzy Imig, easily won because she ran on this slogan: “I Hear You”. Many parents and taxpayers feel that their elected representatives are not interested in hearing about our concerns — or solving the problems. Candidates win when voters feel connected to them.

But several great candidates lost because their opponents were effective in portraying them as “fringe” or “book banners”. I believe that we should be proactive in addressing the pornographic and obscene material given to minors. Books should be age-appropriate! At a local religious school, parents are sent a text message with the name of the book that the child is checking out of the school library. Why can’t that easy transparency happen at taxpayer-financed government schools?

Nearly 90 percent of American children attend public schools. We care how the children of our neighbors are educated because we need young adults who can read, write, and count. If we fail our children, then America will fail.

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