Something big is happening:
Yes, I am running for the Binghamton City School Board in the upcoming May election.
"What's a 'school board'?" I hear my New Zealand people ask. Unlike the centrally run and funded New Zealand education system, most school districts in the United States are under local control. A board of volunteers is elected by the community, they appoint a superintendent, and together they run the district (following state and federal regulations, of course). Funding comes from a complicated mix of local property taxes, state grants (over half of Binghamton's $114 million budget comes from New York State), and the federal government.
So, it is a lot of work and involves setting the tone and goals for the district in terms of community engagement, student success, curriculum, budget, management style, school climate and culture - you know, all the things I've been thinking about for years.
First step, though, is getting on the ballot. I have to gather at least 100 signatures from eligible Binghamton voters before I'm even allowed to run, so I'm walking around everywhere with my clipboard talking to people about education and our city. It is kind of invigorating to talk about something I care about so much with all sorts of people.