“The public must be owners of the educational system and not simply the recipient of its services,” Thomas J. Gentzel, the executive director of the National School Boards Association (NSBA) avers in the latest issue of the American School Board Journal (ASBJ). The ASBJ is published by the NSBA.
“Without school boards and the leadership role they provide, education would be little more than just another public service,” Gentzel concludes. “In a democracy, the people should be as much in control of their schools as they are of the government itself.” Unfortunately, they are.
As Ronald Reagan famously said, “There are simple answers, just not easy ones.” The answer to the question of how to restore local control to public schools is simply to fund them at that level and not even seek state or federal funds.
Of course, neither Gentzel nor the NSBA or the ASBJ dare to suggest something so simplistic. Indeed, they lobby for federal funding for public schools. Instead, they pin their hope on a new law—the Every Student Succeeds Act—that “requires federal officials to consult more with school boards and others as they develop federal regulations that impact them.”