School Board vs Department of Education

Do students know the difference between the school board and Department of Education?


Air Academy High school’s student services in ‘A’ building.

Just like there is a fine line between love and hate, there is a fine line between a school board and a department of education. Where one was created by congress in 1979 and is universal in the United States, the other one is limited to its respective school district. 

“Yes, it’s run by parent opinions who have limited power to what they can change,” senior Connor Flowers responded when asked if he knew what the school board of academy district 20 was.

School board elections are a hot topic in communities with good school districts. In Grand Rapids, there are currently eleven new candidates running for the school board. Last year, the filing deadline for elections for Academy District 20 was August 27th, 2021. 

“Focus of what school is, it’s more focused on grades than self improvement,” senior Dallas Jones stated after being presented with the question of what he would like the Department of Education to change.

Jones brings up a point that many people have been concerned about in the past, which is that education has not changed much since the industrial revolution. It is still a system meant to create specialized workers and not improve the student’s abilities. However, even if the Department of Education began to change the system this year, it likely would not be completely changed until late in the 2029 school year.

“I think their qualifications should change, especially in our district, people should have teaching experience or have at least been a student in the district,” senior Callan Williamson stated when asked what he would change about either the school board or Department of Education.

School board members in the state of Colorado are getting paid up to $150 a day, for up to 5 days a week. However, they only get paid when they do official board duties so they do not get paid for days off. This calculates to almost $40,000 a year.

“I think that the system works as it is but I feel there is room for improvement,” senior Kaden Cannon expressed after being asked if there was anything he would change about the school board if given a day of power.

Cannon has been at Air Academy High school since the beginning of his freshman year and he has watched as the aspects of the system have turned and he has learned how it has worked. Cannon is familiar with the student council as he has multiple friends that are STUCO leaders. That being said, he also knows that a system like this has little room for improvement even if everyone that is participating is working well with the system. As Albert Einstein once said, nothing is known as perfect.

While students are familiar with the school board and the Department of Education, they are less clear on the difference between the two. It may be beneficial for students to learn about how everything works the way it does along with why they are learning what they are and why they are.