Volume No. 16 Issue No. 10 October 2019  

Michelle Barrette
  By Michelle Barrette

     I was looking at the few candidates for the D 49 school board (none for District 4) this week and couldnít help but wonder ó what if they paid the board, how many more people would be interested?
   According to the National School Boards Association, 75 percent of board members in small districts are volunteers. However, many larger school districts do pay and the salaries vary, from $5,000 (yearly) for a New York district with 47,000 students to a 32,000-student district (also in New York) that pays $23,000. In California's Los Angeles Unified School District, which serves 655,000 students, full-time board members made $45,637 in 2013. Recently, they received a 174-percent raise in their salaries. Full-time board members now make $125,000 a year, and other board members in that district who receive another salary or stipend are currently paid $50,000 (almost twice their former salary of $26,437). The starting salary for a teacher is $50,000.
   In the 2017-2018 school year in D 49, there were 21,448 students ó not so small anymore, but Colorado laws ban pay for school board members. Our D 49 board members give up quite a bit of their time and work hard for the school and the community. They deserve recognition ó and a big thanks.
   As I am writing this (Sept. 26), I received a news release from KKTV, where they reported that today a first-grader brought a gun to Falcon Elementary. The handgun was apparently found in the studentís backpack. How does a first-grader get a gun? The child-student said he meant no harm. By the time the NFH is published, the incident will be thoroughly investigated and probably resolved. But it reminds me that our school board members, administration and teachers have weighty challenges before them. Board members are part of the equation to resolve violence in schools, and that is a huge responsibility. Itís understandable that people arenít chomping at the bit to join the school board.
   On another note, I would like to ask anyone in the community who has issues with their phone lines to call or write our editor, Marylou. Weíve had a few complaints from residents who constantly have crackling noises or sporadic service because the lines are outdated and worn. So, please get in touch with Marylou (her contact information is on this page).
   Finally, itís almost time for snow. The late September heat doesnít exactly get us thinking about snow, but Halloween is around the corner and the snow is as common as trick-or-treaters and crazy costumes. Be safe out there.
   See you in November!
   - Michelle
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