Schools and mayor must work togetherPublished 8:26pm Wednesday, June 13, 2012
City government and school boards must work together in order to have successful schools. In the past, school superintendents and city mayors had minimum interaction. Today, in many places, mayors and superintendents work together to make their schools and cities better.
Some urban school districts have witnessed the mayor gaining a take-over of the school district. These mayors believe that they must have control of the schools in order to implement change, improve the quality of life for their cities and to attract businesses and industries. They appoint superintendents and school board members. However, some educators are opposed to a mayor’s control of local schools.
A mayor superintendent-school board relationship has emerged in many cities. In some places, mayors are becoming non-voting members of the local school board. However, they do not attend school boards’ executive sessions. Moreover, city councils and school boards have formed a bond in some areas. They hold joint meetings to discuss the conditions of school buildings, budgets, police and security, ways to attract new teachers and economic development.
An article titled, “Best Buddies: Superintendents and Mayors Are No Longer Adversaries,” states to maintain strong relationships between the two:
- Keep each other abreast of developing issues and needs, even if neither leader has any say or responsibility over the issue.
- Meet and talk regularly just to touch base so that neither side is hearing about the other’s opinions only from media reports.
- Serve jointly on city and educational committees, especially ones where schools and city services can overlap like security, social services and transportation.
- Appoint staff members to serve as liaisons to the mayor’s office or superintendent’s office.
- Involve city staff and educators in important issues and allow them to participate in the decision-making process.
- Identify areas where both city and schools could work together on a project, such as after-school programs, community events, special celebrations and recreational services.
- Work together to reach out to business leaders who can help provide funding, mentors, equipment and volunteers for school and city initiatives.
School superintendents are becoming active participants with the local Chamber of Commerce and Economic Development Authority.
Selma’s municipal-school board election is scheduled for Tuesday, August 28, 2012. A positive mental attitude elected official is most beneficial to both city government and the local school system. Collectively, the Selma City School System and the city have a promising future.
The equation, Selma City School System + City of Selma = Success.