Moser: Would You Apply for the School Board Job?
A recent discussion on Our Schools Facebook page revolved around salaried elected officials. We noted the differences between the Board of County Supervisors (BOCS) and the School Board Representatives (SB Reps)
The BOCS, meets year round and are paid as full-time employees with benefits. They have offices, staff and expense accounts. Prince William County Schools receive 57.23% of the general revenue funds paid to the county by the taxpayers, yet, PWC SB Reps are considered part time employees.
The BOCS is paid a salary well over $40,000 per year and they have staff who are also paid a salary. Additionally, the BOCS have expense accounts, offices and supplies paid for by the PWC taxpayers.
SB Reps are paid a stipend of only $12,000 a year. They are elected to their positions, as the BOCS is elected to their positions, but SB Reps are expected to be bi-partisan. SB Reps receive no campaign support from the Democratic or Republican Party as the BOCS does. It also means SB Reps pay for their campaign expenses primarily out of pocket.
SB Reps are expected to support the demands of their 65,000 constituents in school related issues in each district, just as the BOCS is expected to answer the demands of their constituents in non-school related issues.
If there was a job description written accurately for each SB Rep, it might look something like this:
Tireless individual, willing to sacrifice their time and energy for less than minimum wage. Applicant must be willing to sacrifice time away from their own families.
Applicant must be willing to work into the wee hours of the morning after marathon School Board meetings. (Applicant may have to go to their regular job in the morning after such marathon sessions.)
No office space will be provided for the applicant at the Kelly Leadership Center or any other county facility. Applicant must create space at home to accommodate the endless reams of paper, files, complaints, correspondence, etc.
No staff will be allotted to the applicant, but staff at the Kelly Center will be happy to answer your questions if and when they have time. No county vehicle is provided, but you may expense travel.
Position is termed part time, but applicant must be available, on call, 24/7 to handle constituent problems and complaints. Applicant is also expected to attend school functions, school sporting events, fundraisers, celebrations, pep rallies, etc.
Applicant must be willing to accept the public’s expectation the SB Rep understand all contracts, salaries, expenditures and all aspects of the 1.2 billion dollar annual budget.
CPA experience not mandatory, but certainly helpful. Applicant must be able to withstand criticism from parents, teachers, elected officials and constituents.
Applicant must be able to decipher large packages of information and capture both the gist and the subtleties of same information. Intuitive experience needed.
Thank you Milt Johns, Alyson Satterwhite, Betty Covington, Loree Williams, Lisa Bell, Lillie Jessie, Michael Otiagbe and Gil Trenum for all you do. These representatives are doing the job that very few of us would ever really want. They have earned our admiration (even when we disagree with them).