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Letters to the editor

Letter to the editor for Oct. 30, 2021

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School board challenges ahead

As another election is upon us and school board seats are up in numerous counties in the area, I hope the candidates and voters will consider all the issues that a school board member will face over their four years, including:

national teacher shortage, particularly at the secondary level in math, sciences, foreign language, and special education;

increasing requirements put on our educators, leading to teacher burnout;

teacher retention and recruitment;

learning loss due to COVID;

facility repairs and upgrades;

declining enrollment/lower birth rates;

bus driver shortage;

improving on-time graduation and accreditation;

expanding vocational programs;

technology in the classroom and at home;

state and federal mandates which are usually not funded;

requirement to balance the budget;

redistricting considerations;

willingness to spend time in the classroom and meeting with staff members;

lawsuits/legal issues;

student discipline;

employee issues including termination;

hundreds of hours of personal time per year;

easily 1,000 different votes over four years, some of which will not be popular;

issues which no one has even thought of yet; and

many others.

Having spent twelve years on the Bedford County School Board (2005-2017) we faced many of these same challenges and numerous others. I continually saw parents and students rally behind an issue then they would fade away. I encourage parents to be advocates for their children and get involved in the PTAs, school committees and attend school board meetings to understand all the issues that schools are facing in the 21st century and electing leaders that are prepared to deal with the many challenges ahead.

GARY HOSTUTLER,

Forest

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