MASB Relaunches Campaign to Help Spark Interest in Board Service

First introduced two years ago, the Michigan Association of School Boards' Get On Board campaign is underway again for the 2018 election. The grassroots effort focuses on encouraging people to give back to their community and to help advocate for and improve student achievement through board service.

In the last school board election in 2016, less than 5.4% of the available seats weren’t filed for at the filing deadline; a reduction from 10% in 2014.

“We all know someone who possesses the necessary traits to be an effective board member and we need help to get them on board,” noted MASB Executive Director Don P. Wotruba, CAE. “We need civic-minded, student-focused individuals to serve on school boards. This work is too important to have seats go unfilled.”

MASB commissioned a poll in August 2017 through EPIC-MRA to ask general election voters in Michigan for their thoughts on running for a school board seat, including “Which of the following best describes the main reason why you believe school boards are having an increasingly difficult time attracting qualified candidates to run for school board positions?” The leading response, with 30% was the fact that boards have become too political; 20% were apathetic; 13% believed school boards are a waste of time and no longer relevant; and 10% said it’s too much of a time commitment or don’t have the time.

In addition, we asked, “Which one of the following reasons would most likely motivate you to run for your local board of education?” By far the leading response, with 46%, was “Ensuring all kids have a quality education” followed by “Giving back to your community” at 18% and 17% being undecided/refusing to answer.

MASB aims to focus on the desire for a quality education for all kids and further reduce the unfiled seats number through the Get On Board campaign, including radio ads and public service announcements, social media outreach, providing members with recruitment tools, materials for potential candidates and more.

To learn about the roles and responsibilities of board members, visit masb.org/school-boards.aspx. Materials for the Get On Board campaign can be found at getonboardmi.masb.org. Or, if you’re interested in board service, contact MASB for more information at [email protected] or 517.327.5900.