BOE Results

Kristy Duong, Reporter

Around the U.S. there has been a lot of media coverage of violence during school board meetings. Parents are upset over mask and vaccine mandates and critical race theory.

In Wichita, the board is an unpaid and non-partisan position. In this year’s election, there has been more interest and money spent because of the controversy.

“Well, generally speaking with school board elections that are in off-election years. You’re going to have about 10% participation. So I think if people want to feel like their voices are being heard that they will turn up in these types of election years,” English teacher Stephen Maurer said.

While many students aren’t able to vote currently it’s still important to be involved politically.

“It’s really important to help decisions for the future of the country that you’re going to live in and participate in. So starting at an early age it gives you opportunities to see different things and learn exactly what you want to focus on as far as politics and stuff as you get older,” history teacher Kathy Saar said.

The decisions that the BOE makes also heavily impact students.

“I mean they approve the calendar, they approve curriculum, they run student services, building services. Everything that you can think of that involves running a district,” Maurer said.

In district 2 Julie Hedrick won her re-election. In districts 1, 5 and 6 Diane Albert, Kathy Bond, and Hazel Stabler won. The three of them defeated their incumbents. Something new this year was the candidates ran in groups. One group was endorsed by the local Republican party to try and change the majority of the board.

“Well, the entire idea of a school board at least in the Wichita area is that it is a non-partisan race. There is no party affiliation attached to the people that are running and they view that as important because education is an apolitical decision because there are certainly are politics that exist within it,” Maurer said.

In addition to mask mandates, there has also been a controversy about if critical race theory should be taught in schools. The newly elected board members oppose of that idea.

“I think we should learn to embrace and learn more about our history and how some of the policies in the American government have been made to target a minority group. But again we shouldn’t be burying it but we should be embracing it and learning to improve on it,” Andrew Le (11) said.

The newly elected members will officially take office in January, so pay attention to the decisions that are going to be made in the future.