OUR TAKE: Say no to Senate Bill 1582 | Editorials

If Senate Bill 1582 passes, it would change state law so residents could use a recall petition to remove a school board member, which would be another waste of time and money for taxpayers.

School board members are elected, for a fee, by the residents of the community they serve.

“We already have reminders for school board members. They’re called elections,” said Erika Wright, founder of the Oklahoma Rural Schools Coalition. “And if people aren’t happy with their local representation, they can run against those people and vote them out.”

We agree. Additionally, the proposed law would not give Oklahomans the same ability to oust elected officials from the state. Why would it be OK for school board members but not for other elected officials?

School board members act as volunteers. They receive no remuneration. Why bother to organize elections if the results do not stick?

Senate Pro Tem Chairman Greg Treat, R-Oklahoma City, said he supports the concept of recalls, but plans to focus on a different method to increase accountability — Senate Bill 962. It would move school board election dates to the fall calendar instead of February and April.

“(He) believes that a better way to increase school board accountability to parents and local communities, as well as to increase voter turnout in local school board elections, is to move the dates of school board elections. school boards in the fall election calendar,” spokesman Aaron Cooper said.

They say timing is everything, and in that case moving school board election dates could attract more voters. But what would really solve this problem is to get people to vote in the first place. Find out about the issues. Talk to candidates. Find out if their views match yours. Then vote using your conscience to see who would do the most for our children.

Norman D. Briggs