May 14-20 is School Board Recognition Week. There is no greater voluntary responsibility undertaken by Iowans than overseeing the 365 school systems in our state.
These people make difficult, sometimes controversial decisions with no pay and little recognition for their efforts. Boards in our rural area have had a particularly challenging job, trying to maintain the highest level of offerings possible in the face of declining enrollment based revenue.
The Iowa Association of School Boards has compiled facts about the more than 2,000 men and women serving on the K-12 school boards. They guide the education of 485,000 young people and oversee budgets totaling more than $3.6 billion.
The age of about half of these is unknown, but among those whose age is known, 3 are under 26; 43 are 26 to 35; 97 are 36 to 40; 534 are 41 to 50; 321 are 51 to 60 and 92 are over 60. The average age of those reporting is 48.
Of those whose gender is known, 1,195 are make and 623 are female.
The breakdown by percentage of boards according to the number of students in their districts is: under 250 - 7 percent; 250 to 499 - 24 percent; 500 to 749 - 26 percent; 750 to 999 - 13 percent; 1,000 to 1,499 - 13 percent; 1,500 to 1,999 - 6 percent; 2,000 to 3,499 - 4 percent; over 3,499 - 7 percent.
They are a diverse group of people who share a common goal, providing the best education possible for the kids of Iowa. They deserve our gratitude.