Unparalleled power 

Disproportionate influence in the LSC 

The Jones Local School Council (LSC) has been very active, but their current actions extend far beyond what they should and often ignore voices of disagreement. Their main role is to monitor the school improvement plan as well as monitoring the school’s budget and evaluating the principal annually. The LSC meetings take place every month, discussing a range of issues. The meetings usually last around three to five hours in the evening (with some even lasting seven hours). How many parents, students, and teachers have the privilege to block out an entire evening to watch or participate? The parent members of the LSC are too concerned with their own agenda and need to take a step back and evaluate their role. 

The power the LSC wields is enormous, and everyone involved with the school should be able to have a voice in the council. They could, theoretically, replace the principal. How could all parts of the community be heard when there are only three student representatives? Two of these representatives were only added in January of this year, so it’s no surprise that student concerns aren’t as prevalent in LSC as they should be. How do 14 people, many without any training in education or school management, decide the future of a school, often hiding behind closed door meetings?

The LSC has a lot of power at the student level, and it seems as though students’ concerns are widely unrepresented in the council. Issues with budget, dress code, and student textbooks are just a few issues that are prevalent in the LSC meetings, and student concerns are both not respected or truly taken into account. 

A lot of actions taken by this council have been backed by issues of equity, but oftentimes both sides of the issues are not represented. The issue of replacing the AP U.S. History textbook was brought up due to some of the content of the textbook. While the issue has yet to be resolved, LSC seems to be ignoring other sides to this issue. Yes, of course the textbook has issues, but teachers are supplementing with documents and other materials with the goal of inclusivity and equity at its core. There will always be more that teachers could do and how textbooks can improve, but the LSC seems to ignore both student concerns and the efforts that the teachers have made regarding the issue.  

Of course equity issues are important. And parents should have a say. Afterall, they are sending their children to this school and want to ensure that the education and school climate will be as good as they can make it. However, there is a huge lack of transparency and communication between administration, students, and the LSC. 

There are steps this council could definitely take to improve, and steps that would benefit all people involved in the school. For one, adding more student and teacher representatives. It is understood that parents have concerns, and that is valid, but the people who are at Jones everyday should have way more voice then they currently have. Secondly, cutting down meeting time is extremely important. If a parent is working and gets home after a long day, would they sit in front of a computer for five hours to watch a meeting that may not come to a conclusion? Most likely not. Overall, the LSC needs to take into consideration the issues that truly affect students and respect the time of the community, not some of the assumed issues that have been brought up in the LSC.