Ann Marie Bush who is a reporter for the Topeka Capital-Journal is reporting that Kansas Gov. Mark Parkinson has proclaimed January as School Board Recognition Month.
Bush reports that Tom Krebs, governmental relations specialist at the Kansas Association of School Boards said school board members are often unappreciated.
"School board members are unpaid representatives of their community," Krebs said. "They make tough decisions that affect family members, neighbors, their communities, friends."
Topeka superintendent Kevin Singer also told Bush that he thinks highly of board members.
"They are tremendous public servants," Singer said. "They put in more effort than anyone can ever know."
According to the National School Board Association (NSBA) local government authorities in Boston in 1721 delegated part of their control over schools to lay citizens.
Their website said that "the town selectmen were burdened with the details of education as defined by the Massachusetts Laws of 1642 (establishing the right of the government to demand universal and literacy) and the Old Deluder Law of 1647 (establishing compulsory schools for the young)," according to the NSBA Web site.
"In 1826, Massachusetts took the final step in the evolution of a district school board by ordering each town in the state to elect a separate school committee to have 'the general charge and superintendence of all public schools' of the town. This law marks the final transfer of educational functions from the selectmen to the new body, created specifically for administering public education in the towns," the Web site states.
There are more than 2,000 elected school board members across the state of Kansas. USD 480 school district in Liberal has seven board members.