Everything you should know about filing for school board

When is the next District 834 School Board election?

There are three board seats up for election this year. If more than six people file for the three seats, a primary election will be held on Tuesday, Sept. 13. The six candidates with the most votes would then advance to the General Election, which will be held on Tuesday, Nov. 8. The three candidates with the most votes in this election will serve on the Board of Education.

Who is eligible to file and when is the filing period?

In order to be a candidate for District 834’s Board of Education, a person must meet all of the following qualifications:

• be an eligible voter;

• be at least 21 years of age when assuming office;

• be a resident who has lived within the boundaries of District 834 for a minimum of 30 days preceding the general election;

• must not have filed for another office in the same election; and

• must not be registered as a convicted sex offender.

When is the filing period and what is the process?

The filing period opens on Wednesday, July 6, at 8 a.m. and closes on Monday,

July 19, at 5 p.m. Filing for this office is done at the school district’s Central Services Building located at 1875 South Greeley St. in Stillwater.

Applicants need pay a $2 filing fee and submit a completed Affidavit of Candidacy form available at the school district’s Central Services Building. The form must be notarized; a notary is present the Central Services Building. For additional information, call Deb Hoyhtya at 351-8303.

Why aren’t school board elections held during even years when people vote for federal, state, county and city offices?

Because of changes mandates by the Minnesota Legislature in 1994, school boards throughout Minnesota made the decision on whether they would hold their election during odd or even years. The school districts that chose odd years generally did so to prevent school issues from being lost in the larger national and state campaigns.

The District 834 Board of Education decided this past year to move their elections from odd to even years. In order to do this, all board members elected in 2005 and 2007 will have three-year terms rather than the current four-year terms. Four Board of Education seats will be up for election in 2007. Beginning in fall of 2008, the Board of Education seats will be determined in the even years and members will be elected to four-year terms. For example, a person who wins this fall will serve a three-year term, with that seat up for election in 2008. If that person runs again and wins, the person will begin serving a four-year term.

What are the biggest issues facing Stillwater Area Public Schools?

Funding is always a challenge for school districts. Board members will decide when to approach local voters with renewing the operating levies that are set to expire in 2007.

Uneven district growth in students will present challenges and opportunities for decisions by the Board of Education. Some areas of this 150-square-mile district are growing very quickly while others are slow to grow or are declining in student numbers. The challenges involve everything from bus routes, start and end times of schools, boundary changes, to finding additional space for students as growth occurs.

The most important challenge is maintaining the focus on improving student achievement for all of our children when there are so many distractions. The recent members of the Board of Education have served this community well in maintaining a clear focus on student achievement when making budget and policy decisions.

How much time does it take to be on the Board of Education?

Current members could give you a good idea of the amount of time they devote to being a member of the Board of Education. While the amount of time varies somewhat from member to member, it is safe to say that active members spend more time on board matters than they thought they would when they filed for office.

Questions can be e-mailed to macyk@stillwater.k12.mn.us or sent on a postcard to Kathleen Macy, Stillwater Area Public Schools, and 1875 South Greeley St., Stillwater, MN 55082. "Talk of the District" is also a cable television program that is filmed twice a month and shown several times a week. Contact your local cable access center to find out the days/times it airs in your area.

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