By Jill Richardson
Kuna Melba News reporter
Mike Vuittonet from Meridian School Board presented to the Melba School Board on Tuesday with an invitation for a representative of Melba to join the Idaho School Board Association region three legislative committee.
Megan Volkers, Melba School Board member, has stepped up to fill the position.
“I am so excited about this opportunity,” said Volkers. “I hope to do good things with it.”
The committee was formed to increase communication between the 16 districts in region three and law makers.
“When the legislature is in session things are happening all the time. Most the time we are waiting to hear what they do to us, instead of trying to help them know what they can do for us,” said Vuittonet.
The committee, ideally, would be made of one representative from each school board in the region.
“A lot of the issues are the same between districts, but there has not always been enough collaboration between the boards,” said Vuittonet.
The ISBA believes this committee is the best way to communicate and collaborate between the boards on those issues.
One top issue to address is the funding shortages many districts now face because of the failure to pass Propositions 1, 2 and 3.
The region, through the committee, can have a plan a move forward together as a whole, according to Vuittonet.
“Speaking as a whole, it is much more powerful,” said Vuittonet.
Each representative is asked to personally meet and build relationships with the lawmakers individually.
Through this, Vuittonet hopes to see a change in school boards being involved in discussions and decisions at the state house.
“I think that this type of group will have more pull or influence than our superintendent’s group,” said Melba Superintendent Andy Grover. “We are going in the same direction from the principles, superintendents to school boards. I believe this group can have great power with the legislature. The key is communication between all the groups and being united.”
In the future the regional group would like to see their representatives reaching out to sister school boards in other regions bringing more Idaho districts together.
Volkers is no stranger to the state house and has participated in Day on the Hill event put on by ISBA.
Volkers also plans to attend Day on the Hill this year in February also.
Day at the Hill allows board members to attend House and Senate Education Committee meetings, pre-legislative engagement workshop, and have lunch with legislators to help build relationships.