President's Corner: Be bolder for public education

Miranda Beard

As 2017 ushers in a brand new year and with it a new President and Congress, I can’t help but wonder about the effect these changes will have on the future of public education.

The pending changes and the challenges that will accompany them call for school board members and education leaders to be even more vigilant and strategic in their planning. They must ensure they are prepared for what may be on the horizon that could dramatically change or alter the civil right we know today as public education.

Our message is strong as we, local decision-makers, are the best equipped to determine how to support and help students succeed. Together we can use that voice to loudly advocate for what is needed to provide all students with a high-quality and equitable education system.

Our rallying cry may begin at the board table with policy decisions to ensure that students—regardless of their ZIP code, gender, or ethnic background—have equitable access to the resources and supports they need. But our work shouldn’t end there.

Lawmakers need to hear from more of us so they can better understand the impact their decisions have on the children in our communities, and on the schools they attend. They need to know and understand our legislative concerns and priorities so that they can make informed decisions in the best interests of our public school children, their families, and communities.

School board members and education leaders must be laser-focused. From the boardroom to the classroom, from the state capitol to leaders on Capitol Hill, the children of this great nation are counting on us to stand up and ensure they have access to a world-class education and the best opportunity to live successful lives.

This is not the time for us to falter and lose hope. We must remain strong, steadfast, and vigilant. We must be like beacons of light for the sake of the students who depend on us every day to do what is right on their behalf.

Stay focused, bold, and strong. Be ready to do what is needed to help guarantee a bright future for our children. Our expectations for each of them are great, as are our expectations for one another.

Let’s continue to help children find their purpose, identity, and destiny in this new year of 2017.

Miranda BeardMiranda Beard ( is NSBA’s 2016-17 president and a member of Mississippi’s Laurel School Board.


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