I doubt anyone needs reminding for either. I've heard large turn outs are expected. Many plan on getting to the forum early for good seats. Whether anticipated is from a sense of civic responsibilty, personal connections to stakeholders or because it's an otherwise slow week does not really matter. Just come.
I'd hoped to publish position statements and qualifications for candidates but did not get to touch base with everyone running. In fairness, that sort of thing has to be everyone or no one. There are, of course, the ubiquitous flyers about town - broadsheets, time honored ancestor of more conventional modern publishing. Whatever medium works and gets the word should continue side by side with newer versions.
Catch a copy of the Jan 22 MountainairView Telegraph for their piece on the candidates. Only two responded, however. One candidate who did not get a comment in has been getting the word in that time honored traditional way - going from house to house and talking to as many voters as possible.
What kind of questions should we ask tonight?
First though, let's question ourselves: take an inventory. What are our expectations for the school system? What is the role of the school system in the community? What responsibilities do school board members have? Whom do they serve? Are our own expectations in line with what students and the community needs? If not, then which comes first and what kind of adjustments are we prepared to make?
minimum requirements to qualify as a candidate and then there are optimal qualifications. e-Democracy's job description for school board members seems as a good a place to start as any. Portland Public Schools has also posted a job description for school board members - along with agendas and minutes for meetings.
If you want to make the best choice possible, learn more about education issure and policies, school boards and what they do, what challenges schools face in these times. Don't take anyone's word - ask for sources, insist on data to back up claims no matter who makes them. Just recently I heard someone who ought to know better claim success for a policy when I know it was not true - and so would anyone who can read and use a search engine. In short, question authority (if you have one, wear the tee to the forum) and do your own homework.
A useful description from eDemocracy:
With an eye toward helping children learn, candidates run for the school board for many reasons, among them: to advocate for particular issues, to address fiscal issues, or to represent a particular cultural group. Personal agendas go a long way toward defining how an individual elected to the board will approach the job. However, school board members do not have the luxury to work only on issues of concern to them or within their realm of expertise. A school board member must deal with many interrelated issues including but not limited to taxes, budgets, students, teachers, parents, curriculum, government regulations, technology and building construction and management. In addition, a school board member is both empowered and required by state law to perform specific duties.