Proposal being considered to postpone 2016 school board elections
There are still discussions going on within the Navajo Nation government that may result in a postponement of the 2016 election for school board members.
The Navajo Nation Council’s Health, Education and Human Services Committee addressed the school board issue on Monday and advised sponsors of the proposal to continue working with the tribe’s Board of Election Supervisors.
The proposal is being sponsored by the Division of Diné Education, which already has asked the election board to consider postponing the 2016 school board election to give division officials time to enact legislation to severely reduce the number of school boards on the reservation.
As it is now, according to election officials, more than 300 school board positions will be up for election in 2016. These are for federally funded schools on the reservation.
The education division is proposing to do away with the individual schools boards and set up one school board in each of the five agencies that would oversee all of the federally-funded schools in that agency.
Education officials said this would eliminate problems in filling all of those positions since a number of them go unfilled each election cycle because no one files for the position. They also claimed that this would save money for the schools, giving them more funds to use for education of the students.
This proposal has met with stiff opposition from many of the school boards that would be affected with members arguing that having an agency school board would take away much of the local involvement in the running of the schools.