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Attending school board meetings is important

With the University of Mississippi main campus’ location in Lafayette County and Oxford mom Adrian Shipman recently challenging the Mississippi Legislature about education funding, it is clear schools play an important part in our community.

Whether you group yourself with those who agree or disagree with Initiative 42, most of us have something in common — we care about public education and the type of schooling future leaders of this community and their children and grandchildren receive. Most also share pride in sharing a hometown with Ole Miss and two of the highest-rated school districts in Mississippi.

Still, very few attend local school board meetings to listen, interact and participate in district decisions that affect almost every child in our community. Both the Lafayette County and Oxford school boards meet at least once a month, many times coming together for special -alled meetings when a decision needs to be addressed quickly. The public is welcome to attend these meetings and gain a better understanding of board decisions and district programs.

The Oxford School Board has an item on each meeting’s agenda dedicated to public participation, where anyone in the community — parent, student or resident — is invited to address the board about a topic of their choosing for up to five minutes. Email Board President Whitney Byars at wwbyars@bellsouth.net and ask if there is time for you to address the district at the next meeting.

If your interests lie with the Lafayette County School District, catch a meeting one Monday evening in the district’s boardroom. Board members meet with Superintendent Adam Pugh to cover agenda items and follow with dinner, a time where they are more than happy to share refreshments and visit with any new faces. Call the district at 662-234-3271 to find out when the next meeting is.

We encourage the residents of Lafayette County to attend a district board meeting, meet school officials and hear about what they are doing to ensure our schools remain two of the highest-rated districts in Mississippi. If you have children enrolled in either district, you will learn the reasoning behind their school’s choices or policies.

If you are a resident, you’ll gain a better understanding of what makes our school districts top-notch and our community so unique.