What season is it?
If you answered spring, then did you also know this is the season when many school systems finalize their budgets?
That's a matter that more parents should be aware of and interested in learning more about, says Meryl Ain, Ed.D., who wrote Parent Power: Be Engaged in Your School District's Budget Process, on the ParentInvolvementMatters.org website.
After all, Ain points out, school budgets are under tremendous pressure today, and many "givens" in school spending—from busing routes to arts and sports programs—may become goners.
Parents and community members who want to become more involved in the budgeting process can start by finding out the budget calendar for their school district, with scheduled meetings and topics.
Ain gives readers more pointers about how to make sure their voices are heard in what may be a contentious season of proposed budget cuts—such as contacting Board of Education members, attending meetings, voting and organizing for their cause.