The caucus has been active since 2016, and it officially received a nonvoting seat on the OSBA Board and LPC in August. The caucus seeks a voting seat to ensure minority voices are part of the effort to promote quality education for all students. OSBA has answers to some frequently asked questions about the proposed change.
“We want to have more people of color on school boards because that helps support equity throughout the state,” said OSBA Board President LeeAnn Larsen (Beaverton School Board). “This caucus represents many of Oregon’s underserved student populations.”
Caucus President Jessica Arzate (Multnomah ESD) said that it was important to ensure minority voices are heard on the OSBA Board and that the seat would represent caucus members’ vision and experiences.
OSBA Board membership also gives the caucus the ability to engage in conversations at the national level, she said.
The caucus’s mission statement includes increasing school board diversity while also helping school board members of color build their capacity to address issues.
School boards can begin voting on candidates Nov. 1 and submit their votes to OSBA starting Nov. 12. The election period closes Dec. 14.
This year’s election regions are Eastern (1), Central (3), Southern (5), Clackamas (7 and 8), Douglas/South Coast (9), Yamhill/Polk (13), Multnomah (17 and 19) and Washington (20).
There is no candidate for Yamhill/Polk, and OSBA must also fill a newly created Legislative Policy Committee position for the Washington region. OSBA is taking applications from the regions until Dec. 14. Contact Executive Assistant Jane Leonhardt at firstname.lastname@example.org for an application. If OSBA does not receive any applications, adjacent regions will be allowed to apply until Jan. 18.