How school boards became one of democracy’s front lines

Since the pandemic, Americans are paying closer attention to school boards and their meetings than ever before, but the rubber-meets-the-road government bodies — an original colonial creation — are no strangers to controversy.
Nick Melvoin got elected to Los Angeles Unified School District Board of Education in 2017 and has not seen a break in the chaos since. He has dealt with every school board controversy in the book: natural disasters, teacher strikes, Russian cyberattacks and, of course, COVID-19.“It’s not surprising to me that we’re having these fights in our schools. It’s unfortunate. I think it’s turned a lot of people off from getting involved in the school board because people took an unnecessary amount of heat” over the past few years, Melvoin said. 

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