Tuesday May 21st is election day for the Sioux Falls School District. There are two positions to be filled.

Getting on the ballot is easy. Stop by the Instruction Planning Center (IPC), 201 E. 38th Street Monday through Friday from 7:30 a.m. til 5 p.m. to pick up an election packet.

Twenty valid signatures of registered voters living within the district are required on the nominating petitions. And yes, you must be a resident voter within the district.

Petitions must be returned to the IPC by Friday April 12, 2013 at 5p.m.

This is the biggest district in the state with over 20,000 students. That would make it the fourth largest city in the state, very close to the population of Aberdeen. .

School Board members create policy affecting every child in the district. They have the authority to create new programs like the Spanish Immersion, and Technical Career offerings. They set the salary for the superintendent and approve pay and benefits for teachers, custodians, and other district employees, through contracts with the groups which represent them.

They approve an annual budget to pay the costs of running the district, with revenues from the state, local property taxes, and federal government. Their vote on the budget affects the quality of education children receive and your local property taxes.

School boundaries are set by the board, as is the school calendar. Construction and destruction decisions are also part of the job.

Elected school board members don't make much money for the time involved. However, every member I have ever talked to has said the rewards of creating and overseeing opportunities for children to succeed in life are priceless.