If the voters of Alabama decide we should have an appointed, rather than an elected, state school board, all signs indicate that the voices of women will be muted to a certain degree.
There are eight elected members of the state school board. Six of them are female.
A case in point is the appointed Community College Board of Trustees that was created in 2015. Prior to this, the state school board had jurisdiction over the community college system. In 2015 the state school board had six female members.
However, today the community college board, which also has eight members, has six male and two female members. All are appointed.
Truth is, even though the state is 51.4 percent female and 48.6 percent male, when it comes to elections, we lean heavily toward males. (Governor Ivey is the first ever female elected to lead the state in her own right. Lurleen Wallace was just a stand in for her husband, George Wallace.)
Our legislature has only 22 females out of 140 members. This is 15.7 percent. Only three states have a lower percentage, Mississippi, West Virginia and Wyoming. By comparison, five states have 40 percent or more females in their legislature with Nevada leading the pack with 52.4 percent.
The majority of females serving in the Alabama statehouse are Democrats. Of 27 Republican senators, none are female. Of 77 Republican house members, only seven are female.
I have long encouraged women to seek public office as I feel they bring an entirely different perspective to public service. A perspective that is definitely needed when education matters are under consideration.
But this is likelyto be lost to some degree with an appointed state board of education.