Collectively, the nation's nearly 15,000 local school boards face growing criticism and an array of challenges that have tended to weaken their traditional control over the schools in their communities.
Some critics call for abolishing school boards altogether. Others suggest that better training is needed for a task that has become increasingly complex and time-consuming.
Proponents, on the other hand, point out that school boards, whose members make up the largest group of elected officials in the nation, remain an important mechanism for giving citizens a say in how their schools are run. Getting rid of school boards, they say, would be a blow to democracy.
What do you think? Should school boards be restructured or abolished? Or are they essentially fine they way they are?