By Curt Finch MOISD Superintendent One of the biggest battles our small schools struggle with every day is how to accomplish the same\u00a0reporting, supervision and monitoring requirements as larger districts without the same financial\u00a0support and personnel. In America, almost 60 percent of the schools have 1,500 students or less; they are\u00a0usually rural in location as well, miles from resources suburban and urban schools take for granted. Yes,\u00a0the urban and suburban school systems\u2019 problems are different, but rural schools also typically fight\u00a0declining enrollment, declining tax-base, and a transient population. Our current economy has only\u00a0exacerbated these problems in rural Michigan. This summer, the State Board of Education is going to be choosing the next leader of our state\u00a0educational system, the state superintendent. Our current superintendent, Mike Flanagan, comes\u00a0from a suburban and urban background. Most of the previous state superintendents came from\u00a0the political world, with suburban and urban experience. The state superintendent is charged with\u00a0shaping educational policy, encouraging legislators to move in a direction that benefits all students and\u00a0directing the state\u2019s educational support systems. The current State Board of Education also comes from\u00a0the suburban and urban world, mainly the southeast corner of the state. For years, our own Evart School\u00a0Board member, Carolyn Curtin, served on the State Board, but that lone rural voice was lost when she\u00a0retired. It also is not news to you that legislators, both in Michigan and the U.S. Congress, thrive on\u00a0developing systems that impact the most students, often designing regulations and policies that end\u00a0up only supporting suburban and urban centers even though a majority of the schools in America are\u00a0smaller and rural! Currently, Michigan\u2019s northern legislators are all of the same party and tend to vote\u00a0together, helping to slow some of the erroneous policies and their implementation, but they are still are\u00a0out-numbered significantly. The \u201cone-size-fits-all\u201d policy is usually easier to pass, but always harder to\u00a0implement in the rural setting. Since all of the State Board of Education\u2019s \u201cpower\u201d is currently concentrated in the southeast corner\u00a0of the state, selection of a rural superintendent won\u2019t even be entertained. Perhaps a different system\u00a0of State Board member selection needs to be moved to the front. A couple of years ago, Gov.\u00a0Snyder entertained the idea of changing the selection process for the State Board of Education to be\u00a0done by region to help address the lack of a rural voice in our state on educational items. Of course, the\u00a0southeast corner ultimately rejected the idea, so we went back to the status quo. Perhaps it is time for\u00a0a united voice from the under-served northern Michigan population to speak up against \u201ceducation without\u00a0representation.\u201d Contact your legislator and ask for the Governor\u2019s idea to be brought back \u2013 select our\u00a0State Board of Education by region and allow the rural voice to have input. Dr. Finch can be reached at email@example.com and followed on Twitter @CFinchMOISD .