The Iowa Association of School Boards urges Iowans who are passionate about education to consider running for election to their local school boards, in order to ensure a bright future for all children and communities across the state. Nominations for open seats on the state's 362 local public school boards can be filed between July 6 and July 30, 2009. School Board elections will take place on September 8. Strong leadership in every school district is critical to moving education forward in this state. School Board members play significant roles in their communities - members must have leadership, vision and dedication. School board members are locally elected public officials charged with accountability for student learning, determining educational goals, setting policy, overseeing school finances and other duties. Across Iowa, more than 2,000 men and women serve on local school boards, guiding the education of nearly 480,000 young people at an annual expenditure of more than $4.4 billion. Starting this year, school board members will be elected to serve four-year terms. Beginning with this fall's 2009 election, elections will take place in odd-numbered years. Previously, school board members were elected to three-year terms, so some current board members are completing those terms or may have shorter terms due to the transition between systems. Those elected receive no pay. Experienced school board members say that the rewards of service lie in meeting the needs of children and communities. Nomination papers for school board seats are available from local school board secretaries. School board candidates must obtain the signatures of at least one percent of the qualified electors of the district or 50 electors, whichever is less, but at least 10 signatures. A free guide for board candidates, titled "Leaders Who Care," is available upon request from the local school district board secretary or from IASB. Board members for community colleges are also elected on September 8. Board members for area education agencies, which provide specialized services to local schools, are elected by the boards of schools within each area.