School boards are now spending more time on these 5 topics

Is your school board focused on the same topics that are of growing concern at meetings in other districts and states?

Five big subjects have featured more frequently in school board discussions over the last year. Not surprisingly, artificial intelligence—and related terms such as ChatGPT and generative AI—is rising rapidly, according to Burbio’s School Board Tracker, which identifies K12 trends for solutions providers.

Artificial intelligence appeared in the minutes of just 5% of school board meetings in the first quarter of 2023. That figure soared, nearly tripling to just under 15% by the end of the year, according to Burbio’s review of meetings for approximately 2,000 districts that serve more than half of the K12 school population.

The company also tracked cybersecurity, the science of reading, chronic absenteeism and learning recovery/loss. Here is how much more frequently those terms were discussed at school board meetings throughout 2023:

  • Cybersecurity—2% to 8%
  • Science of reading—About 2% to 6%
  • Chronic absenteeism—3% to more than 8%
  • Learning recovery/loss—2% to 6%

Though more common, these terms may not be the most popular. It’s not a direct comparison, but Burbio’s 2023 school board analysis ranked the most frequently discussed topics in several categories.

For example, the most popular school culture terms were achievement (26.2%), equity (25.9%), discipline (21.3%), mental health (19.1%) and excellence (18.6%). As for academic terms, the most common were career and technical (28.9%), workshop (20.5%), STEM (13.9%), intervention (13.7%) and after-school (13.2%).

Matthew Zalaznick
Matthew Zalaznick
Matt Zalaznick is a life-long journalist. Prior to writing for District Administration he worked in daily news all over the country, from the NYC suburbs to the Rocky Mountains, Silicon Valley and the U.S. Virgin Islands. He's also in a band.