Newsday missed the bigger story in "Elections raise fairness issues" [News, May 17]. The story should have highlighted the inherent value of having an educator serve as a school board member.

The article correctly states that many educators say their presence on the boards provides professional know-how. However, the focus should be on communities choosing educators for these positions. Voters recognize that educators do more than just teach; they advocate for our public school children at all levels.

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This call to service is evident: 36 percent of school board candidates this year were either active or retired public school employees or had immediate family members who were.

If the claim that this participation rate presents a conflict of interest, then it would only be fair to state the professional makeup of the other 64 percent of the candidates. The story would then appropriately represent the potential issues that arise from an imbalance by any one profession serving on a board of education, not just public school educators and their immediate family members.

Every public school board should have a sitting educator; it is in the interest of the community, not a conflict of interest.

David Steinberg, Greenlawn

Editor's note: The writer sits on the Harborfields school board and teaches biology at Syosset High School.