Ventura school board members have tentatively approved a plan to grant students a stronger voice in the district by allowing the board's two high school representatives to cast advisory votes.
By the fall, student representatives from the district's two high schools would be able to announce their opinions on all but employee issues, under the plan tentatively approved Tuesday. The trustees are expected to vote on the issue at their next meeting in two weeks.
The Ventura Unified School District board of trustees has had student members from the high schools for nearly 20 years.
Although the students sit at the same table as the five adult trustees, their main contribution at meetings has been to report the latest academic and athletic achievements at their schools. Students rarely participate in board discussions and often leave early.
But board members Jason Harris, a senior at Buena High, and Mike Schodorf, a senior at Ventura High, decided earlier this year to try to change that.
After hearing about students around the state who have been granted advisory votes on their school boards, Jason and Mike asked for the same.
Also under the plan tentatively approved Tuesday, future student representatives would represent not only their high schools but also younger students in the district.
The representatives would be chosen by student government leaders and the principals at their high schools. Now student body presidents serve as representatives.