At the present time, three schools make up the Federation Board. These schools are Adams and Hope of Grand Rapids, and the school at South Holland, Illinois. From these institutions, there are two School Board members and one Society member selected from each school as delegates to the Federation. In addition to this, there are two ministers and two teachers who serve in advisory capacity.
The Federation Board is scheduled to meet twice each year. These meetings are held in September and May, and are always open to visitors. The meetings are held in rotation at the schools mentioned above. Although we are supposed to meet twice a year, it has been my experience, in the two years I was delegate, to meet an average of four times a year, due to the fact that many pertinent things have been before the Board in these two years.
The duties of the Federation Board are:
- Supplying and training Protestant Reformed teachers.
- Supplying a Protestant Reformed course of study and textbooks.
- Attaining cooperation among schools in reaching the goal of distinctive Protestant Reformed education for our children.
In regard to training teachers, the Federation has a Seminar Committee whose duty it is to supply topics and speakers for meeting during the school year. These meetings are to help teachers and prospective teachers apply Protestant Reformed doctrine to the subject matter and methods of education as used in our schools. At these meeting, a lecturer reads an original paper which deals with matters of educational interest. This subject then can be further developed by means of general discussion. At the present time the Seminar is not active, but it is the hope of the Federation and School Boards that this worthwhile endeavor will begin again soon.
Regarding textbooks, there are several committees working on various types of books. At this writing, we have a history outline or supplement being written by Mr. F. Hanko which should be ready this year. Other committees are working on such subjects as science, geography, etc. This is a large task and will take several years before we realize our goal.
This past year, a committee was formed to investigate the health and accident insurance of our teachers. The purpose was to have a comparable insurance, but by taking in all three schools, reducing costs to the teachers. This required a company that could cross state borders in this coverage. This is still being studied, and we hope someday soon our teachers can realize these benefits.
The Federation Board has absolutely no authority over the individual school boards. Our function is only to investigate and advise the boards to the best of our ability. Many times this becomes discouraging because, after spending many hours n a given subject, a board or boards will not agree with the Federation, and so we begin all over again.
Another large task for the Federation is trying to produce a salary schedule that not only satisfies our teachers, but that is feasible for the various boards. We feel in the last two years much progress has been made in this field. This is a subject that involves every one of us. As parents we must sacrifice and support our schools to the utmost so that the boards can pay teachers a fair salary; and as for teachers, do not look only at the monetary view, but also the privilege and pleasure that was given to you to teach the covenant children that God has given us.
After spending two years on this board, one becomes acutely aware of the many aspects required to operate our schools from year to year. I have become much more interested in OUR schools than in just MY school. The experience of working with other men and boards has been most gratifying. I sincerely pray that God continues to bless the Federation Board so that it might work to the good of our schools and to His honor and glory.