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There were 53.1 million K-12 students in the United States as of 2018, the most recent official data available.1 This is significantly higher than the number of K-12 administrators, approximately 460,000,2 and the number of public school teachers, 3.1 million.3 Yet while students comprise the largest population of educational stakeholders, they are rarely included in education governance at any level. And although they are among those most affected by education policy choices, they are often left out of education policy decision-making.
As of 2019, only 23 states included student members on their state Board of Education,4 which sets school policy. The majority of those students were nonvoting members, so their influence at the state level was limited. When it comes to