Shouldn’t the “owners” be families and students with a more direct connection to the school district

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Families and students are not owners. In their specific roles, they are the BENEFICIARIES of the school district — they benefit from what the school district provides. Their only ownership role comes from being a part of the public as a whole.

The Board holds the Federal Way School District in trust for the owners. Those owners (and we’re still talking about the public) have the moral authority to determine the purpose of the organization. In this case, that purpose is to educate children attending the schools in the district.