School board members are elected volunteers who serve on a school district’s governing body. They oversee the school district’s operation, including setting policies. In addition, school boards ensure the district is run correctly and that students receive the best education possible.
But are school board members paid? Seventy-five percent of small-district school board members receive no annual salary. In contrast, those who get compensated receive varied salaries according to state.
For instance, a survey by Ballotpedia revealed a salary range of $0 to $125,000 from school boards in the ten largest school districts.
If you want to join a school board, there is much to learn. Though money is the driving force for anyone to grab an opportunity, there are more reasons to join school boards. So, here’s what you need to know about school boards:
What Is a School Board?
For a seamless flow of a school system, there must be proper leadership. And one of the main ways to have appropriate guidance and supervision is through a school board.
School boards are the governing bodies of public school districts. School board members are elected by the people of their district and serve for a given term. The school board works with a superintendent to ensure students are governed effectively with the right resources.
What Are School Boards Responsible For?
The duties of a school board vary from state to state, but they generally include:
- Setting educational goals and objectives for the school district.
- Providing oversight of the superintendent or chief administrator.
- Adopting policies related to curriculum, student discipline, and teacher evaluation processes.
- Approving budgets for schools within the district.
- Hiring and firing administrators and teachers.
- Determining whether creating a charter school within the district’s boundaries is necessary.
- Setting policies for their local school district.
- Approving new construction projects.
- Deciding whether or not to sell school property and what to do with the proceeds if they do sell it.
- Supervising the operation of the district.
What Are the Characteristics of an Effective School Board Member?
The following characteristics can make an influential school board member:
Strong sense of ethics and integrity. Effective school board governance requires honest and fair individuals, even when it comes to unpopular decisions. They should be committed to doing what’s best for kids and schools, not just what’s best for politics or personal gain.
Good knowledge about education issues. An influential school board member will have general knowledge about education and local problems specific to their community. Also, they ought to understand how schools operate — their strengths and weaknesses — so they can advocate for them effectively at meetings with other policymakers (such as legislators), parents, and teachers’ unions.
Strong communication skills. Efficient board members must have strong communication skills to communicate clearly with other stakeholders in their community. Some stakeholders include parents, teachers, administrators, and others who care about education policy issues. The communication is mainly through letters to editors or social media posts, as well as at public meetings where decisions about the school are made. Currently, different error-free software programs to manage meetings and records are available.
Why Should You Consider Joining a School Board?
Joining a school board is a great way to support public education. And there are more reasons for it:
You Can Make a Difference!
School boards are responsible for making decisions that directly impact the lives of students and teachers. They can decide what kind of curriculum will be taught, how many hours of instruction will take place each day, whether or not certain subjects will be offered, and much more. When you become a member of your local school board, you can help shape the future of your community.
You Will Learn Something New!
The world of education is constantly changing. School boards are tasked with keeping up with these changes and ensuring that their schools remain relevant and practical. As a member of your local council, you will gain valuable knowledge about the latest trends in education. And get to know other members who share your passion for learning.
You Will Meet People From All Walks of Life!
Your fellow board members come from all different backgrounds. Some may be parents, some may be retired, and others may work in the field of education. Everyone has a unique perspective on education regardless of where they live or what they do for a living. By getting to know them, you will gain insight into your communities’ issues and find ways to address them together.
School Board Salaries
While school board members are mainly volunteers, several school districts offer salaries. In addition, some local governments conduct school board elections, while others nominate new board members. Below is an overview of school board salaries for the ten largest districts in the US.
1. New York City Public Schools (NYCPS)
The average salary for an NYCPS teacher is $57,917 per year.
2. Los Angeles Unified School District (LAUSD)
The average salary of an LAUSD board member is $59,839 per year.
3. Chicago Public Schools (CPS)
The annual salary of a CPS board member is $56,741.
4. Miami-Dade County Public Schools (MDCPS)
The annual salary of an MDCPS board member is $42,570.
5. Clark County School District (CCSD)
School board members in this district earn $9000 per year.
6. Broward County Public Schools (BCPS)
As part of the school board governance in BCPS, you will earn $42,570 yearly.
7. Houston Independent School District (HISD)
HISD offers salaries to its board members. The salary range is $54,369.
8. Hillsborough County Public Schools (HCPS)
It offers a salary of$42,570 annually.
9. Orange County Public Schools (OCPS)
OCPS also pays well—$42.570 annually.
10. School District of Palm Beach County (SDPBC)
Schools in this district pay $42,570 to their board members every year.
Board Management to Drive School Board Effectively
Board management involves managing effectively. It includes the ability to motivate, inspire, and lead others. The school board should have:
- Ability to communicate clearly and concisely to all stakeholders. It is possible by remotely scheduling meetings, such as using the eScribe meeting app.
- Ability to listen actively and solve arising problems in their jurisdiction.
- Ability to understand and empathize with others.
- Ability to take the initiative.
- Ability to coordinate a team and work well under pressure.
School boards have a lot of responsibilities, but most of them do not pay members. Well, it doesn’t mean you should not treasure such opportunities. As a school board member, you are bound to help ensure schools are the best place for all learners. Isn’t that enough—to help out future generations? And while at it, you will learn, interact with new people, and maybe get paid for it!
Now school board meetings have even been made easier with digital transformation. You can enjoy safe record keeping and online discussions with eScribe software. Download the following resource: Digital Transformation: The Death of Paper in the Digital Age, and learn today!