How to Run for a School Board in 5 Simple Steps

Running for a school board is a great way to help your community. By being involved in school board governance, you can voice your opinions on policy changes to improve education. You will also be at the forefront of implementing those policies and helping students in your district get the best education possible. But you may be wondering how to run for a school board, especially if you haven’t run for an office before.

School boards are made up of community volunteers who sacrifice their time to improve public education. Are you considering taking part in an upcoming school board election? Here’s how to run for a school board in five simple steps.

How to Run for a School Board: 5 Critical Steps

Running for a school board can be intimidating, even if you feel qualified. After all, it’s not just about winning an election. You need to be prepared and knowledgeable about what it takes to run the district efficiently with effective policies. With these five simple steps, you can improve your odds of winning your election.

Decide You Want to Serve

Why do you want to be a member of the school board governance? Is it because you are concerned about budget issues at your child(ren)’s school? Or maybe you are looking for a way to get more involved in your community.

When deciding whether you should be involved in school board elections, ask yourself if what you’re going for is something worth your time and energy. When coming up with reasons to run, write down the following:

  • The achievements of the current school board
  • The challenges and failures of the outgoing board members
  • How you plan to provide solutions if you become a school board member

Understand the Responsibilities of a School Board Member

Before you run, ensure you know what it means to be part of the board of education in your district. You’ll need to keep abreast of federal and state education policy changes. Most importantly, you should understand the role of board members in making decisions on behalf of public schools and how they impact students, parents, and teachers.

Familiarize yourself with the amount of power you will have if elected. Here are some responsibilities of a board member:

  • Establish a shared vision and goals for the future of education
  • Create strategies to enable the school district to achieve the best performance
  • Develop a healthy working and learning environment for teachers and students, respectively
  • Hire and evaluate the district superintendent
  • Develop a budget that aligns with the needs of the school district
  • Ensure current policies are followed
  • Establish connections with the community and other stakeholders

Determine Eligibility Requirements

Each state, school district, and board of education will have its own criteria for running for office. It’s a good idea to familiarize yourself with them as early as possible, so you can start getting signatures when required by law. To be eligible for election as a board member in most districts, you must:

  • Be at least 18 years of age at the election date
  • Display good moral character
  • Must be a resident of the school district you intend to represent for at least one year preceding the election
  • Not be active-duty military
  • Be a registered voter
  • Not be a school trustee

File Nominating Petitions to Become a Candidate

Once you have established your eligibility to run for an election, you must file nominating petitions. This requires you to gather a certain number of signatures supporting your candidature. In most cases, these could be citizens who vouch for you and affirm that you reside in your district.

Check with your local government election office to determine how many signatures you need. They vary from state to state and school district to school district. If there’s time before ballots are due, have a few people you know check over your petition and help you verify the signatures collected.


It is crucial to let people know why you want their vote. Create an impressive campaign website with information about your political experience, goals, and reasons for running.

Use social media like Facebook and Twitter as tools for connecting with voters. Encourage your supporters to volunteer for your campaign, donate, or tell their friends about what you’re doing.

Better still, carry out door-to-door campaigning in your community and visit local businesses in person. If people don’t know who you are, tell them about your campaign as you share lunch or sip coffee. Be sure to get out onto main streets where lots of traffic passes.

Can Technology Improve School Board Voting Procedures?

In some districts, school board elections are often inefficient, relying on paper ballots and hanging chads to keep track of voter choices. The problem with paper ballots is that they require manual counting, which can be extremely time-consuming and tedious.

Once elected to the school board, you will need to become familiar with voting procedures. While this can be challenging at first, you can count on meeting management solutions to retire the unreliable paper-based voting and streamline the voting process.

A meeting manager software allows meeting participants to vote electronically from anywhere. Whether you want a simple majority, weighted two-thirds, or majority-present voting, this tool supports every type of vote. Most importantly, it allows you to graphically display vote results in person or publish them on the web.

eScribe Facilitates Improved School Board Effectiveness

The days of frustrating and lengthy board meetings and voting procedures are coming to an end. eScribe is revolutionizing how school boards do business. This intuitive system allows multiple parties, such as administrators, teachers, and parents, to collaborate on individual tasks within a meeting session in real-time. It also makes it easy for school boards to get more done in less time with fewer meetings and a greater sense of overall efficiency.

Learn more about the importance of digital meeting management solutions.