Governing school systems is challenging. A school board is essential for school systems to function correctly. But how are school boards elected, and who can vote in school board elections?
School board members are voted in by the public. The requirements to participate in school board elections vary from district to district. While some districts allow anyone over 18 to be a board member, others have more specific requirements.
What is a School Board?
A school board is a board of directors that determines policies, leadership, administration, and budget for districts and individual schools. A school board can also be called a board of education. School boards are tasked with implementing educational reforms in collaboration with the superintendent.
Over the years, school boards have played the role of representing citizens in public education systems. School boards have also played a vital role in building a social and political connection between schools and communities.
What are the Major Responsibilities of a School Board?
Set Policies for the School District
School boards are in charge of developing and implementing school district policies. They should develop policies per government regulations and community needs. As such, a school board should be familiar with all government regulations governing public education.
A school board must review policies regularly to ensure they remain consistent with local laws and regulations. The regular review also ensures the continued delivery of quality education to students. In addition, parents, teachers, and the community should be involved when reviewing the policies.
The school board hires the superintendent. The school board can also fire the superintendent. A superintendent is an executive in charge of a school district’s administration. The main characteristics that school boards look for in a superintendent are leadership abilities, educational background, and financial management abilities.
A school board is responsible for ensuring that the budget and finances for the school district are in order. The school board has to approve a budget before it can be adopted. The board must also approve educational budget changes before they can be implemented.
Ensuring Compliance with Policy Standards
School boards must assess compliance with policy standards to ensure quality education for students. The policy standards relate to the adequacy of the curriculum, welfare of students, and financial management. In addition, the school board sets performance markers used to monitor the policy standards.
Representing the Interest of the Community
School boards are responsible for advocating for the community’s educational needs by involving the community in decision-making processes. A school board must balance representing local government, education stakeholders, and the community.
School Board Eligibility Requirements
You must meet certain qualifications to run for a school board position. These requirements for board members differ from one district to the next, but the fundamental requirements for most districts are as follows:
- Registered voter: A school board candidate must be registered to vote in the school district.
- Legal resident: All school board members must be residents of the district they represent.
- Education background: School board candidates should have at least a high school diploma or an equivalent certificate.
- Employment status: A school board candidate should not be a current employee or related to a current employee of the district.
- Criminal background: A candidate should not be a convicted felon.
- Age: A school board member should be at least 18 years old.
Some states may have additional qualifications, such as experience working in education. If you meet all these qualifications, you can begin your campaign. In some states, you must file a petition and gather a certain number of signatures to run for the petition. Consider the tips below if you want to run for a school board member position.
Tips for Running for a School Board Member Position
- Familiarize with the school district. Find out about the schools in the district and statistics such as student population.
- Build a working relationship with the community. Engage with the community to learn about its educational needs.
- Develop clear goals aimed at improving the quality of education. Identify ways you can make a positive impact on the school district.
- Popularize your candidature. Ask people to vote for you in events.
How School Board Portals Improve Board Effectiveness
A school board portal is a digital tool that provides a centralized place for board members to access information. School board portals, sometimes called school board meeting management technology, play a crucial role in board effectiveness. Here is how a school board portal improves board effectiveness.
Providing a centralized place for accessing information makes it easy for school board members and the general public to share information and ideas. Every board member can update in real-time within a school board portal. Some meeting management solutions have built-in tools that promote easy engagement, such as public comments.
Meeting management technology allows for tracking and auditing of board activities. In addition, a board portal ensures information is readily available to all stakeholders. And with features like video streaming and one-click publishing, school boards can maintain complete transparency.
School board portals enable boards to shift to paperless meetings. A paperless meeting eliminates the costs of prepping and binding. Therefore, investing in a school board portal is worthwhile in the long run.
School board members often handle sensitive information that may require specific security compliance. With a good school board portal, school boards can feel confident that they are in compliance with local regulations regarding information security for public entities.
Power Your School Board with eScribe
Investing in a good school board meeting management solution can help your school board achieve its goals more efficiently. eScribe empowers school boards to streamline complicated administrative tasks and boost citizen engagement. Schedule a demo today or learn more about the importance of keeping up with the digital transformation of meeting management.