Role of a School Board
Who controls public school? As the name implies, the public! All of us have a stake in our public education systems, regardless of whether or not we have children currently in them. That’s why localities do their part by selecting a school board made up of local residents. School boards exercise local control over education – and more than that, they articulate and pursue a community’s hopes for its young people.
School boards hold the highest power over your child's education and yet few people know what they do or who they are. Board members are more than policy makers and administrators. They hire the superintendent, are advocates for students and their parents and are entrusted to engineer a better future.
The role of the board is to provide oversight of the administration, set district goals and vision, and be accountable to the community. Because the trustees are elected by the voters, I believe that communication and accountability are key in representing the wishes of the community. It is important to me as a trustee to listen to parents in the community. A board should discuss the problems and challenges we face publicly and involve the stakeholders in solving these problems. I never want my community to wonder where I stand.
Nearly 14,000 school boards serve 56.6 million students across the U.S. and control more than $600 billion annually.
The Texas Association of School Boards (TASB) provides guidance in what the responsibilities of a school board are:
• Adopt goals and priorities and monitor success
• Adopt policies and review for effectiveness
• Hire and evaluate the superintendent
• Adopt a budget and set a tax rate
• Communicate with the community
TASB also says about communicating with the community: One of the key things trustees can do is to listen to their community. It’s one of the best ways for trustees to build trust between the district and community. Keep your community involved by informing them about districts plans, actions and accomplishments.