What Do School Boards Do?
The primary function of the school board is to oversee the education of students in the community. The board’s role is governance – providing the vision for the school system and its students and ensuring that system personnel have the resources they need to achieve that vision. The board’s role is very different from the superintendent’s role, which is like a corporate CEO, handling the daily operations of the school system.
The roles of the board and those of the superintendent are spelled out in the Roles & Responsibilities Handbook,
which was a collaboration between AASB and the School Superintendents of Alabama. Take a few minutes to look through the handbook so that you can familiarize
yourself with the responsibilities of each half of the board-superintendent team.
What School Board Members Found Most Surprising Early On
AASB interviewed several current school board members about what they found most surprising when starting out as new school board members. Many of their
observations involved a reality check about what exactly could and could not be done as a board member.
What School Boards Don’t Do
There is often a misunderstanding of what school boards have the power to do. It’s important to point out that virtually every action of the board requires
a recommendation from the superintendent, and the board can’t force the superintendent to make a particular recommendation.
In a nutshell, here’s what boards CANNOT do:
As an individual:
As a board: