Every school district in the United States has a board of education. These organizations set the policies of our public elementary, middle, and high schools. Their existence is based on the idea that local control of public education makes schools more responsive to the needs of the local community.
School boards act as a public watchdog, setting direction and goals for the school district, and to ensure that those goals are kept on track.
A school board’s primary responsibilities vary from district to district, but generally include:
- Sets the vision and goals for the school district
- Adopts policies and setting priorities to achieve its goals
- Sets student performance standards
- Establishes school budgets
- Approves the school calendar
- Adopts curriculum
- Evaluates and/or hires the superintendent
- Selects transportation systems
- Approves contracts with outside vendors
- Manage collective bargaining for district employees
The board balances the business of actually running the school district while establishing and monitoring its’ academic priorities.