What do School Boards do?
Public schools are run by the public. The voting public votes on, and essentially hires, their board of education. A board of education is a group of three to seven elected officials who assume a leadership role in overseeing the academic, legal, and financial health of a school district.
Responsibilities and Authority of the Board
The school board is responsible for the organization and control of the district’s public schools and is empowered to determine the policies necessary for the effective operation and the general improvement of the school system. The school board is a public corporate entity and can take action only when the board is meeting in official public session and a quorum is present. An individual member of the school board has authority to take official action only when sitting as a member of the school board in public session except when the school board specifically authorizes the member to act. The school board is not bound in any way by any action on the part of an individual board member or an employee except when such statement or action is in compliance with the public action of the school board.
Organization and Officers of the Board
A chair and vice-chair are elected annually by the School Board of Hillsborough County at its organizational meeting held on the third Tuesday after the first Monday in November; however, if the chair becomes vacant, the school board elects a chair at the next regular or special meeting.
The chair presides at all school board meetings, appoints committees and performs such other duties prescribed by law or by action of the school board. The vice-chair presides in the absence of the chair and performs other duties of the chair as required by circumstances. The chair and vice-chair are bonded in the manner prescribed by the State Board of Education.
The superintendent, as provided by law, is the secretary and executive officer of the school board. At any organizational meeting, the superintendent acts as chair until the organization of the school board is completed.
Hillsborough County School Board
Hillsborough County School Board is responsible for making policy decisions and overseeing a total budget of $3.3 billion for the 8th largest school district in the nation, which is also the county’s largest employer with more than 24,000 employees.
Link to Hillsborough County School Board
Eight Characteristics of Effective School Boards:
Effective school boards commit to a vision of high expectations for student achievement and quality instruction and define clear goals toward that vision.
Effective school boards have strong shared beliefs and values about what is possible for students and their ability to learn, and of the system and its ability to teach all children at high levels
Effective school boards are accountability driven, spending less time on operational issues and more time focused on policies to improve student achievement.
Effective school boards have a collaborative relationship with staff and the community and establish a strong communications structure to inform and engage both internal and external stakeholders in setting and achieving district goals.
Effective boards are data savvy; they embrace and monitor data, even when the information is negative, and use it to drive continuous improvement.
Effective school boards align and sustain resources, such as professional development, to meet district goals.
Effective school boards lead as a united team with the superintendent, each from their respective roles, with strong collaboration and mutual trust.
Effective school boards take part in team development and training, sometimes with their superintendents, to build shared knowledge, values, and commitments for their improvement efforts.