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School Board Members Job Description

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Those who are concerned about issues related to public or private education can consider attending a school board meeting. Those who feel that the school board is not addressing issues of concern can consider voting to elect different board members, or they can consider running for a seat on the school board.

Function

The school board is a nonprofit group in charge of public and private school systems, according to YourDictionary.com. These members work in teams of three, five or seven trustees. The school board acts as a watchdog, making sure that both the educators and the administrators do their jobs. They are responsible for analyzing the progress of a particular school and setting policies designed to improve school performance. Schools that do not fulfill the goals set forth by the school board are held accountable. The school board is also responsible for hiring and evaluating the school superintendent. Each meeting, the school board also examines the school budget and makes policies based on the budget. Whenever workers in a school district engage in collective bargaining, the school board is responsible for managing negotiations.

Background

School board members come from diverse backgrounds, which gives the boards a variety of unique talent that can solve various problems, according to Great Schools. Some come out of the education field, while others have no previous experience in the school system. Some have worked for nonprofit organizations, while others only have experience working in the for-profit sector.

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Skills

School board members must have effective communication skills and be able to work as part of a team. School boards must have organization, since it must often balance business administration tasks with policy-making. Members must have analytical skills to understand and solve complicated problems, according to Great Schools. They must clearly understand the goals of the school district. Financial skills are important because of the budget balancing that takes place in school board meetings.

Considerations

School board members must travel to attend meetings, though it is within the district. When discussing official business, the school board has 100 percent transparency, since anyone can observe a school board meeting. Members do not earn an income from their time on the school board, but instead sit on the board because of a passion they have for the quality of education in their school systems.

Warning

According to Great Schools, school board members who cannot focus on more than one topic and school board members who continually digress are not good candidates to serve. Coming to the board meeting unprepared can lead to an ineffective meeting. School board members should not micromanage nor should they serve to advance a political agenda.

About the Author

Charles Pearson has written as a freelancer since 2009. He has a B.S. in literature from Purdue University Calumet and is currently working on his M.A. He has written the ebooks "Karate You Can Teach Your Kids," "Macadamia Growing Handout" and "The Raw Food Diet."

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