Responsibilities of Local School Boards

Local school boards exemplify American principles of representative democracy.  Ultimately accountable to their publics, local school boards act as community decision-making agencies for the public schools.  Moreover, on behalf of local public schools, school boards represent their communities to local, state and national agencies.
In the strong conviction that the American system of Public school education will best meet the needs of the citizenry of all local school boards throughout the United States recognize and meet their full legal, civic, social, economic, moral, and ethical responsibilities, the Association believes that:

  1. Standards of Local Board Operations.  School Boards should function as non-partisan, broadly representative, corporate bodies. Each member of a school board should let his or her consideration for the entire district take precedence over partisanship and special interest-political, racial, religious, geographic, economic, social, civic, or other.
  2. Written Policy:  Adoption and Execution.  School Boards should adopt clearly defined written policies based on a thorough understanding of the educational process.  In formulation the policies, they should consult individuals and groups affected by the policies, and properly delegate execution of those policies to employed professional administrators.
  3. Open Board Meetings and Public Information.  School Boards should conduct school district business in open session, except as otherwise provided by law, and endeavor by every possible means to inform the public concerning the schools.
  4. Citizen Group Involvement.  School Boards should encourage citizen participation that increases the public's communication and identification with its schools.  To this end, school boards should develop policies that support the concept of citizen advisory bodies and establish clear guidelines that define the task, composition, operation, duration, reporting and evaluation of such bodies.
  5. Training and Research.  School Boards should seek to improve their own capabilities and procedures and should encourage training, scholarly research, and experimental efforts which offer promise of improving school board capabilities and procedures.

School Boards enjoy all the powers and duties prescribed to them by state statutes and by the policies, rules and regulations of the State Board of Education.
 The following are current regulations of the State Board of Education:

  1. The School Board shall adopt such policies as are necessary and desirable to control and effectuate the recruitment, employment, evaluation, and dismissal of teachers and other employees and may delegate authority to the Superintendent of Schools to carry out the provisions of such policies excepting that no teacher shall be employed who has not been nominated by the Superintendent of Schools and elected by the School Board.
  2. The School Board shall adopt such policies as are necessary and desirable to control and effectuate the purchase of equipment, supplies, or services and may delegate to the Superintendent of Schools the authority to make commitments in accordance with such policy.
  3. The School Board shall, through appropriate planning and required action, make suitable provision for the physical accommodation of all students in approved schoolhouses or other suitable facilities; shall provide required transportation of students; and shall provide that all school buildings and other learning environments be maintained in a manner consistent with acceptable standards of health and safety.
  4. The School Board shall seasonably prepare a budget of school expenditures and make suitable and timely assignment of school money to the various needs of the schools.  In state-aided districts, accounts shall be open at all times to the inspection of the Superintendent, and any other officer of the State Board and to the public in accordance with the Laws of the State of New Hampshire.
  5. The School Board shall hold meetings for the transaction of business at least once in two months and shall require the attendance of the Superintendent or his/her designee.  The Board shall cause a written record to be kept of each meeting.
  6. The School Board shall, in consultation with the Superintendent and in accordance with statutes and regulations of the State Board of Education, determine the educational goals of the district, develop long-range plans and identify measurable and attainable short-term objectives.  The School Board shall require the implementation of educational programs designed to reflect the goals and objectives and further, the School Board shall require the appropriate review of such programs and make public the results of such investigation.
  7. The School Board shall exercise all powers and perform all duties vested in and imposed upon it by the laws or regulations of the State Board of Education which are not committed to the Superintendent or by them expressly delegated to him/her.


SOURCE:              "Beliefs and Policies of the National School Boards Association" as adopted by the NSBA Delegate Assembly, 1973 and amended 1978.


Adopted:          April 8, 1993
Amended:        June 12, 2008
School Board Review/Approval:         April 13, 2017