General Board of Trustee Information
The following resources have been provided courtesy of the Texas Association of School Boards (TASB). Click HERE for additional resources and information from www.TASB.org.
- What does the school board do?
- An Insider's Guide to Board Service
- Ethics for School Board Members
- Framework for School Board Development
What does the school board do?
An Insider's Guide to Board Service
Ethics for School Board Members
As a member of the Board, I shall promote the best interests of the District as a whole and, to that end, shall adhere to the following ethical standards:
Equity in attitude
- I will be fair, just, and impartial in all my decisions and actions.
- I will accord others the respect I wish for myself.
- I will encourage expressions of different opinions and listen with an open mind to others’ ideas.
Trustworthiness in stewardship
- I will be accountable to the public by representing District policies, programs, priorities and progress accurately.
- I will be responsive to the community by seeking its involvement in District affairs and by communicating its priorities and concerns.
- I will work to ensure prudent and accountable use of District resources.
- I will make no personal promise or take private action that may compromise my performance of my responsibilities.
Honor in conduct
- I will tell the truth.
- I will share my views while working for consensus.
- I will respect the majority decision as the decision of the Board.
- I will base my decisions on fact rather than supposition, opinion, or public favor.
Integrity of character
I will refuse to surrender judgment to any individual or group at the expense of the District as a whole.
I will consistently uphold all applicable laws, rules, policies, and governance procedures.
I will keep confidential information that is privileged by law or that will needlessly harm the District if disclosed.
Commitment to service
I will focus my attention on fulfilling the Board’s responsibilities of goal setting, policymaking, and evaluation.
I will diligently prepare for and attend Board meetings.
I will seek continuing education that will enhance my ability to fulfill my duties effectively.
I will be continuously guided by what is best for all students of the District.
Framework for School Board Development
The Framework for School Board Development (also known as the Framework for School Board Governance) was adopted by the State Board of Education (SBOE) in January 1996. The Framework serves as a job description for school boards by listing the tasks a board should perform to provide the vision, structure, accountability, advocacy, and unity necessary to ensure effective governance of school districts and local educational programs and services that will promote excellence in student academic achievement. The framework was originally adopted by the State Board of Education in January 1996 and was revised by the SBOE in July 2012. View the Framework for School Board Development Below.
The Board of Trustees is the educational policy-making body for Texas public school districts. To effectively meet the challenges of public education, school boards and superintendents must function together as a leadership team. Each leadership team must annually assess its development needs both as a corporate body and as individuals to gain an understanding of the vision, structure, accountability, advocacy, and unity needed to provide educational programs and services that ensure the equity and excellence in performance of all students. The Framework for School Board Development has been approved by the State Board of Education to provide the critical areas of development for all public school boards.
I. Vision – The board ensures creation of a shared vision that promotes enhanced student achievement.
- The board keeps the district focus on the educational welfare of all children.
- The board adopts a shared vision based on community beliefs to guide local education.
- The board ensures that the vision supports the state’s mission, objectives, and goals for education established by law or rule.
- The board ensures that the district vision expresses the present and future needs of the children and community.
- The board uses the vision to assess the importance of individual issues that come before the board and demonstrates its commitment to the vision by using the vision to guide all board deliberations, decisions, and actions.
- Individual board members should not have individual agendas separate and apart from the shared vision.
II. Structure – The board provides guidance and direction for accomplishing the vision.
- The board recognizes the respective roles of the legislature, State Board of Education, the Texas Education Agency, and local boards of trustees in the governance of the public schools.
- The board fulfills the statutory duties of the local board of trustees and upholds all laws, rules, ethical procedures, and court orders pertaining to schools and school employees.
- The board focuses its actions on policy making, planning, and evaluation, and restricts its involvement in management to the responsibility of oversight.
- The board adopts a planning and decision making process consistent with state law and rule that uses participation, information, research, and evaluation to help achieve the district’s vision.
- The board ensures that the district planning and decision making process enables all segments of the community, parents, and professional staff to meaningfully contribute to achieving the district’s vision.
- The board develops and adopts policies that provide guidance for accomplishing the district’s vision, mission, and goals.
- The board adopts a budget that incorporates sound business and fiscal practices and provides resources to achieve the district’s vision, mission, and goals.
- The board adopts goals, approves student performance objectives, and establishes policies that provide a well-balanced curriculum resulting in improved student learning.
- The board approves goals, policies, and programs that ensure a safe and disciplined environment conducive to learning.
- The board oversees the management of the district by employing a superintendent and evaluating the superintendent’s performance in providing education leadership, managing daily operations, and performing all duties assigned by law or rule and in support of the district’s vision.
- The board adopts policies and standards for hiring, assigning, appraising, terminating, and compensating school district personnel in compliance with state laws and rules.
III. Accountability – The board measures and communicates how well the vision is being accomplished.
- The board ensures progress toward achievement of district goals through a systematic, timely, and comprehensive review of reports prepared by or at the direction of the superintendent.
- The board monitors the effectiveness and efficiency of instructional programs by reviewing reports prepared by or at the direction of the superintendent and directs the superintendent to make modifications that promote maximum achievement for all students.
- The board ensures that appropriate assessments are used to measure achievement of all students.
- The board reports district progress to parents and community in compliance with state laws and regulations.
- The board reviews district policies for effective support of the district’s vision, mission, and goals.
- The board reviews the efficiency and effectiveness of district operations and use of resources in supporting the district’s vision, mission, and goals.
- The board evaluates the superintendent’s performance annually in compliance with state laws and regulations.
- The board annually evaluates its own performance in fulfilling the board’s duties and responsibilities, and the board’s ability to work with the superintendent as a team.
IV. Advocacy – The board promotes the vision.
- The board demonstrates its commitment to the shared vision, mission, and goals by clearly communicating them to the superintendent, the staff and community.
- The board ensures an effective two-way communication system between the district and its students, parents, employees, media, and the community.
- The board builds partnerships with community, business, and governmental leaders to influence and expand educational opportunities and meet the needs of students.
- The board supports children by establishing partnerships between the district, parents, business leaders, and other community members as an integral part of the district’s educational program.
- The board leads in recognizing the achievements of students, staff, and others in education.
- The board promotes school board service as a meaningful way to make long-term contributions to the local community and society.
- The board provides input and feedback to the legislature, State Board of Education, and the Texas Education Agency about proposed changes to ensure maximum effectiveness and benefit to the schoolchildren in their district.
V. Unity – The board works with the superintendent to lead the district toward the vision.
- The board ensures that its members understand and respect the need to function as a team in governing and overseeing the management of the district.
- The board develops skills in teamwork, problem solving, and decision making.
- The board establishes and follows local policies, procedures, and ethical standards governing the conduct and operations of the board.
- The board understands and adheres to laws and local policies about the board’s responsibility to set policy and the superintendent’s responsibility to manage the school district and to direct employees in district and campus matters.
- The board recognizes the leadership role of the board president and adheres to law and local policies about the duties and responsibilities of the board president and other officers.
- The board adopts and adheres to established policies and procedures for receiving and addressing ideas and concerns from students, parents, employees, and the community.
- The board makes decisions as a whole only at properly called meetings and recognizes that individual members have no authority to take individual action in policy or district and campus administrative matters.
- The board supports decisions of the majority after honoring the right of individual members to express opposing viewpoints and vote their convictions.
Framework for School Board Development