• Understanding the role of a school board - video

    What is the primary function of a school board?  
    The school board serves as the advocate for educational excellence for a community’s youth and puts those interests first. The policies school boards make dictate the standards and philosophy by which schools are run and the criteria used to judge whether they are being run well. This responsibility often entails difficult choices, self-sacrifice (it is a volunteer position), and exposure to public criticism. However, it also brings a great deal of personal satisfaction in sharing with parents, staff, and students their academic successes. This crucial responsibility and the closeness of trustees to the voters make the local school board the purest example of democracy our society presents.

    What are the key responsibilities of a school board?
    (1) to ensure the creation of a vision and goals for the district and evaluate district success,
    (2) to adopt policies that guide district actions,
    (3) to hire a superintendent to serve as administrator of the district and evaluate his/her success,
    (4) to approve an annual budget consistent with the district vision, and
    (5) to communicate the district’s vision and success to the community.
    In addition to these responsibilities, each year Waller ISD Trustees set specific Board Goals for the district.

    Is special training required for school board members?
    School board members are required by Texas law and Commissioner of Education rule to participate in three types of continuing education: (1) an orientation to local district policy and to the laws affecting public education in Texas, (2) an annual team building activity, and (3) a specified number of hours each year in areas of special need.

    Can citizens attend school board meetings?
    School boards must meet in compliance with the Texas Open Meetings Act and make public records available pursuant to the Freedom of Information Act and Texas Public Information Act. Citizens are welcomed at all school board meetings, except in a few legally specified circumstances calling for closed meetings.

    Can citizens participate in school board meetings?
    Most school boards allow citizen participation and, in order to allow adequate time for important board business, have established policies regarding how and when citizens contribute input. Public comment information is available here.