Responsibilities of the School Board

  1. Determine mission and purposes, and advocate for them. The board is responsible for ensuring that the organization’s mission is clearly stated and enthusiastically supported.
  2. Select the chief executive. The board’s ability to consistently recruit and retain an effective leader is a critical factor in organizational success.
  3. Support and evaluate the chief executive. Providing personal and organizational support for executive leadership, periodically assessing the chief executive’s performance, and acknowledging strong service through appropriate compensation are key board responsibilities.
  4. Ensure effective planning. Through the planning process, the board and staff translate the organization’s mission into objectives and goals to be used to focus energy and resources.
  5. Monitor and strengthen programs and services. The board’s fundamental responsibility begins with ensuring that current and proposed programs and services align with the organization’s mission and purpose.
  6. Ensure adequate financial resources. While much can — and should — be expected of the chief executive and management team, boards are responsible for ensuring an organization has the funds it needs and that it doesn’t spend beyond its means.
  7. Protect assets and provide financial oversight. Safeguarding organizational assets, and holding them “in trust” on behalf of others, is one of the most important board functions.
  8. Build and sustain a competent board. Three principles typically apply: Boards will only be as effective as their individual board members; the level of expectation for board members is consistently articulated by the organization its leaders; and well-balanced boards depend on the sustained diligence of a governance committee.
  9. Ensure legal and ethical integrity. Because the board is ultimately responsible for ensuring adherence to legal standards and ethical norms, its members should collectively exhibit diligence, commitment, and vigilance.
  10. Enhance the organization’s public standing. Board members should think of themselves as ambassadors and advocates — and together with management strategically communicate the organization’s story and aspirations while contributing to a healthy and accurate public image.