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Public Comment

NSEA Presentation On Elected School Boards

NSEA's 8.9.22 presentation to the Interim Committee on Education related to the composition of school boards.
Published: 08/10/2022 Last Updated: 10/19/2022

NSEA's Presentation

While democratically elected school boards bring the greatest levels of accountability and responsiveness to the communities they serve, we agree more should be done in the face of political attacks to increase levels of professionalism and collaboration at school boards while also bringing greater accountability and responsiveness to our communities.

NSEA's Suggestions:

  • First, allowing educators to serve on their school boards would add a critical missing perspective to governance, increasing professionalism and bringing day-to-day experience to the position.
  • The addition of advisory seats could bring more breadth and diversity of perspective to local school boards. This could include adding important education stakeholders like students and representatives of the PTA in addition to representatives of local governments.
  • A statewide code of conduct for school board trustees, including a process for possible removal from office for transgressions, would set clear expectations along with new lines of accountability.
  • Instituting a regular rotation of the School Board President would lead to more collaboration between school board trustees and decrease factionalism on boards.
  • Limiting Superintendent contracts to 2 years, timed to the seating of new school board members after elections, would make Superintendents more accountable to the seated boards and lead to better working relationships.
  • Compensation of trustees that better reflects responsibility would lead to more qualified and professional school board candidates.
  • Elevating ballot placement of school board races on the ballot would lead to greater participation.
  • Electing school board candidates through ranked-choice voting would reward candidates who are more collaborative.
  • Public financing of school board elections would help level the playing field, while increasing communications between candidate campaigns and the voting public.

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