Board Members

The school board sets the direction of the district, ensures that it is properly administered, establishes policy and represents the education interests of the community. The superintendent is the district’s chief executive officer (CEO) who carries out policy and day-to-day administration of the schools.

No individual board member has any power or authority and must never attempt to act as an administrator of the school system. Board members can act only as a group. No single board member has the right to make any decision for the rest of the board. The only time board members may transact any business is when they meet in a legally convened session. Arkansas school boards are authorized to:

  • Prescribe the form of school organization, such as grade levels for elementary, middle and high schools
  • Specify the size, type, style, quality and location of district buildings, within Arkansas Department of Education guidelines and with its approval
  • Choose the superintendent and approve the hiring of teachers, subject to state licensing requirements
  • Determine the types and amount of school equipment
  • Decide what will be taught in order to meet or exceed state standards
  • Determine the extent of student transportation
  • Adopt appropriate policies and procedures that are consistent with the law for students, staff, parents and volunteers

More specifically, a board of education is obligated to:

  • Comply with state and federal laws and the policies and regulations of state education agencies
  • Determine the district’s education philosophy and goals
  • Choose the superintendent and work constructively with him or her
  • Contribute to improving the education opportunities of every child in the district
  • Develop, adopt and regularly review policies that will attract and keep the personnel who can promote the district’s education aims
  • Follow a budgeting process and adopt policies and procedures to ensure financials are legally and effectively managed
  • Review and approve an annual audit of the school district
  • Provide appropriate and sound physical facilities
  • Appraise district activities in relation to established goals and objectives

In 2009, the Legislature revised the statute outlining the powers and duties of school board members. Click here for § 6-13-620 which describes what board members may do in their elected roles. In 2011, the Legislature passed a requirement that school board members receive training in how to read and interpret an audit. That law, now Act 1213, is linked here. The law that addresses board training and reimbursement is § 6-13-629, which is linked here.