School board members make decisions that have significant and long-term consequences for their students, schools and communities. To equip school board members with the necessary knowledge to fulfill their responsibilities, the Arkansas General Assembly requires board members to receive and report annual training.
The complex challenges of education require policymakers and administrators to address problems from multiple perspectives and across disciplines. As a result, school board members benefit from instruction in the following areas:
- School laws and regulations
- Improving student achievement
- School finance
- Community relations
- School operations
- Effective governance
ASBA develops seminars, conference sessions and customized training programs that provide information on these and other topics.
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.
Act 1775 of 2005 established annual professional development requirements for Arkansas school board members:
- All school board members must acquire at least six hours of training every calendar year.
- Newly elected board members must achieve nine hours of training within 15 months of their initial election.
- School districts must publish in their annual reports the number of training hours each board member has earned.
- If a board member fails to meet the annual training requirement, the school district will be placed on probationary status for violating the Standards of Accreditation.
- ADE rules allow carryover of excess board training hours for up to three calendar years.
Legislators modified the requirement in 2011 to include training related to how to read and interpret a school audit. Click here to read the current training requirement statute.
ASBA hosts numerous conferences and seminars every year which provide board members with approved training credit to meet the state requirement. Please visit the Conference & Workshop Opportunities page for a wide range of professional development opportunities or the Upcoming Events page.