We salute the service of more than 1400 Arkansas school board members during the month of January, 2015. The State Board of Education approved a resolution proclaiming January as Arkansas School Board Member Recognition Month. "The month-long observance is an opportunity to build a stronger understanding of the crucial role school boards assume in representing school districts and communities across our state," said Tony Prothro, Executive Director of the Arkansas School Boards Association. “Board members promote student focused leadership as they advocate for public education with local, state, and federal leaders." As publicly elected school leaders, Arkansas school board members set policy for their respective districts. Under state law, they are empowered to hire and evaluate the superintendent, oversee district finances, approve the budget, and determine the vision and mission of the district. School boards must also approve the curriculum and ensure the district maintains adequate facilities for teaching and learning. In addition to their board duties, state law requires Arkansas school board members to earn a minimum of six hours of professional development each year in areas related to their role and responsibilities.