School board members are very different from all other elected officials in Georgia. Here are the main differences as stated by GSBA (Georgia School Board Association):
They are the only elected Special Purpose Local Government vs. General Purpose Local Government positions.
They represent ALL students, not just the ones who live in their voting district.
O.C.G.A. § 20-2-49 states, "the motivation to serve as a member of a local board of education is the improvement of schools and academic achievement of all students"
They focus on the greater good and not on special interest groups' desires - therefore not making decisions just to get re-elected or at the benefit of special interests or lobbyists.
School boards have executive, legislative and judicial authority.
School board members have no individual power and only hold "collective authority: when they meet in an official meeting and act as a board.
They cannot fix their constituents' operational problems per O.C.G.A. § 20-2-61(a), "board members must not micromanage the superintendent, therefore school board members should not get involved in the day-to-day operational aspects of running the school system"
School board members are held to a higher ethical standard than all other elected officials. O.C.G.A. § 20-2-61 requires board members to:
Adopt and follow a Code of Ethics policy
Adopt a Conflict-of-Interest policy
Obtain a required number of annual training credits
Adhere to a nepotism requirement
Follow the 8 Domains in the Standards for Effective Governance of Georgia School Systems established by the Georgia State Board of Education
*Information above is provided directly from GSBA and Official Code of Georgia Annotated (school law).