What is the different between elected school board officials and the positions of other elected government officials?

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):

  1. 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.

  2. School boards have executive, legislative and judicial authority.

  3. School board members have no individual power and only hold "collective authority: when they meet in an official meeting and act as a board.

  4. 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"

  5. 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).