The chair of the school board has the primary responsibility for facilitating meetings of the board. He/she serves as spokesperson for the board, but only as authorized by the board. The chair represents the board in community organizations and on committees and serves as a liaison between the school board and the general public.
The chair along with the superintendent, prepares the board meeting agenda and should, therefore, receive proposed agenda items from members of the board in advance of the meeting. It is the responsibility of the chair to ensure that the full board is privy to the same information and that all decisions are made by the board as a unit.
During the meetings, the chair is responsible for the following:
Maintaining decorum for the efficient flow of the agenda
Recognize and respond to board members' request to speak, offering the floor to each person, as appropriate
All members have equal opportunity to ask questions
No one dominates discussion
That all meeting participants are treated with respect
Process all motions (announcing the individual making a motion, noting an appropriate second, and the outcome of each vote)
The chair must be careful to avoid abuse of control of the microphone and should allow other board members to speak in spite of the temptation to promote his/her own opinion.
The good school board chair should be capable of articulating the position of the board regardless of his/her feelings about the matter at hand. The chair must interact effectively among diverse groups including students, parents, business people, other elected officials, senior citizens and the general public.
The chair should be knowledgeable about parliamentary procedure and public education. He/she should be familiar with school law, the school system and board policies. The chair needs to have active listening skills. Negotiation skills and organizational skills are a plus for the chair.
The vice chair has the same responsibilities as the chair when the chair is unable to serve. Additionally, the vice-chair should assist the chair in monitoring the board so that members are recognized in the order in which they request permission to speak. That can be a daunting task for the chair, so two pairs of eyes can make a positive and powerful difference.
Board members focus on the "big picture" of the school system with their main focus being on improving student achievement for all students.
The day-to-day operational responsibilities are delegated to the superintendent. However, responsibilities of a public-school board also include duties that cannot be delegated, such as:
Buying and selling school property (including the power of condemnation)
Calling elections to authorize a Special Purpose Local Option Sales Tax (SPLOST) and bond elections to authorize the issuance of bonded debt
Making the policies and rules necessary to govern the school system
Authority to hire employees on the recommendation of the superintendent
Build School District Leadership
Provide input to and adopt the system's vision, mission, and strategic plan
Determine impact on student achievement
Set data-driven expectations and goals
Hire a superintendent
Conduct team evaluations of the superintendent
Monitor and report progress on district accountability
Provide Fiscal Oversight
Adopt annual budget
Determine budget's impact on student achievement
Allocate resources to meet student needs
Take necessary action to levy needed taxes
Review district expenditures and variances
Approve annual auditor report
Approve contracts over a certain monetary threshold
Approve salary schedules
Approve facility plans
Establish schools, acquire sites and erect buildings
Manage District Policies
Adopt, revise and review policies
Approve support services for students
Approve graduation requirements
Approve school year calendar
Make final decisions on due-process hearings when required
Advocate for Public Education
Listen and respond to citizen inquires
Seek public input and feedback
Participate in community-wide school/district events
Promote high levels of student achievement
Lobby state and national elected officials
Recognize staff and student success
Cultivate partnerships in the community
Engage the community in school/district initiatives
*Information above is provided directly from GSBA and Official Code of Georgia Annotated (school law).