Helping School Board Members Since 2014

Education not Indoctrination

We help school boards achieve their goals by focusing on elevating the academics and leaving social-emotional development to parents.

NSBLC Training Resources

The NSBLC has resources available to help School Board and Community Members navigate current issues and topics.  Select the module below to learn more.
Preparing for Success

Not all School Board Consultants are the same

Out with the Old Guard

For the last 55 years the old statewide trade organizations that “train” school board members, aka, school board associations, have failed to educate school board members so that better educational outcomes are realized.

In with the New Guard

The NSBLC is here to train school board members to be more effective. We teach school board members how to create a dynamic and vibrant educational environment ripe with opportunity.

BECOME A MEMBER OF THE NSBLC

Membership for School Board Members

Join the NSBLC to obtain access to our services and to help support our activites of providing resources to School Board Members.

Membership for Parents

Parent Membership provides support and services for Parent and Community members.
WHAT TO EXPECT FROM A

A STUDENTS FIRST AGENDA

What makes a great school board member?

An effective school board plays an important watchdog role in keeping your local school on track, and setting policies that affect your child and your school. The school board sets the vision and goals for the school district, and holds the district accountable for results. One school board member cannot do the job alone. Effective school board members contribute their unique talents while collaborating and working as a team with other board members.

Electing effective school board members

How can you be sure that the education in your local public schools meets your expectations? A good place to start is by electing effective school board members.
 
When deciding which candidate to support and vote for, you’ll want to attend community candidate forums and ask hard questions. Try asking the following questions:
 
For incumbents:
  • What actions have you taken to improve student achievement?
For challengers and incumbents:
  • What are your visions for this school district five to 10 years from now and what systemic changes will you work toward to achieve that vision?
  • What policies would you initiate to improve student achievement?
  • What are the characteristics of a superintendent you most admire?
  • How would you measure success for a superintendent?
  • What level of skills should high school students have upon graduation?
  • You’ll also want to find out if the candidate has good analytical, leadership and collaborative skills to move the district forward. A good candidate does not have a single-issue focus but rather is interested in the success of all students in the district.

Signs of an effective school board member

Here are signs of a school board member focused on moving the school district forward and educating all students to meet high standards.  A GREAT School Board Member:
 
  • Has a clear vision for the district. They set the vision and goals, and measure the success of the district and superintendent against the goals.
  • Communicates their actions to the community. Through public discourse and written reports, great school board members keep the public informed of the district’s progress and challenges.
  • Works as part of a team. They collaborate well with others and are respectful of the other board members and superintendent.
  • Adopts a fiscally sound district budget. They pay attention to finances and regularly monitor the fiscal health of the district.
  • Focuses on what is best for all students. They focus on student achievement and implementing policies that will ensure success for all students.
  • Advocates at the local, state and national level for public education. They take advantage of opportunities to communicate the needs of public schools to other levels of government and advocate for strong public schools.

What do school boards do?

Communities typically elect a school board of three, five or seven trustees to oversee the local school district and make certain the desires of the community are met.
 
The school board’s primary responsibilities are to:
  • Set the vision and goals for the district.
  • Adopt policies that give the district direction to set priorities and achieve its goals.
  • Hire and evaluate the superintendent.
  • Adopt and oversee the annual budget.
  • Manage the collective bargaining process for employees of the district.

A typical school board meeting will include many business items, such as approving the school calendar, adopting curriculum, overseeing construction, and approving contracts with outside vendors. A successful school board will balance discussion of the seemingly tedious business of running the district while paying close attention to the district’s priorities for academic achievement.

Deciding to run for the school board

If you have sound judgment, an even temper, a willingness to collaborate and a sincere interest in public education in your community, you might consider running for your local school board. You will need to be 18 years of age, a registered voter, a resident of your district and eligible under the state constitution to run for office.

If mounting your own campaign seems daunting but you are concerned about who is on the board, consider gathering a group of concerned citizens together to seek and support a candidate or candidates who share your vision for the district.

Most importantly, be sure to educate yourself about the issues and encourage others in your community to do the same. And don’t forget to vote!

Signs of an ineffective school board member

If you notice any of the following signs, it’s time to find some new candidates to run for your local board:
  • Board member continually focuses on one issue or talks aimlessly at meetings.
  • Board member doesn’t conduct him or herself in a respectful, collaborative manner in public.
  • Board member comes to meetings unprepared.
  • Board member “rubber stamps” all the superintendent’s proposals without asking hard questions.
  • Board member micromanages rather than focusing attention on district-wide policies.
  • Board member uses his position on the school board as an opportunity to put forth a political agenda with little relevance to student achievement.
2022 National School Board Leadership Council  - All Rights Reserved

The NSBLC is a 501(c)3 organization through the generous sponsorship of "Moms for America". Donations made to the NSBLC may be tax deductible - please consult your tax professional.
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