In order to help community members better understand the role of school board members,
here are answers to some Frequently Asked Questions. Much of this information has
been taken from the Illinois Association of School Boards website, www.iasb.com.
What is a school board?
Although the ultimate responsibility for education rests with the state of Illinois, the state
has delegated much of that responsibility to local school boards. School boards—
although elected locally—are state agencies carrying out a state function. While school
boards are granted wide latitude in governing their schools, they are subject to numerous
state laws and regulations.
What does the board do?
The board employs a superintendent and holds him or her responsible for managing the
schools in accordance with state law and the school board’s policies. The board monitors
progress towards district ends and compliance with written board policies.
How does the board operate?
Because a school board is a governmental body, it can take action only by majority vote
at a public meeting. The individual board member has no authority other than the right to
cast a vote at such a meeting. A board member who attempts to speak for the entire
board, direct members of the staff, or make other individual decisions is acting outside
School board members do not have offices in the school buildings, they serve without
pay, and they are prohibited by law from having a significant financial interest in any
business transaction by the school district.