BBAA-R - Board Member Authority and Responsibilities
Board members will adhere to the following in carrying out their responsibilities.
It is important for board members to be informed about the school district and the performance of its students. The superintendent regularly provides board members with information in the form of the pre-meeting board packet and presentations at board meetings. Board members who seek additional information should make such requests to the superintendent. Information provided as the result of such a request will be sent to each board member.
If the information sought by individual board members is not readily available without an amount of staff effort that the superintendent deems significant, board members will be asked to obtain the approval of a majority of the board so that information requests do not result in unnecessarily high costs nor distract staff from their primary responsibilities. Under no circumstances will board members engage in an investigation of staff or student issues.
Individual student information is confidential, and board members only have access to such information when it is necessary for performing a function in their official capacity. Pursuant to the Family Educational Rights and Privacy Act (FERPA), the administration may redact confidential student records from any information request unless board members are acting in their official capacity and have a legitimate educational interest in the records.
Board members will maintain the confidentially of information, documents, and records received or reviewed in their role as board members.
Action on Complaints or Requests Made to Board Members
When a board member receives complaints or requests from staff, students, parents/legal guardians, or members of the public, he/she must remain impartial in case such matters later come before the board in its quasi-judicial capacity; otherwise, the board member will have to recuse himself/herself from later hearing the matter in the quasi-judicial hearing. The board member will refer the individual to the appropriate staff member in accordance with the district’s chain of command. The board member will timely submit the complaint or request to the superintendent for action.
Requesting Items Be Added to Board Meeting Agendas
A board member wishing to suggest an agenda item will notify the board chair and/or the superintendent and a decision will be made whether to add the item to the agenda. If a majority of board members request the addition of an item, it will be added to the agenda.
Requesting Legal Opinions
All requests for formal legal opinions from the district’s legal counsel regarding board issues will be directed through the board chair or the superintendent. A board member wishing to obtain a legal opinion will bring such request to the full board. A majority vote must be obtained to initiate a request for a legal opinion. Any opinion provided will be disseminated to the full board. Board members with personal legal questions should seek advice from their own private attorneys.
For additional information on legal services, including the handling of district legal matters that do not directly involve the board or any specific board member, see policy BDG, Board Attorney/Legal Services.
Responding to Requests from the Media
The board chair serves as spokesperson for the board. The superintendent serves as spokesperson for the district. If a board member speaks to the media in his/her individual capacity, he/she will inform the media he/she is not speaking for the board.