Board of Education Questions
- WHAT IS THE SCHOOL BOARD?
- WHAT IS THE BOARD’S ROLE?
- WHAT ARE THE BOARD’S DUTIES?
- IS THE SUPERINTENDENT A BOARD MEMBER?
- BOARD OF EDUCATION MEETINGS
- HOW ARE BOARD MEETINGS CONDUCTED?
- ARE BOARD MEETINGS PUBLIC?
- MAY I SPEAK AT THE BOARD MEETING?
- WILL THE BOARD RESOLVE MY CONCERN?
- COMMITTEE MEETINGS
- ADDRESSING THE BOARD OF EDUCATION
- SCHOOL BOARD ELECTIONS INFORMATION
WHAT IS THE SCHOOL BOARD?
In Illinois, public education is the State’s constitutional responsibility. State delegates to local school boards the authority to govern school districts within the parameters set by State law. Boards are made up of seven school district residents selected at large to serve terms of four years without compensation. So, although the Board is responsible to district voters, it is legally responsible to the State.
WHAT IS THE BOARD’S ROLE?
The Board’s role is to:
- Adopt goals and policies that meet State requirements and reflect community needs;
- Provide the resources necessary to pursue its goals according to its policies; and
- Monitor district performance to see that results are consistent with goals and policies.
WHAT ARE THE BOARD’S DUTIES?
Among the Board’s legal duties are:
- Approving what shall be taught in the schools and which textbooks will be used;
- Approving necessary personnel and setting their salaries;
- Approving all contracts and paying all bills; and Approving the annual budget. Individual Board Members may not act alone or make decisions that are binding upon the Board. Binding decisions are made only upon a vote taken by the School Board.
IS THE SUPERINTENDENT A BOARD MEMBER?
No. The Superintendent is the chief executive officer of the school district, a professional educator hired by the Board to carry out its goals and to oversee the district’s operation.
BOARD OF EDUCATION MEETINGS
The Board has a minimum of one regular meeting per month. The meetings are generally held on the fourth Wednesday of each month at 7:00 p.m. at Arbor Park Middle School Library, 17303 Central Avenue, Oak Forest, Illinois. (The public is welcome to attend District 145 School Board Meetings.)
HOW ARE BOARD MEETINGS CONDUCTED?
Each meeting follows an agenda that establishes the sequence of events for that meeting. Meetings are conducted by the Board President based on a combination of Parliamentary Procedure, common sense and common courtesy. Meetings can last up to two or more hours, depending on the content of the agenda.
ARE BOARD MEETINGS PUBLIC?
Board meetings are not public meetings; they are meetings held in public. By law, all Board discussions and deliberation must be conducted in public, except for certain specific matters, such as personnel and student disciplinary cases, which may be discussed in closed sessions. However, all official Board action (voting) must be taken in public.
MAY I SPEAK AT THE BOARD MEETING?
The tradition has been to allow any visitor the opportunity to comment or ask questions of the board. Visitors may speak at a time specifically set aside during the meeting when visitors are recognized. Groups attending Board meetings are asked to appoint a spokesperson, and all visitors are asked to limit their remarks to five minutes. The Board President recognizes visitors who wish to comment, maintains order during the meeting, and calls an end to comments and discussion when this seems appropriate.
WILL THE BOARD RESOLVE MY CONCERN?
The Board rarely can be expected to act immediately on an issue brought before it for the first time. Even in the case of more familiar topics, the Board takes action only after it has examined all aspects of an issue. You may, however, expect the Board to act as promptly as circumstances allow and to notify you when it arrives at a decision.
Committee meetings are scheduled as needed. These meetings focus on specific issues related to District policy, services, finance, and curriculum.
ADDRESSING THE BOARD OF EDUCATION
- Know what you want to say and say it as briefly as possible. Again, this is not to limit your ability to speak, but to make sure your message is heard and understood.
- When called on, make sure you speak clearly enough to be heard by everyone in the room. State your name so that your comments can be made part of the official record. If you are representing an organization or a group of citizens, state the name of the group.
SCHOOL BOARD ELECTIONS INFORMATION
The Arbor Park School District 145 Board of Education (BOE) is comprised of citizens dedicated to providing the best education possible for every student it serves. Board members establish sound written policies and expect the superintendent to function as the chief executive officer in implementing those policies.
Prospective school board candidates may visit the Illinois State Board of Elections website at elections.il.gov for information regarding School Board Elections. In accordance with changes to the Election Code in 2014 (10 ILCS 5/1-1 et seq.), prospective school board candidates will no longer file nominating petitions with the school district. Petitions must be filed with the Cook County Clerk's Office. Please contact The Cook County Clerk's Office at (312) 603-1127 for further election-related information.