school board members

How Much Do School Board Members Make? Find Out Here

Are you curious about how much School board members make? Do you want to know how their salaries vary by state and district? Do you wonder what are the benefits and challenges of being a school board member? If you answered yes to any of these questions, then this article is for you.

In this article, we will explore the topic of School board members and their salaries. We will provide some background information on what school boards are and what they do. We will also explain how school board members are elected and how long they serve. We will then answer the main question of how much school board members make, and what are the factors that affect their salaries. We will also discuss the pros and cons of being a school board member, and how to become one if you are interested. Finally, we will provide some frequently asked questions and answers related to the topic.

By the end of this article, you will have a better understanding of the role and compensation of School board members. You will also learn some tips and advice on how to become a successful school board member. So, let’s get started!

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What Is a School Board and What Does It Do?

A school board is a group of elected officials who govern a school district. A school district is a geographic area that contains one or more public schools. There are about 13,500 school districts in the United States, ranging from small rural districts with a few hundred students, to large urban districts with millions of students. The size and structure of school boards vary by state and district, but they usually consist of three to nine members who serve for a fixed term of two to six years.

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The roles and responsibilities of school board members include:

  • Setting the vision, mission, goals, and strategic plan for the school district
  • Adopting policies and regulations that guide the operation and administration of the school district
  • Approving the annual budget and allocating resources for the school district
  • Hiring and evaluating the superintendent, who is the chief executive officer of the school district
  • Overseeing the curriculum, instruction, assessment, and accountability of the schools
  • Advocating for the interests and needs of the students, parents, staff, and community members
  • Engaging and communicating with the public and stakeholders of the education system
  • Resolving conflicts and addressing complaints and grievances
  • Ensuring compliance with state and federal laws and regulations that govern education

School boards are important for education because they provide local control and oversight of the public schools. They also ensure that the schools are responsive and accountable to the diverse needs and expectations of the community. They also foster collaboration and communication among the stakeholders of the education system. They also promote innovation and excellence in the schools.

How Are School Board Members Elected and How Long Do They Serve?

School board members are elected by the voters who reside in the school district. The election process and criteria vary by state and district, but they usually follow these general steps:

  • Candidates file for candidacy and meet the qualifications and requirements for school board members. These may include being a citizen, a resident, a registered voter, a minimum age, a background check, and a petition or fee.
  • Candidates campaign for the school board seat and participate in debates, forums, interviews, and endorsements. They also share their vision, goals, policies, and priorities for the school district.
  • Voters cast their ballots for the school board candidates during the general or special election. The election may be partisan or nonpartisan, at-large or by district, plurality or majority, and concurrent or staggered.
  • The winners of the election are sworn in and take office as school board members. They also receive orientation and training on their roles and responsibilities.

School board members serve for a fixed term of two to six years, depending on the state and district. They may also have term limits that restrict the number of consecutive or total terms they can serve. They may also resign, retire, or be removed from office before their term ends, due to various reasons such as personal, professional, health, ethical, or legal issues.

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The qualifications and requirements for school board members include:

  • Being a citizen of the United States
  • Being a resident of the school district
  • Being a registered voter in the school district
  • Being at least 18 years old (in some states, 21 or 25 years old)
  • Having a high school diploma or equivalent (in some states, a college degree or higher)
  • Passing a background check and a drug test
  • Submitting a petition or a fee to file for candidacy
  • Not being an employee or a relative of an employee of the school district
  • Not having a conflict of interest or a criminal record that would disqualify them from serving

How Much Do School Board Members Make?

One of the most common questions that people ask about school board members is how much they make. The answer is not simple, as school board salaries vary widely by state and district. According to a survey by the National School Boards Association (NSBA) in 2018, the average annual salary for school board members in the United States was $7,776, ranging from $0 to $125,000. The median annual salary was $3,000, meaning that half of the school board members made more than that amount, and half made less.

The survey also found that school board salaries vary by the size and type of the school district. For example, school board members in large urban districts with more than 25,000 students made an average of $15,589, while those in small rural districts with less than 2,500 students made an average of $2,707. School board members in suburban districts made an average of $7,737, while those in town districts made an average of $4,029. School board members in independent districts made an average of $9,392, while those in dependent districts made an average of $5,895.

The survey also found that school board salaries vary by the region and state of the country. For example, school board members in the Northeast made an average of $11,049, while those in the South made an average of $5,488. School board members in the Midwest made an average of $6,597, while those in the West made an average of $9,462. School board members in Alaska made the highest average salary of $37,104, while those in Utah made the lowest average salary of $1,200.

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The factors that affect school board salaries include:

  • The size and type of the school district
  • The region and state of the country
  • The local cost of living and economic conditions
  • The legal and statutory provisions and limitations
  • The public opinion and perception of the value and performance of school board members
  • The personal and professional circumstances and preferences of school board members

Some school board members receive no salary at all, and serve as volunteers who donate their time and energy to the public service. Some school board members receive a nominal salary that covers their expenses and compensates them for their work. Some school board members receive a substantial salary that reflects their expertise and responsibility. Some school board members also receive additional benefits and perks, such as health insurance, retirement plans, travel reimbursements, and professional development opportunities.

What Are the Benefits and Challenges of Being a School Board Member?

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Being a school board member is not an easy job. It requires a lot of commitment, dedication, and sacrifice. It also involves a lot of benefits and challenges. Here are some of the pros and cons of being a school board member:

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Benefits

  • Making a positive difference in the lives of students, parents, staff, and community members
  • Having a voice and a vote in the decision-making process of the school district
  • Learning and growing as a leader and a team player
  • Developing and enhancing skills and knowledge in various areas, such as education, finance, law, policy, communication, and governance
  • Building and expanding networks and relationships with diverse and influential people and organizations
  • Receiving recognition and appreciation for the service and contribution to the public good
  • Having a sense of fulfillment and satisfaction from the work and achievements

Challenges

  • Facing criticism and scrutiny from the public and the media
  • Dealing with complex and controversial issues and problems
  • Balancing the interests and expectations of multiple and competing stakeholders
  • Managing the workload and time constraints of the job
  • Handling the stress and pressure of the job
  • Coping with the emotional and physical demands of the job
  • Sacrificing personal and professional opportunities and goals

How to Become a School Board Member?

If you are interested in becoming a school board member, here are some steps and strategies that you can follow:

  • Prepare for running for a school board seat. You should research the qualifications and requirements for school board candidates in your state and district. You should also learn about the roles and responsibilities of school board members, and the current issues and challenges facing the school district. You should also assess your skills, strengths, weaknesses, and motivations for running for a school board seat. You should also consult with your family, friends, and colleagues about your decision and seek their support and feedback.
  • Campaign for a school board seat. You should file for candidacy and meet the deadlines and criteria for the election. You should also develop a campaign plan and budget that outlines your vision, goals, policies, and priorities for the school district. You should also create a campaign team and network that can help you with fundraising, marketing, outreach, and logistics. You should also participate in debates, forums, interviews, and endorsements, and communicate your message and platform to the voters and the media.
  • Succeed as a school board member. You should attend the orientation and training sessions for new school board members, and familiarize yourself with the policies and procedures of the school board. You should also establish a positive and productive relationship with the superintendent, the other school board members, and the staff and stakeholders of the school district. You should also keep yourself informed and updated on the issues and developments of the school district, and participate actively and constructively in the meetings and decisions of the school board. You should also evaluate your performance and seek feedback and improvement as a school board member.

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Conclusion

In conclusion, School board members are elected officials who govern the public schools in their district. They are responsible for setting the vision, goals, policies, and budget for the school district, and overseeing the curriculum, instruction, assessment, and accountability of the schools. They also represent and advocate for the interests and needs of the students, parents, staff, and community members.

School board members make different salaries depending on the state and district they serve. The average annual salary for school board members in the US was $7,776 in 2018, ranging from $0 to $125,000. The median annual salary was $3,000.

The factors that affect school board salaries include the size and type of the school district, the region and state of the country, the local cost of living and economic conditions, the legal and statutory provisions and limitations, the public opinion and perception of the value and performance of school board members, and the personal and professional circumstances and preferences of school board members.

Being a school board member has its benefits and challenges. Some of the benefits include making a positive difference in the lives of students, parents, staff, and community members, having a voice and a vote in the decision-making process of the school district, learning and growing as a leader and a team player, developing and enhancing skills and knowledge in various areas, building and expanding networks and relationships with diverse and influential people and organizations, receiving recognition and appreciation for the service and contribution to the public good, and having a sense of fulfillment and satisfaction from the work and achievements.

Some of the challenges include facing criticism and scrutiny from the public and the media, dealing with complex and controversial issues and problems, balancing the interests and expectations of multiple and competing stakeholders, managing the workload and time constraints of the job, handling the stress and pressure of the job, coping with the emotional and physical demands of the job, and sacrificing personal and professional opportunities and goals.

If you want to become a school board member, you should prepare for running for a school board seat, campaign for a school board seat, and succeed as a school board member. You should also follow the steps and strategies that we have provided in this article.

We hope that this article has helped you understand the topic of School board members and their salaries. We also hope that this article has inspired you to pursue your interest and passion for education and public service. Thank you for reading and have a great day!

FAQs

Here are some frequently asked questions and answers related to the topic of school board members and their salaries:

Q: How many school board members are there in the US?

A: According to the NSBA, there are about 90,000 school board members in the US, serving about 50 million students in 13,500 school districts.

Q: Do school board members get paid for travel expenses?

A: Some school board members get reimbursed for their travel expenses related to their official duties, such as attending conferences, workshops, and meetings. The amount and frequency of reimbursement vary by state and district.

Q: Do school board members need to have a background in education?

A: Some states and districts require school board members to have a minimum level of education, such as a high school diploma or a college degree. However, most states and districts do not require school board members to have a specific background or experience in education. School board members come from various fields and professions, such as business, law, medicine, engineering, arts, and more.

Q: How do school board members communicate with the public?

A: School board members communicate with the public through various channels and methods, such as newsletters, websites, social media, emails, phone calls, surveys, town halls, forums, and more. School board members also hold regular public meetings where they discuss and vote on the issues and policies of the school district, and where they listen and respond to the comments and questions of the public.

Q: How do school board members deal with conflicts and controversies?

A: School board members deal with conflicts and controversies by following the rules and procedures of the school board, and by adhering to the ethical and legal standards of the public office. School board members also try to resolve conflicts and controversies by engaging in dialogue and negotiation, by seeking facts and evidence, by considering multiple perspectives and opinions, by finding common ground and compromise, and by respecting the diversity and democracy of the education system.

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