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The almost 16,000 school boards in the United States, which trace their origins to colonial America, are an integral part of a complex system of school governance. State legislatures created local school boards to carry out the state function of providing public education by executing and administering statutes and policies. School boards, then, are state agencies. Therefore, even though board members are elected locally, they are, in fact, state officials. Further, school board functions and authority are delineated in state statutes, as described in this entry.

What They Do

As educational agencies, school boards have three functions: legislative, executive, and quasi-judicial. The legislative function includes the authority to make rules and regulations for the effective operation of school systems. School boards may also levy taxes for the ...

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