A school board is an elected or appointed group entrusted by the community with the responsibility of the academic and fiscal health of a school district or system. Many scholars have described school boards as the essence of representative governance in a democracy. According to the National School Boards Association (NSBA), there are 14,000 school boards governing school systems in the United States, with responsibility for expenditures of $600 billion per year. This entry describes the powers, roles, and responsibilities of school boards; details the characteristics of board members and methods of becoming board members; briefly highlights the history of school boards within the United States; and explains the current debate surrounding the future of locally elected school boards.

Powers, Roles, and Responsibilities of School Boards

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