School Boards

Should School Boards Take Up Abortion, Immigration, and Other Social Issues? – District Dossier

The Los Angeles district’s school board has passed an unusual resolution to “stop the bans” on abortion, thrusting the district directly into the heart of a searing national debate about abortion—an issue the U.S. Supreme Court could choose to address in the near future.

The resolution, passed as a special order of business May 21, is a clear rebuke to Alabama lawmakers, who recently passed a law banning nearly all instances of abortion in that state with no provisions made for victims of rape or incest, and to other states that have moved to curb abortion.

“This is an

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Superintendents Under Fire: The Tricky Calculus of When to Quit

Broward County Superintendent Robert Runcie survived a recent effort to oust him from his job over his leadership before and after the mass shooting at Marjory Stoneman Douglas High School.

—Lynne Sladky/AP

Superintendents sometimes find themselves the targets of angry calls for their firing even when there’s been no official finding of misconduct or wrongdoing.

Such a scenario has been playing out in the Broward County, Fla., district where a vocal contingent of critics has been calling for the dismissal of Superintendent Robert Runcie over his handling of the shooting at Marjory Stoneman Douglas High School in Parkland in which

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National School Boards Association Pushes for Federal Special Education Law Overhaul – On Special Education

Is this the year that Congress will take up the long-overdue renewal of the Individuals with Disabilities Education Act—plus boost funding for the law? 

The National School Boards Association wants to see both. Advocating for “full funding” of IDEA is a perennial issue, but the association is also drawing attention to the fact that the law, last reauthorized in 2004, needs to be rewritten to address more up-to-date concerns about educating students with disabilities. 

“This is our big initiative, our big push for this Congress,” said Thomas Gentzel, the executive director of the school boards association.

And the organization is

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North Dakota Moves Forward on Law Barring Felons From School Boards

News in Brief

North Dakota’s Senate has endorsed legislation that would bar felons from serving on school boards.

The measure is being sponsored by Republican Nichole Poolman, a school teacher from Bismarck, and Richard Marcellais, a Democrat from Belcourt and a member of the Turtle Mountain Band of Chippewa.

The state Indian Affairs Commission requested the measure. Director Scott Davis says the bill applies to all schools, but tribal leaders are increasingly concerned about school board candidates who have a criminal past. Davis points to a woman convicted of embezzling from a district on the Fort Berthold Reservation who was

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Betsy DeVos Tells School Boards: ‘Freedom Is Not a Threat’ – Politics K-12

Students, teachers, and parents—they all need freedom in order to meet their potential.

That was one of the main messages in prepared remarks by U.S. Secretary of Education Betsy DeVos to a National School Boards Association meeting in Washington on Monday. As she has before, DeVos stressed that students sitting in crumbling and dangerous schools, as well as those bored or struggling in their classes, are relying on adults to “rethink” education and let them achieve “education freedom.”

She urged the crowd to ask themselves why students were still assigned to schools based on their addresses, why students are forced

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How Many Seats Do Teachers Get on the State Board of Ed.? In Most Places, None

—Getty

| Updated: August 16, 2018

State boards of education craft policies on curriculum, assessment, and other areas that directly affect day-to-day classroom life. But the professionals most affected by those decisions—teachers—often don’t have a seat at the boardroom table.

And when they do have a seat, they don’t always have a vote.

Just nine states specifically set aside a seat for teachers on their appointed state board of education, according to preliminary research conducted by the National Association of State Boards of Education. That includes Missouri and Delaware, where new laws were signed this summer that

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Inside a Key Voting-Rights Precedent Affecting School Boards

In 2013, the U.S. Supreme Court effectively gutted a key provision of the Voting Rights Act of 1965, meaning that school boards and other local and state governments in areas with a history of discrimination in election matters no longer had to win federal approval for any “change in voting.”

Writing for the majority in the 5-4 decision in Shelby County, Ala. v. Holder, Chief Justice John G. Roberts Jr. said that nearly 50 years after the adoption of the Voting Rights Act, “things have changed dramatically. … Blatantly discriminatory evasions of federal decrees are rare. And minority

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How to Hire a Superintendent Who Will Stick Around

Commentary

Five pitfalls in hiring district leaders and how to avoid them

By

Cathy Mincberg

The average superintendent tenure is approximately three years in urban districts and six years in suburban districts, according to a 2014 Council of the Great City Schools survey, and those time spans make it hard to develop and institute significant improvements. While some factors shortening superintendent tenure are beyond control, many other factors are manageable. Here are some common pitfalls your local school board must circumnavigate when choosing new district leadership:

1. A mismatch between district and leader.

Too often, boards hire based solely on

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Feuding Superintendents and School Boards Struggle to Make Amends

Legal battles mar relationships

When a rocky relationship between a superintendent and school board winds up in court, it can lead to the awkwardness of divorce—akin to a feuding couple living together, with their children stuck in the middle.

As the relationship breaks down, it’s pretty common for superintendents to hit the escape hatches in their contracts, through resignation or retirement, or for members to get voted on or off school boards as tensions air out.

What’s more uncommon, though, are sitting superintendents who sue the school board members who can hire, and in most cases, fire them. Conversely, it’s

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