Get on Board!
Pre-Board Candidate Training
The VT School Boards Association (VSBA) recognizes the value that diversity brings to school board governance. Therefore, VSBA is helping districts increase the number of qualified candidates who run for open seats and improve representation on boards. WHY? For a number of years there’s been a growing number of school districts that have had to fill board member vacancies via appointments rather than through the electoral process. By identifying resources, removing barriers and delivering information,VSBA hopes to encourage community members to consider engaging in the important service school boards provide. Please take this opportunity to learn how you can “get on board” and help make the decisions that will shape our children’s future.
Thinking About Serving on Your School
The Power of Local Governance in Education
The voters in each local district elect a school board to serve as trustees on their behalf—both to assure high quality education and to assure that voters receive an excellent return on investment.
School boards create the vision for education, establish policy for the district, hire a superintendent, approve the budget for presentation to voters, and monitor student performance, district policies, and finances. Board members engage the community in their work. Put simply—the board sets the direction, hires competent administrators, and provides high level oversight to assure high performance and accountability.
These are exciting and challenging times for the almost 900 public school board members in Vermont. Schools are being required to provide solutions to increasingly complex problems, many of them driven by the difficult societal problems, and by trends in reduced student enrollment. At the same time, we have unprecedented opportunity for improvement of equitable educational outcomes. Communities deserve creative, focused, results-oriented board members.
The Right Person Makes a Difference
What qualities, skills, and experience should you look for in a school board candidate? Here are some questions to consider:
Does the candidate understand that the school board’s role is about the big picture - setting the direction for the district and providing oversight and accountability -- not day-to-day management?
Is the candidate willing to consider a broad range of school district concerns and not be focused on just one issue?
Will the candidate enhance the mix of skills and backgrounds on the board and help represent the diversity of the community?
Does the candidate have the commitment to do what is right for citizens and taxpayers, even in the face of opposition?
School Board Membership
A person is ineligible to hold the office of school board member if the individual is:
Invest in our future
Under the age of 18.
Not a resident in the school district in which the individual is seeking office.
A resident of an unorganized town, grant or gore.
Regularly employed by the supervisory union they serve or by a school district within the supervisory union.
The holder of a simultaneous position as an auditor, first constable, collector of taxes, town treasurer, town agent or town manager.
A school board member’s spouse may not be the town auditor.
How Does a Person Become a School Board Candidate?
Australian Ballot Districts*
Submit a petition with the lesser of 30 signatures or one percent of the legal voters of the district to the municipal clerk by 5:00 p.m. on the sixth Monday preceding the day of the election. For unified union, union elementary, and union high school districts using either the modified at-large or at-large representation model, candidates must submit a petition with the lesser of 60 signatures or one percent of the legal voters in the district. Please check with the municipal clerk to confirm the number of signatures required.
A candidate may launch a write-in campaign if the date for submitting petitions has passed.
Town Meeting Districts
Nominated from the floor at the meeting
*School districts with charters may have different petition requirements.