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Thinking About Serving on Your School

Thinking About Running?
(print ready brochure)
Hard copies can be mailed upon request.
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The Power of Local Governance of 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 operations, and finances.  Board members engage the community in their work.  Put simply—the board sets the direction, hires competent administrators and provides 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 asked to provide solutions to increasingly difficult problems, many of them driven by the difficult national economy, social problems, and by the trends in reduced student enrollment.  At the same time, we have unprecedented opportunity for improvement and educational outcome. 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?

  • Does the candidate focus on one issue or discuss a broad range of school district concerns?

  • 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?

Qualifications for School Board Membership

A person is ineligible to hold the office of school board member if the individual is:

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  • 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 signatures of thirty qualified voters (or one percent of the total number of legal voters if that number is less than thirty) to the municipal clerk by 5:00 p.m. on the sixth Monday preceding the day of the election. 
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.

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