Local school board members are elected to govern the 500+ school districts in Missouri and to be leaders and champions for public education in their communities. They come from all walks of life and are as diverse as the communities they serve. The most important responsibility of school boards is to work with their communities to improve student achievement in their local public schools. They serve as the bridge between the community and the professional educators in the district. School boards derive their power and authority from the state. In compliance with state and federal laws, school boards establish policies and regulations by which their local schools are governed. Among other things, the school board is responsible for:
- Employing and evaluating the superintendent
- Developing and adopting policies and the budget
- Establishing the overall goals and direction of the school district
School boards are not responsible for the day-today management of the school district. That job is left to the professional educators hired by the school board. In Missouri the vast majority of school boards consist of seven members. Most school board members serve three-year terms and school board elections are held in April. There are no term limits for school board members in Missouri. School board members in Missouri receive no pay for their service. Research shows effective school boards have a direct impact on improving student achievement in their districts through the expectations they set and the policies they adopt.