202 - Specific Duties of the Board

 

 

 

202.1 - School Board Code of Ethics

 

 

 

Board member actions, verbal and nonverbal, reflect the attitude and the beliefs of the school district. Therefore, board members must conduct themselves professionally and in a manner fitting to their position. Each board member shall follow the code of ethics stated in this policy.

As a school board member I will:

  1. Listen
  2. Respect the opinion of others
  3. Recognize the integrity of my predecessors and associates and the merit of their work
  4. Be motivated only by an earnest desire to serve my district and the students in the best possible way
  5. Not use the district or any part of the district’s programs for my own personal advantage or for the advantage of my friends or supporters
  6. Vote for a closed session of the board if the situation requires it, but I will consider “star chamber” or “secret” sessions of board members unethical
  7. Recognize that to promise in advance of a meeting how I will vote on any proposition which is to be considered is to close my mind and agree not to think through other facts and points of view which may be presented in the meeting
  8. Expect to spend more time in board meetings on education programs and procedures than on business details
  9. Recognize that authority rests with the board in legal session and not with individual members of the board, except as authorized by law
  10. Make no disparaging remarks, in or out of board meetings, about other members of the board or their opinions
  11. Express my honest and most thoughtful opinions frankly in board meetings in an effort to have decisions made for the best interests of the students and the education program
  12. Insist that board members participate fully in board actions and recommend that when special committees are appointed, they serve only in an investigative and advisory capacity
  13. Abide by majority decisions of the board
  14. Carefully consider petitions, resolutions, and complaints and will act in the best interest of the school district
  15. Not discuss the confidential business of the board in my home, on the street, or in my office; the place for such discussion is during board meetings
  16. Endeavor to keep informed on local, state, and national educational developments of significance so I may become a better board member

In meeting my responsibility to the school district community I will:

  1. Consider myself a trustee of public education and will do my best to protect it, conserve it, and advance it; giving to the students of the school district community the educational facilities that are as complete and adequate as it is possible to provide
  2. Consider it an important responsibility of the board to interpret the aims, methods, and attitudes of the school district to the community
  3. Earnestly try to interpret the needs and attitudes of the school district community and do my best to translate them into the education program of the school district
  4. Attempt to procure adequate financial support for the school district
  5. Represent the entire school district rather than individual electors, patrons, or groups
  6. Not regard the school district facilities as my own private property, but as the property of the people

In my relationship with the superintendent and employees I will:

  1. Function, in meeting the legal responsibility that is mine, as a part of a legislative, evaluative, policy-forming body not as an administrative officer
  2. Recognize that it is my responsibility, together with that of my fellow board members, to see the school district is properly run and not run it myself
  3. Expect the school district to be administered by the best-trained technical and professional people it is possible to procure within the financial resources of the school district
  4. Recognize the superintendent as executive officer of the board
  5. Work through the administrative employees of the board, not over or around them
  6. Expect the superintendent to keep the board adequately informed through oral and written reports
  7. Vote to employ personnel only after the recommendation of the superintendent has been received
  8. Insist that contracts be equally binding on employees and the board
  9. Give the superintendent power commensurate with the superintendent’s responsibility and will not in any way interfere with, or seek to undermine, the superintendent’s authority
  10. Give the superintendent friendly counsel and advice
  11. Present any personal criticism of employees to the superintendent
  12. Refer complaints to the proper administrative officer

To cooperative with other school boards I will:

  1.  Not employ any personnel who are already under contract with another school district without first securing assurance from the proper authority that the person can be released from contract
  2. Not recommend any personnel for a position in another school district unless I would employ the person under similar circumstances
  3. Consider it unethical to pursue any procedure calculated to embarrass a neighboring board or its representatives
  4. Associate myself with board members of other school districts for the purpose of discussing district issues and cooperating in the improvement of the education program

Adopted: 6/70
Reviewed: 4/13; 8/14; 9/16; 10/19
Revised: 12/95
Legal Reference (Code of Iowa): §§ 21.6(3)(d); 68B; 69;
277.28; 279.71; 279.8; 301.28
IASB Reference: 204 Option II

202.2 - Ideal Boardsmanship

 

 

 

As the district’s governance leaders, the primary function of the Board of Education is to focus on policy and strategic planning. In that role, the board endorses the following principles of boardsmanship for practice by the members of the Board of Education.

Board members will:

  1. Always remember that the first and greatest concern must be the educational welfare of all students attending the public schools;
  2. Understand their responsibility for the future of the district by focusing purposefully on the district’s strategic plan and board goals;
  3. Process conflict in a productive manner that will not detract from the mission of the district and will be respectful of all individuals;
  4. Attend all regularly scheduled board meetings insofar as possible and become informed concerning the issues to be considered at those meetings;
  5. Recognize the importance of making policy decisions only after full discussion at publicly held board meetings;
  6. Consider all decisions drawing upon the available facts and independent judgments and make all decisions based on the best interests of students and the district;
  7. Encourage and respect the free expression of opinions by all board members and seek systematic communications between the board and superintendent and the constituents in the community;
  8. Hire and support the superintendent through community comments, periodic feedback, and annual evaluation;
  9. Delegate authority for the administration and management of the schools and implementation of board policy to the superintendent;
  10. Follow the appropriate lines of communication in obtaining information from staff and relating information to staff, understanding that the staff is responsible to and reports to the superintendent;
  11. Communicate to other board members and the superintendent the expression of public reaction to policies and school programs;
  12. Be informed about current educational issues by individual study and through participation in programs providing needed information, such as those sponsored by the state and national school board associations;
  13. Avoid being placed in a position of conflict of interest and disclose when such a situation occurs;
  14. Take no private action that will compromise the board or administration and respect the confidentiality of information that is privileged under applicable law; and
  15. Support new members through mentoring, ensuring their participation in meetings and board activities and assisting in developing their knowledge of school board culture.

Adopted: 6/70
Reviewed: 10/11; 4/13; 8/14; 9/16; 10/19
Revised: 12/95
Legal Reference (Code of Iowa): §§ 21.6(3)(d); 68B; 69;
277.28; 279.8; 301.28 (2013)

202.3 - School Board President

 

 

 

It is the responsibility of the board president to lead a well-organized board in an efficient and effective manner. The board president will set the tone of the board meetings and, as the representative of the consensus of the board, speak on behalf of the board to the public.

The president of the board is elected by a majority vote at the organizational meeting in odd-numbered years, or at the annual meeting in even-numbered years, to serve a one-year term of office.

The president, in addition to presiding at the board meeting, will take an active role in board decisions by discussing and voting on each motion before the board in the same manner as other board members. However, before making or seconding a motion, the board president shall turn over control of the meeting to either the vice president or another board member.

The board president has the authority to call special meetings of the board. Prior to board meetings, the board president will consult with the superintendent on the development of the agenda for the meeting.

The board president as the chief officer of the school district, will sign employment contracts and may sign other contracts and school district warrants approved by the board and appear on behalf of the school corporation in causes of action involving the school district.


Adopted: 6/70
Reviewed: 4/13; 8/14; 9/16; 10/19
Revised: 9/13
Legal Reference (Code of Iowa): §§ 279.1-2; 291.1 (2013)
IASB Reference: 206.1

202.4 - School Board Vice President

 

 

 

The vice president of the board is elected by a majority vote at the organizational meeting in odd-numbered years, or at the annual meeting in even-numbered years, to serve a one-year term or office.

By this election, if the board president is unable or unwilling to carry out the duties required, it shall be the responsibility of the vice president of the board to carry out the duties of the president. If the president is unable or unwilling to complete the term of office, the vice president shall serve as president for the balance of the president’s term of office, and a new vice president shall be elected.

The vice president shall accept control of the meeting from the president when the president wishes to make or second a motion. The vice president shall take an active role in board decisions by discussing and voting on matters before the board in the same manner as other board members.


Adopted: 6/70
Reviewed: 4/13; 8/14; 9/16; 10/19
Revised: 9/13
Legal Reference (Code of Iowa): §§ 279.5
IASB Reference: 206.2

202.5 - School Board Secretary

 

 

 

It is the responsibility of the board to annually appoint a board secretary. A board secretary may be appointed from school district employees, other than a position requiring a teaching certificate, or from the public. To finalize the appointment, the board secretary will take the oath of office during the meeting at which the individual was appointed or no later than 10 days thereafter.

It is the responsibility of the board secretary, as custodian of school district records, to preserve and maintain the records and documents pertaining to the business of the board, to keep complete minutes of special and regular board meetings including closed sessions, to keep a record of the results of regular and special elections, to keep an accurate account of school funds, to sign warrants drawn on the school funds after board approval, and collect data on truant students. The board secretary shall also be responsible for filing the required reports with the Iowa Department of Education.

In the event the board secretary is unable to fulfill the responsibilities set out by the board and the law, the superintendent [or designee] shall assume those duties until the board secretary is able to resume the responsibility or a new board secretary is appointed.

The board secretary will give bond in an amount set by the board. The cost of the bond will be paid by the school district.


Adopted: 6/70
Reviewed: 10/11; 4/13; 9/16; 10/19
Revised: 8/14
Legal Reference (Code of Iowa): §§ 12B.10, 12C, 64; 279.3, .5, .7, .31-33, .35;
291.2-4, .6-12, .14; 299.10 (2013); 281 IAC 12.3(i); 1978 Op Atty Gen 328
IASB Reference: 206.3 Option II

202.6 - School Board Treasurer

 

 

 

It is the responsibility of the school board to appoint a treasurer. The board may appoint a treasurer from its employees, other than a position requiring a teaching certificate, or from the public. To finalize the appointment, the treasurer will take the oath of office during the meeting  at which the individual was appointed or no later than 10 days thereafter.

It is the responsibility of the treasurer to oversee the investment portfolio, to receive funds of the school district, to pay out the funds for expenses approved by the board, to maintain accurate accounting records for each fund, to report monthly regarding the investment portfolio and the status of each fund, and to file required reports with the appropriate state agencies and other entities. It will also be the responsibility of the treasurer to work with the board secretary to coordinate the financial records, the financial reports, the cash flow needs, and the investment portfolio of the school district.

If the treasurer is unable or unwilling to carry out the duties required, it is the responsibility of the business manager to carry out the duties of the treasurer until the board treasurer is able to resume the responsibility or a new board treasurer is appointed.

The treasurer will give bond in an amount set by the board. The cost of the bond will be paid by the school district.


Adopted: 6/70
Reviewed: 4/13; 9/16; 10/19
Revised: 8/14
Legal Reference (Code of Iowa): §§ 12B.10; 12C; 279.3, .31-33; 291.2-4; .8, .11, .14; 281 IAC 12.3(l)
IASB Reference: 206.4

202.7 - School Board Conflict of Interest

 

 

 

School board members must be able to make decisions objectively. It is a conflict of interest for a board member to receive direct compensation from the school district, unless exempted in law or policy, for anything other than reimbursement of actual and necessary expenses, including travel, incurred in the performance of official duties. A board member will not act as an agent for school textbooks or school supplies, including sports apparel or equipment, in any transaction with a director, officer, or other staff member of the school district during the board member’s term of office. It will not be a conflict of interest for board members to receive compensation from the school district for contracts for the purchase of goods or services which benefit a board member, or to receive compensation for part-time or temporary employment which benefits a board member, if the benefit to the board member does not exceed $6,000 in a fiscal year or if the contracts are made by the board, upon competitive bid in writing, publicly invited and opened.

The conflict of interest provisions do not apply to a contract that is a bond, note, or other obligation of a school corporation if the contract is not acquired directly from the school corporation, but is acquired in a transaction with a third party, who may or may not be the original underwriter, purchaser, or obligee of the contract, or to a contract in which a director has an interest solely by reason of employment if the contract was made by competitive bid in writing, publicly invited and opened, or if the remuneration for employment will not be directly affected as a result of the contract and duties of employment do not involve any of the preparation or procurement of any part of the contract. The competitive bid section of the conflict of interest provision does not apply to a contract for professional services not customarily awarded by competitive bid.

It will also be a conflict of interest for a board member to engage in any outside employment or activity which is in conflict with the board member’s official duties and responsibilities. In determining whether outside employment or activity of a board member creates a conflict of interest, situations in which an unacceptable conflict of interest is deemed to exist shall include, but are not be limited to, any of the following:

  1. The outside employment or activity involves the use of the school district’s time, facilities, equipment, and supplies or the use of the school district badge, uniform, business card, or other evidence of office to give the board member or member of the board member’s immediate family an advantage or pecuniary benefit that is not available to other similarly situated members or classes of members of the general public. For purposes of this section, a person is not “similarly situated” merely by being related to a board member.
  2. The outside employment or activity involves the receipt of, promise of, or acceptance of money or other consideration by the board member or a member of the board member’s immediate family from anyone other than the state or the school district for the performance of any act that the board member would be required or expected to perform as part of the board member’s regular duties or during the hours in which the board member performs service or work for the school district.
  3. The outside employment or activity is subject to the official control, inspection, review, audit, or enforcement authority of the board member during the performance of the board member’s duties of office or employment.

If the outside employment or activity is employment or activity in (1) or (2) above, the board member must cease the employment or activity. If the employment or activity falls under (3) then the board member must:

  1. Cease the outside employment or activity; or
  2. Publicly disclose the existence of the conflict and refrain from taking any official action or performing any official duty that would detrimentally affect or create a benefit for the outside employment or activity. Official action or official duty includes, but is not limited to, participating in any vote, taking affirmation action to influence any vote, determining the facts or law in a contested case or rulemaking proceeding, conducting any inspection, or providing any other official service or thing that is not available generally to members of the public in order to further the interests of the outside employment or activity.

When procurement is supported by Federal Child Nutrition Funds, board members will not participate in the selection, award, or administration of a contract if there is a real or apparent conflict of interest in the contract. Contract, for purposes of this paragraph, includes a contract where the board member, board member’s immediate family, partner, or non-school district employer of these individuals is a party to the contract.

It is a conflict of interest for the school board to enter into business with a relative of any member of the school board during their term of service to the district.

It is the responsibility of each board member to be aware of an actual or potential conflict of interest. It is also the responsibility of each board member to take the action necessary to eliminate such a conflict of interest. Should a conflict of interest arise, a board member should not participate in any action relating to the issue from which the conflict arose.


Adopted: 6/70
Reviewed: 10/11; 4/13
Revised: 8/14; 4/16; 9/16; 10/19
Related Policy (Code #): 201.4-5; 202.1; 205.3
Legal Reference (Code of Iowa): 22 CFR § 518.42; §§ 68B; 71.1; 277.27; 279.7A; 301.28
IASB Reference: 203