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A practical guide to effective school board meetings

Corwin Press (2005-02-15) Rene S. Townsend, James Russell Brown, and Walter L. Buster

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More Info: COPs Program, La Mesa Spring Valley School Board


While most action items are routine in the sense that they appear on every agenda (e.g. purchase orders, personnel assignments, etc.), there are always agenda items that require discussion and deliberation. We think superintendents and boards get themselves into trouble when they try to take action too quickly. Hence the important of teh "two-meeting rule."

"Two-meeting rule" items are those that have major ramifications for students, such as a program called for in the district strategic plan, a change in graduation requirements, school attendance boundardies, or the adoption of a new textbook. Such items require at least two meetings to fully discuss then and decide on appropriate action. Even though it is call the "two-meeting rule," some items because of their complexity or political implications may be on more than two meeting agendas/

Typically, the agenda item is listed for information and discussion only at the first meeting. At that meeting, the public provides input and the board discusses the item. After the board meeting, the superintendent and staff make appropriate changes and prepare the item for action on the next, or a subsequent meeting.

Most discussion items require a simple majority vote of the board. However, some state laws specify super-majority for certain items. A few other items require a role-call vote of the board. Be sure exceptions to a simple majority voice vote are noted on the agenda. This helps the entire board, particularly the board president, to run the meeting effectively.

Not every non-routine item needs two meetings; many can be presented and acted on in one meeting. Approval of a grant application, a construction change order, or approval of a new high school course are possible examples. And of course, any routine item can become a political hot button requiring more discussion and a delay in action.

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Title A practical guide to effective school board meetings
Publisher Corwin Press
Author Rene S. Townsend, James Russell Brown, and Walter L. Buster
Pub Date 2005-02-15
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Note 'Two-Meeting Rule' defined
Keywords COPs Program, La Mesa Spring Valley School Board
Media Type Book
Media Group Research
Curator Rating Plain
Book ISBN 1412913292
Author Name Sortable Townsend, Rene
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Topic revision: r1 - 28 Sep 2009, RaymondLutz
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