Questions for Prospective School Board Candidates

  • Community members need to know as much as possible about a candidate. These questions should help prospective school board members think about the broad range of issues that come before a school board.
    Background/Reasons for Seeking Election:
    1. Why are you running for the Board of Education? If elected, what will be your priorities? 
    2. Is there a particular issue that motivates you to serve on the board of education?
    3. What particular experiences or skills have prepared you to serve as a board member?
    4. In what school district or community activities/organizations have you been involved?
    5. Why should you be elected to the Board of Education?
    6. What differentiates you from the other candidates and/or board members?

     Election Campaign:

    1. Are you running with any organized slate of candidates? 
    2. Have you received any donations or endorsements from any group(s)? If so, which groups? 
    3. How will you promote your school board candidacy?
    Board of Education Governance:
    1. What attributes and behaviors are essential for school board members?
    2. What do you see as the primary work of the board of education?
    3. What is a school board member’s role and responsibility? How does that role differ from the role of the superintendent or administration?
    4. How can a school board know if its goals are being accomplished and its policies are being implemented?
    5. What is the best way to address differences of opinion on the board or between the board and the administration?
    6. Could you support a board decision you did not vote in favor of? Why or why not? 
    7. How can the board be accessible to the community? To specific community groups?
    8. What is the public relations role of the board? 
    9. How can a board of education best communicate with its constituent groups?

     Educational Program:

    1. What issues do you believe your district needs to address in its academic program and offerings? What changes would you recommend?
    2. What should your school district do to better prepare students as citizens?
    3. What can be done to improve student achievement and ensure everyone who graduates is college-ready?
    4. What is the role of schools in teaching children about topics such as: sex education, cyber-safety, AIDS, wellness, bullying?
    5. What are your thoughts on your school district's programs for special education students, English Language Learners (ELL), and gifted students?
    School Board Issues:
    1. What is your vision for education in this community?
    2. What do you see as the major issue(s) facing your school district? Public education?
    3. What are your areas of concern regarding student achievement in your district? 
    4. Do you have specific suggestions for improvement?
    5. Given all the issues that arise, how can the board stay focused on student achievement?
    6. How does a school board balance the need to provide a quality education with the need to respond to the local taxpayer burden?
    7. What are your thoughts on the current and the proposed budget for your school district?
    8. As a board member, where would you look to make budget cuts?
    9. Are there any areas you would not consider cutting? 
    10. How would you determine your budget priorities?
    11. What changes should be made on the state and local level regarding public education?