The role of the Columbia Board of Education extends much further than the classroom, although the classroom is where all of its concern lies.
The School Board helps the district meet local, federal and state statutes, keeping in mind the requests of its constituents and the district’s fiscal needs, according to the Columbia Public School District Web site.
The School Board must meet and establish the requirements of the Missouri Department of Elementary and Secondary Education and the Missouri Board of Education.
Duties include the making of administrative regulations, employment of a superintendent, evaluation of policy effectiveness, creating an annual budget, employing district staff and determining salaries.
The board also seeks to keep the public and staff informed and acts as an educational planner and judiciary body for district patrons, students and staff.
The School Board meets at 7 p.m. on the second Monday of the month at the Administration Building, 1818 W. Worley St. These meetings follow an agenda created by the board and submitted by the public, with time for public commentary on each item up for the board’s vote. The meetings range from two to four hours or longer.
Additional work session times and dates are determined by the board.
The agenda usually consists of special recognition announcements, public comments, the superintendent’s report, old business and new business.
The School Board has focused many of the past year’s meetings on implementation of the federal No Child Left Behind Act, which has changed the federal requirements for achievement-related funding for public schools.
At the Jan. 12 meeting, the board approved a $22.5 million general obligation bond to go on the general election ballot April 6.
Two open spots for board members will also be on the ballot. As per the city’s requirements, two spots open up every year, with three spots opening every third year.
Seven members make up the board, with a president and vice president overseeing the proceedings.
School Board members have to be U.S. citizens and registered voters in Columbia for at least one year prior to election. They must be older than 24 and are considered public servants under the Missouri Criminal Code.