What is a Board of Education?
The Board is the official policy-making body of the School District. Nine residents serve, without compensation, on the school board. Board members are elected on a rotating bases to a four-year term of office. School Directors must take an oath of office and a loyalty oath.
A school director must be:
- 18 years old
- a citizen of the US and Pennsylvania
- a resident of the District for at least one year before the election
- not serving in any other elected position in local government
- not a School District employee, with rare exceptions
School Board elections are held every two years, as part of municipal elections. Generally the number of seats up for election is staggered, with five seats elected one term, then four seats elected the alternate term. Candidates for School Board may cross-file or file for more than one political party in primary elections.
The Board's powers and duties are derived from the State Constitution and the Pennsylvania School Code. The Pennsylvania Constitution directs the General Assembly to provide a system for public schools. The regulations governing schools in the Commonwealth are the PA Public School Code.
The Board of Education's main areas of responsibility are to:
- Establish district policies
- Recruit, hire and evaluate the superintendent
- Develop an annual budget for public approval
- Approve/disapprove the Superintendent's recommendations on personnel matters and contracts
- Review courses of study and textbooks
- Approve building projects
- Approve purchases
- Levy taxes and issue bonds
- Fill vacancies on the board between elections
No person or group of persons acts in the name of the board. All motions require a majority vote before the board can act.
A Board member is in an official capacity only during an official board meeting.
Superintendent of Schools
The Superintendent of Schools, selected by the Board of Education, is the chief executive officer of the District and the professional adviser to the School Board. As such, the Superintendent is responsible for the day-to day operation of the District and administration of Board Policies, programs and plans for Board action. The Superintendent:
- prepares the annual budget
- makes recommendations about personnel and policies
- manages the staff
- carries out board policies
School Boards reorganize during the first week of December every year to:
- elect a president and vice president
- adopt a meeting calendar for the following year
- appoint committees and other board positions
- swear in newly elected members
In addition to the School Board, the student body of Penncrest High School elects three student representatives for a one-year term that runs concurrent with the fiscal year. These representatives serve in a non-voting advisory capacity.