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(Posted February 7, 2023)

Hi Everyone-

I thought I'd provide a basic primer on the role of the School Board in Maine law so that you can better understand the hierarchy of leadership in our schools.

The Board has several duties but these are their primary functions:

1. Development and adoption of policy
2. Development and adoption of school budgets
3. Hiring and firing of the superintendent
4. Approval or rejection of Superintendent nominations for employment.
5. Decision-making in expulsion cases or cases involving suspensions in excess of 10 school days
6. Acting as decision-maker in employee grievances as established in teacher and support staff contracts

The Board hires a superintendent and principals to oversee the day-to-day school operations and to implement policy. The Board has no authority to intervene in routine student or teacher issues unless those involve expulsion, suspension or, in the case of teachers, approval of or dismissal from employment.

The Board is not privy to any interviewing or job applicant information unless the superintendent brings that name forward for nomination. Information about why a particular applicant wasn't brought forward for nomination is confidential, by law, and is not shared with the Board or the public.

While the Board has very specific authorities in Maine law, it also has many limitations to that authority. Community members in school districts throughout Maine have many misunderstandings about the role of the Board and Board members. I've been a Board member and know it can be a rewarding and challenging experience. I can't thank our Board members enough for all they do.

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