This information is from Boardsmanship For Oregon School Board Members, which explains what it takes to be an Oregon school board member. Boardsmanship For Oregon School Board Members may be ordered using our online publications catalog or by calling OSBA, 800-578-OSBA (6722). OSBA Policy Services can help you develop a school board code of conduct policy for your district.
A school board member:
- Understands that the board sets the standards for the district through board policy.
- Board members do not manage the district on a day-to-day basis.
- Understands that the board makes decisions as a team.
- Individual board members may not commit the board to any action.
- Respects the right of other board members to have opinions and ideas that differ.
- Recognizes that decisions are made by a majority vote and should be supported by all board members.
- Makes decisions only after the facts are presented and discussed.
- Understands the chain of command and refers problems or complaints to the proper administrative office.
- Recognizes that the board must comply with the Public Meetings Law and has authority to make decisions only at official board meetings.
- Insists that all board and district business is ethical and honest. Is open, fair and honest -- has no hidden agenda.
- Understands that he or she will receive confidential information that cannot be shared.
- Recognizes that the superintendent is the board’s adviser and should be present at all meetings, except when the board is considering the superintendent’s evaluation, contract or salary.
- Takes action only after hearing the superintendent’s recommendations.
- Refuses to use board membership for personal or family gain or prestige. Announces conflicts of interest before board action is taken.
- Refuses to bring personal or family problems into board considerations.
- Gives the staff the respect and consideration due skilled professional employees.
- Presents personal criticism of district operations to the superintendent, not to district staff or to a board meeting.
- Respects the right of the public to attend and observe board meetings.
- Respects the right of the public to be informed about district decisions and school operations as allowed by law.
- GEC (Government Ethics Commission) Ethics Guide for Public Officials (146k ) - the Oregon Government Ethics Commission explanation of the public officials ethics law and the Commission’s interpretation of those requirements.
- Ethics frequently asked questions - OSBA's legal team answers the most commonly asked questions about Oregon's ethics law.
- Sample board member ethics policies - downloadable sample policies your district can adopt to establish ethical standards for board members.
- Ethics online course - purchase OSBA's online course reviewing government ethical standards and highlighting what you need to know about Oregon's ethics laws.