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When you're in charge as the board chair...

The basic rule of any board of education is that no board member has any authority beyond that exercised at the board table, unless authorized by the board. Only the board has the ability to set policy, negotiate contracts or make requests of the superintendent.

As a new board chair, you suddenly find that you are making decisions, and that 'basic rule' is less defined. You will work closely with your superintendent to formulate agendas and assign committees, and your position as a spokesperson for the board gives you a higher visibility.

Remember that your board has not elected you king or queen. You only have the authority granted by the board, and the board can still overrule you.

Your primary job as the board chair is to serve the board by providing leadership.

When legal questions arise, we strongly suggest that you get legal advice, either from OSBA lawyers or the school board's own legal representative.

Remember: When in doubt, call a lawyer.