Policy and administrative regulation definitions

Setting board policies and reviewing administrative regulations are key board responsibilities.  They are defined below along with a brief summary of why they are important.

What is policy?

Board policies are statements which set forth the purposes and prescribe in general terms the organization and program of a school system. They create a framework within which the college president or superintendent and his/her staff can discharge their assigned duties with positive direction. They tell what is wanted.

Policy is:

  • A guideline adopted by the board to chart a course of action
  • What is wanted or not wanted
  • May also include "why" and "how much"
  • Broad enough to allow administrative discretion/specific enough to give clear guidance

Policy is not:

  • Detailed direction
  • Restatements or paraphrases of state or federal law
  • Forms, job descriptions, etc.

Why is policy important?

Board policies do the following:

  • Provides consistency, stability and continuity
  • Conserves time and effort, freeing the board from routine action
  • Provides direction for the college president, superintendent, staff and students
  • Informs the public
  • Establishes a legal record as well as a legal basis for Board actions
  • Aids orientation of new board members and staff
  • Provides a sound basis for appraisal and accountability
  • Meets minimum requirements as prescribed by state and federal law

What is an administrative regulation?

Administrative regulations are detailed directions developed by the college president or superintendent to put policy into practice.  They tell how, by whom, where and when things are to be done.

An administrative regulation:

  • Provides the details for carrying out policy and enforcing it
  • Sets forth specific requirements
  • May list do's and don'ts
  • May include step by step procedures
  • May assign specific responsibility

What is NOT an AR::

  • Job description
  • Handbooks
  • Plans
  • Contracts/Inter-agency agreements

Why is an administrative regulation important?

An administrative regulation:

  • Assigns detail needed to implement policy to staff, allowing the Board to focus on broad issues
  • Provides college president or superintendent the flexibility to make timely changes to effectively implement policy
  • Provides detailed requirements, procedures and prohibitions under which the district will be operated
  • May satisfy a state or federal requirement or serve as a compliance indicator
  • Informs staff, students and public

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