The mission of the Georgia School Boards Association is to ensure excellence in the governance of local school systems by providing leadership, advocacy and services, and by representing the collective resolve of Georgia’s elected boards of education.


Board Candidates

This page is specifically for those who are running or considering a run for their local school board. Please see the links below for information important to you. 

What Does a School Board Member Do?

Your local school board makes the decisions that determine how your community’s children are educated and how your tax dollars are spent. Running for a school board member position is a simple but powerful way to support student success and strengthen your community.


The decisions made by the school board affect virtually every important aspect of local schools from boundaries to bus schedules, curriculum to clubs, and funding to field trips. 


The Georgia Constitution requires that an elected school board oversee each school system. Members of a local school board are to “manage and control” and to make decisions on almost every aspect of public schools. Each school board — as a whole — serves as the governing body. Individual board members have no authority outside of the board room. School board members make decisions that impact the entire school system, not just the area they represent. It is important that candidates know that the work of school boards impacts all students in the district and that candidates must carefully consider their platforms for campaigning.


The day-to-day operational responsibilities are delegated to the superintendent as chief executive officer. However, responsibilities of a public school board also include, but are not limited to some duties that cannot be delegated, such as: 

Buying and selling school property (including the power of condemnation)

Calling elections to authorize a Special Purpose Local Option Sales Tax (SPLOST) and bond elections to authorize the issuance of bonded debt

Making the policies and rules necessary to govern the school system

Reorganization and consolidation of schools within their control

Authority to hire employees on the recommendation of the superintendent.

Uniqueness of Elected School Board Members

How do elected school board members differ from other elected government officials? Read our document to find out.

Steps to Becoming a School Board Member in Georgia

Check Qualifications

In Georgia, there are a few qualifications for school board membership. In many instances, local laws prescribe additional qualifications such as residing within a particular ward or election district. Candidates must file an affidavit with the elections superintendent affirming that he or she has read and agreed to abide by the local board’s code of ethics and conflict of interest policy and has agreed to annually disclose compliance with those policies and the State Board of Education’s training policy. 

Board Member Qualifications

Board members should be willing to serve

Are eligible to vote

Be a qualified voter

Reside within the school district’s political boundaries

On the other hand, there are several provisions in Georgia law that address what disqualifies an individual from serving on the school board.

A person is ineligible to hold the office of school board member if the individual is:

  • Not a resident of Georgia
  • Under the age of 21, unless lowered to 18 by local act
  • Not a resident in the school district in which the individual is seeking office for 12 months prior to the election or appointment
  • A holder or receiver of public money that has refused to, or failed to, account for it or pay it over when asked
  • A convicted felon who has not been pardoned nor has his/ her rights restored
  • Serving on the governing body of a private elementary or secondary educational institution
  • Employed by the Georgia Department of Education or serving on the State Board of Education
  • Employed by the board of education the individual is serving on
  • The holder of another county office or on the city council if an independent district
  • Of unsound mind or unable to discharge the duties of the office because of advanced age or bodily infirmity
  • Holding any office of profit or trust under the government of the United States other than that of postmaster or member in the Reserves
  • A publisher of schoolbooks, an agent of schoolbook publishers, or someone with a financial interest in the sale of schoolbooks
  • Or, if the individual has an immediate family member (spouse, child, sibling or parent, or spouse of a child, sibling or parent whose employment began on or after January 1, 2010) sitting on the local board or serving as superintendent, principal, assistant principal, or system administrative staff.

Visit Your Local Election Office or Website

School board elections  and candidate qualifications are specific to each county. Interested candidates should either visit the elections office or county webpage for more information. Candidates can also visit the Run for Public Office page on the state of Georgia’s website for information on registering at the state level.

Contact Your Local Board of Education for a District Policy Manual

The district policy manual is important in understanding the requirements imposed by law upon the school district, as well as the paths the board of trustees have chosen within the discretion permitted the board by state and federal law and regulation. Many district policy manuals can be found on the board’s website.


GSBA Resources

Board members are required by Georgia law to receive a certain amount of training each year. The following outlines what Georgia law requires as far as training:



New Board Members


total hours of training


Whole board governance team training (includes the superintendent)


Coursework based on the state board's core curriculum aligned to the state standards


School finance and budgeting (not including the hour in the local orientation)


Local district orientation (one hour must focus on school finance)

Board Members with 1+ Years of Service


total hours of training


Whole board governance team training (includes the superintendent)


Coursework based on the state board's core curriculum aligned to the state standards