Board Candidates

Take your first step toward public school board service.

Getting Started

Explore GSBA’s Board Candidates page to access valuable resources and information designed to help prospective school board candidates prepare effectively for their roles. Whether considering a role in school board leadership or actively pursuing candidacy, GSBA provides essential guidance and support to empower future board members. Elevate your candidacy, make a lasting impact on your local school district, and contribute to a brighter future for Georgia’s students with our expert guidance and support.

Georgia School Board Members

Understanding Your Role

Running for a school board position is a powerful way to support student success and community development. School board members, collectively, oversee every aspect of public schools, making decisions that affect the entire district. Understanding the broad impact of their role is essential for candidates as they consider their platforms.

Primary Responsibilities

The superintendent serves as the chief executive officer, overseeing day-to-day operational responsibilities. However, public school boards also bear vital responsibilities, including those that cannot be delegated, such as:

Setting Policies

Establish and review policies that govern the school district's operations, curriculum, and administration.

Financial Oversight

Approve budgets, allocate resources, and ensure fiscal responsibility in managing district finances.

Hiring Superintendents

Select and employ superintendents who serve as the district's chief executive officers.

Community Engagement

Engage with the community, addressing concerns, and advocating for the district's interests.

Curriculum Oversight

Oversee the educational programs and curriculum, ensuring alignment with state standards.

Advocacy

Advocate policies that benefit students and schools at the local, state, and national levels.

Decision-Making

Make crucial decisions on issues like student discipline, school facilities, and teacher contracts.

Legal Compliance

Ensure compliance with state and federal laws, policies, and important regulations.
Whole Board Governance Training

Training Requirements

As mandated by the Georgia Department of Education (GaDOE), newly elected local board of education members must complete a minimum of 15 hours of training within one year of assuming office.

New Board Member Required Training – 9 hours

Five hours of this requirement must be training provided by the Finance and Budget Office of the Georgia Department of Education (GaDOE).

Local District Orientation – 3 hours

One hour dedicated to district finance.

Whole Board Governance Training –3 hours

Three hours of annual whole-board governance training, including superintendent.

Elegibility Requirements

School board election qualifications vary by county. Visit your county’s election office or website for details. State-level registration information is available on the ‘Run for Public Office‘ page on Georgia’s state website. To understand legal requirements and board policies, refer to the district policy manual, often found on the board’s website.

Residency

Candidates must be residents of the school district they intend to represent and must reside within the district's boundaries.

Voter Registration

Board members are typically required to be registered voters within the state of Georgia.

Age

There is usually a minimum age requirement to serve on a school board, often 18 years or older.

Background Check

Some school districts may require candidates to undergo a criminal background check as part of the qualification process.

Financial Interests

Candidates may be required to disclose financial interests they have in the district, such as owning property or having contracts with the district.

Oath of Office

Elected or appointed board members must take an oath of office before assuming their duties.

Term Limits

Some districts have term limits in place, restricting the number of consecutive terms a board member can serve.

Training and Orientation

New board members are required to complete training and orientation programs to familiarize themselves with the role.

Ethical Conduct

Board members are expected to adhere to codes of ethical conduct and may be subject to ethics training and guidelines.

School Board Elections

Candidates must participate in school board elections or be appointed by relevant authorities (county commissioners or state board of education).

Felony Conviction

Candidates who have been convicted of a felony and have not been pardoned or had their rights restored may be ineligible.

Mishandling Public Funds

Individuals who have held public funds and have refused to account for or pay them when asked may be disqualified.

Private School Affiliation

Serving on the governing body of a private elementary or secondary educational institution may disqualify a candidate.

Georgia Department of Education Employment

Candidates who are employed by the Georgia Department of Education or serve on the State Board of Education may be ineligible.

School District Employment

Individuals who are employed by the board of education of the school district for which they are running may be disqualified.

Federal Government Employment

Holding office under the U.S. government of the United States (other than postmaster or member in the Reserves), may disqualify a candidate.

Dual Public Office

Holding another county office or serving on the city council (if independent district) while seeking a school board position can disqualify a candidate.

Mental or Physical Incapacity

Candidates who are of unsound mind or unable to discharge the duties of the office due to advanced age or bodily infirmity may be ineligible.

Education Publishing Interests

Candidates who are publishers of education curriculum or have a financial interest in the sale of curriculum may be disqualified.

Immediate Family Employment

If an individual has an immediate family member (spouse, child, sibling, 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, they may be ineligible.
Board Member Oath

Helpful Resources

Explore our comprehensive board candidacy resources, curated to enhance your understanding, prepare you for challenges, and empower your campaign to new heights!