June 26, 1998
TO THE BOARD PRESIDENT
TO THE SUPERINTENDENT ADDRESSED:
SUBJECT: School Board Member Continuing Education
The Texas Education Code, Section 11.159, requires the State Board
of Education to develop a course of training for school board members
which is to be offered by regional education service centers. The
purpose of this training requirement is to prepare school board
members to work as a corporate body to govern and oversee the management
of their school district so that the academic performance of all
students will improve.
There are two purposes to this letter. The first is to communicate
important information about annual school board training requirements.
All new members of each local board of trustees are required to
attend an Orientation to the Texas Education Code. The Orientation
is provided by the regional education service centers and is three
hours in length. Experienced board members who attended the Orientation
previously but still have not yet received an Update on the Code
as a result of the 75th Texas Legislature (January - May 1997) are
required to attend an Update, in order to familiarize themselves
with changes in the Code. This Update will also be presented by
regional education service center staff. The Update is generally
two hours in length. The Texas Education Code Orientation and Update
to the Code serve to ensure that all school board trustees have
the information needed to govern the district efficiently and effectively.
Other continuing education requirements identified in State Board
of Education rule, Texas Administrative Code (TAC) Section 61.1,
remain in effect. In order to facilitate local planning for the
team-building/needs-assessment session, as well as completion of
the other hours of continuing education, two copies of the Framework
for School Board Development are enclosed. One copy is for the president
of the board, and the other is for the board president to use in
distributing copies to all current members of the board and the
superintendent. Additionally, two copies of current board rule (19
TAC §61.1) are included for reference.
The second purpose of this letter is to initiate activities to
commend school board-superintendent leadership teams that during
the 1997-98 year have completed at least eight hours of the team-building
and additional hours of continuing education as a complete team,
with all board members present together for these sessions. The
State Board of Education has established this commendation in recognition
of the importance of working together as a team for the benefit
of Texas' children. For purposes of this commendation, the "1997-98
year" is defined as the period from "call for election"
to "call for election," regardless of the month in which
the district election is held.
Enclosed is a form to be completed and signed by both the school
board president and the superintendent, if the school board-superintendent
team is eligible for the commendation specified in 19 TAC Section
61.1(k). Upon receipt of this form, Texas Education Agency staff
will notify the appropriate member of the State Board of Education
and executive director of the regional education service center,
who will make arrangements for this event. Depending upon local
preference, this commendation may be presented at the local school
district, at regional school board association meetings, or other
I know that you will provide the leadership to ensure that your
school board-superintendent team is prepared to discharge their
responsibilities under State law and State Board of Education rule.
Strong, effective leadership for our schools is essential if we
are to achieve our goal of excellence in education for all students.
If you have any questions or need additional information about continuing
education for school board members, please contact the State/Federal
Waivers and Initiatives Unit at (512) 463-9630.
Deputy Commissioner for Programs and Instruction