Our three picks for San Francisco’s school board | #Education

What does an elected member of the San Francisco Board of Education do? In the ideal world, not too much.

What we mean is that the scope of a board member’s responsibilities should be narrow.

The school board sets the district’s budget and approves union and other key contracts.  Members also recruit, hire and manage the superintendent — who essentially serves as the CEO of the school district, running its day-to-day operations. The board is responsible for giving the superintendent a general set of priorities — say, improving reading outcomes in third graders. It then grants the funding and resources the superintendent determines are needed to be successful. Board members keep tabs on how schools and the superintendent are performing — and get input from the community — by holding public meetings. If schools aren’t achieving the goals the board sets and communities expect, members can find a new superintendent.
You don’t necessarily need a background in education to be an effective school board member — although it certainly doesn’t hurt. You do need fiscal savvy, managerial skills and an empathetic understanding of the myriad needs of San Francisco’s diverse public school kids and families.

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