The budget is a chief responsibility of the Finance Committee, and budgetary activity is ongoing. Oversight of the current budget is simultaneous with development and approval of the next year’s budget. This duty alone calls for members with specific skills and backgrounds.
Start your school’s diversity efforts at the Board level. Here, diversity can be addressed without the kind of direct costs usually associated with achieving socioeconomic or socioethnic diversity in your student body, or diversity in your administration, faculty, and staff. As Board President, your starting point is in your planning document, every iteration of which should call for a Board profile to be developed to fit the strategic or long range plan. Open the way for a Board discussion of diversity, even for a broad topic like “Increase the socioeconomic and socioethnic diversity on the Board of Trustees.”
Some private schools today, looking for ways to alleviate budget demands, have turned to government vouchers to supplement tuitions. The Friedman Foundation for Educational Choice found that Florida, Indiana, Ohio, and Wisconsin are currently the top states in which private schools are accepting vouchers; 27 states have some variation of vouchers. Catholic schools serving inner-city and low-income neighborhoods comprise most of private schools participating in voucher programs.
As a Trustee, you are expected to carry out your due diligence roles—particularly when it comes to Board meetings. In your service to the school, your participation in Board functions is imperative. The Board acts as an entity, not as a collection of individuals. Your attendance and participation are vital to the success of the Board and its actions.
Private-independent schools must always consider how technology can be best used in the classroom. Your Board, controlling the purse strings through the strategic financial plan, must be mindful of the school’s needs concerning emerging technologies.In a competitive landscape, parents often consider how a school integrates computers and other learning technologies for their children. You don’t want your school to be perceived as “antiquated.”
When a Board’s internal problems keep it from moving forward in its responsibilities to the school, the Board President and Trustee leadership must act. The various forms of a “fractured” Board are often caused by members who bring their own agendas, have a bureaucratic mind-set, or focus on their own children’s issues rather than on the best interests of all students.
As the Board President, ask yourself and your Board-leadership colleagues the following series of questions. These will help you identify the problem areas that cause a fractured Board, and offer remedies to keep your school moving forward.
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