Engaging State Boards of Education

About State Boards of Education

State Boards, operating as a lay body over state education, are intended to serve as an unbiased broker for education decisionmaking, focusing on the big picture, articulating the long-term vision and needs of public education, and making policy based on the best interests of the public. While the scope of board responsibility is defined differently in every state, there are common areas of jurisdiction. These include:

  • Setting statewide curriculum standards.
  • Establishing high school graduation requirements.
  • Determining qualifications for professional education personnel.
  • Establishing state accountability and assessment programs.
  • Establishing standards for accreditation of local school districts and preparation programs for teachers and administrators.
  • Implementing the No Child Left Behind Act and administering federal assistance programs.
  • Developing rules and regulations for the administration of state programs.

Key Information

State boards of education play key roles in maintaining and improving the quality of public schools that include the following:

  • Policymaker: The state board is responsible for policies that promote educational quality throughout the state.
  • Advocate for Education: The state board serves as the primary advocate of quality education for all children and youth in the state.
  • Liaison: The state board translates the concerns of the general public, elected officials, business leaders and civic groups into policy and clearly communicates them to educators.
  • Consensus Builder: State boards ensure that the public voice is represented in decisions about public education.

Strategies to Support Engaging State Boards of Education

  • Connect with your state board: Visit the National Association of State Boards of Education to get the contact information in your state.
  • Tailor your priorities to that of the state board to promote and frame the value-add of your work.
  • Attend state board events and follow their social media updates to stay at the forefront of conversations.


General Publications

Strategies on how school board members can become more effective messengers on the concept of afterschool programs.