Citizens have few opportunities to get directly involved in the governmental process beyond voting. This is not the case with school governance. When it comes to getting first-hand information and contributing to the process of local control of the schools, you are encouraged to attend the school board meetings. In addition, you can get to know the school board members because they are neighbors and friends who live in the city. They are often involved in other related civic matters as well.
The law of Ohio mandates that a public school district will have a board of education. The board generally consists of five members who live in the school district. The members are elected at-large on a nonpartisan ballot by the voters in the district. They serve a four-year term of office beginning the first day of January after the election.
The school board is responsible for the overall management and control of the schools in the district. Specifically, the board hires the superintendent and treasurer, and approves all contracts and compensation. The board also adopts policies to govern all the pupils and employees.
The school district receives limited funding from the federal and state levels. The majority of the funding comes from local property taxes. The school board has to request the local electorate to either renew or increase the local portion of the funding by passing local levies on the property taxes.
As you can see, the Board of Education has an important responsibility. You can help shape and influence the school district by attending the meetings. Regular meetings of the Board of Education take place at the Robert M. Smith Professional Development Center behind Wickliffe High School, unless otherwise noted (see Meeting Schedule).