Board of School Directors

VT-Towns-Image

Schools and school boards are governmental entities separate from cities, towns and villages. Town school districts have school boards of three or five members, three of whom are elected for three years and two of whom are elected for either one or two years. Union school districts are not discussed here.

As part of its duties, the local board of school directors shall:

  • Select — as members of a supervisory union board — a superintendent for a period of one to five years and fix his or her salary (16 V.S.A. § 241(a));
  • Enter into contracts with supervisory unions for joint services (16 V.S.A. § 267);
  • Warn the town school district meeting (16 V.S.A. § 422(c));
  • Determine educational policies of the school district, care for and manage school property, keep schoolhouses repaired and insured, receive gifts of money or other items of value for school purposes, examine claims against the town district for school expenses, draw orders for loans to the town’s general fund, make regulations not inconsistent with law to carry their powers into effect (16 V.S.A. § 563);
  • Determine the number and locations of schools subject to approval by voters under certain circumstances (16 V.S.A. § 563);
  • Report to the state and to the town school district regarding expenditures, and recommend a budget for adoption by the district (16 V.S.A. §§ 428, 563);
  • Appoint, annually, one or more truant officers (16 V.S.A. § 1125);
  • Maintain a high school or furnish secondary education through tuition, subject to appeal to the State Board of Education (16 V.S.A. § 821);
  • Provide a competent number of elementary schools or arrange for elementary tuition (16 V.S.A. § 821);
  • Fix the number of hours that shall constitute a school day subject to revision by the State Board of Education; petition the State Board of Education for waiver of the number of school days required (16 V.S.A. § 1071);
  • Determine the legal residence of pupils, subject to appeal to the Commissioner of Education (16 V.S.A. §§ 1075);
  • Prepare, through the clerk, the school census and submit it to the superintendent (16 V.S.A. § 1091);
  • Receive non-resident pupils and payment therefore (16 V.S.A. § 1093);
  • Notify school directors of towns from which non-resident pupils come of any proposed tuition increase on or before February 1 in any year (16 V.S.A. § 826);
  • Give consent to the superintendent to excuse a pupil from school who has reached the age of 15 years, under certain circumstances (16 V.S.A. § 1123);
  • Excuse a child over 16 years of age from attending public school, under certain circumstances (16 V.S.A. § 1122);
  • Establish policy related to student discipline (16 V.S.A. § 1161(a));
  • Give consent to the dismissal from school of pupils, under certain circumstances (16 V.S.A. § 1162);
  • Control and regulate the transportation and board of pupils in schools under its charge (16 V.S.A. § 1221);
  • Furnish transportation as within its discretion appears necessary (16 V.S.A. § 1222);
  • Appoint one or more medical inspectors for the schools in the town district (16 V.S.A. § 1382);
  • Provide certain health and nutrition services for children of indigent parents (16 V.S.A. § 1386);
  • Enter into contracts with teachers (16 V.S.A. § 1751);
  • Hear appeals of teachers suspended by a superintendent, and if no appeal is taken, affirm or reverse the suspension of a teacher by a superintendent (16 V.S.A. § 1752);
  • Control and manage revenue from grammar school lands in certain circumstances (16 V.S.A. § 3226);
  • Provide, furnish, maintain and control schoolhouses or sell schools and sites when authorized by voters (16 V.S.A. § 563);
  • Erect on each schoolhouse or adjacent thereto a flagpole and fly a United States flag thereon while school is in session (16 V.S.A. § 3742); and
  • Select and provide all textbooks, appliances and supplies required for use in the schools, subject to the approval of the superintendent (16 V.S.A. § 563(14)).

The board of school directors may:

  • Vote to establish central supervisory union financial management as well as transportation, construction, teacher negotiations or other services (16 V.S.A. § 261(a));
  • Organize and supervise safety patrols (16 V.S.A. § 1482); and
  • Initiate eminent domain proceedings (16 V.S.A. § 560).

The board of school directors may provide early education programs as well as instruction to pupils who have completed secondary education. It may also discontinue or relocate use of facilities. See the Vermont School Board Association’s Handbook for New and Not So New School Board Members for more information.