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What Do School Boards Do?

The primary function of the board of education is to oversee the education of students in the community. Educational programs conducted at the elementary, middle and high school levels are most familiar. Many local and intermediate school districts also operate preschool and adult education programs for large numbers of people.

Under Michigan law, a board of education has the ultimate responsibility for school district operations. Among other things, the Revised School Code gives each board of education general powers to:

  • Educate students.
  • Provide for the safety and welfare of students.
  • Acquire and dispose of school property.
  • Determine matters relating to school employees and contractors.
  • Control the expenditure and receipt of school funds.
  • Make joint agreements and cooperative arrangements.

Specific provisions in the Revised School Code also assign responsibilities to school boards in areas such as:

  • Setting the curricula and courses taught in the schools.
  • Employing a superintendent, other administrators, teachers and support personnel.
  • Levying local taxes to run the schools and adopting a budget.
  • Deciding whether or not to furnish transportation for pupils.
  • Negotiating with employee unions regarding salaries and other conditions of employment.