The Importance of School Board Training

2014 Survey Results Show Public Support for School Board Professional Development

MASB commissioned questions on the February 2014 EPIC ▪ MRA omnibus 600-sample statewide survey of likely voters. These questions asked voters how important they believed it was for elected school board members to receive formal professional development instruction in the laws and policies affecting public K-12 school districts and, whether or not they favored legislation that would require a minimum level of such instruction. The results were impressive.

Nearly three-out-of-four respondents – 74 percent – reported their belief that formal professional development instruction for school board members was either “Essential” or at least “Very important” (33% and 41% respectively). Significantly, this sentiment among an overwhelming majority of respondents cuts across all demographic subsets such as age, race, religion, region of the state, formal education level, income, party affiliation and even self-reported support of the Tea Party.

Perhaps more noteworthy are the results to the follow-up question asking those 74 percent from the prior question who believed continuing education for school board members was at least “Very important” if they would favor or oppose legislation requiring a minimum number of such professional development credit hours. Eighty percent of respondents reported favoring legislation to require this professional development for school board members. Again, the super-majority result cut across the wide and disparate demographic subsets.

The proportions of the results in these questions is important – and somewhat rare – in that the overall takeaway from the results of the two questions reveals that a majority of all respondents from all subgroups not only believe continued professional development for school board members is at least very important but also, that it should be required.

View the survey results here.