Local Board of Education Candidates -
A Curriculum Guide

(Updated September 2014)

KASB has developed a recommended process and curriculum that school officials may wish to use when briefing candidates for their local school board.

After the filing deadline, all candidates should receive a letter from the Board President and Superintendent inviting them to a meeting suggested length of no more than two hours) - or a series of meetings - where school district issues and data will be presented.

Some of these issues are statewide and apply to all districts; many of them will need to be customized to match local needs. 
District Vision and Goals:
  • Assume that persons running for school board seats don’t know the district’s existing vision or goals.  Take the time to explain both to the new candidates.
  • Describe local support of schools, how the community perceives their schools and the level of community engagement in big issues.
  • Explain how Site Councils fit into the district’s vision, goals and planning cycles.
Student Achievement: 
  • Review the current focus on College and Career Readiness.
  • MTSS discussion with focus on the “whole child”
  • Evaluation processes utilized to insure high quality instruction throughout the system.
  • Explain the state standards and show how they drive instruction.
  • Distribute a brief summary of the local curriculum and explain where a candidate could get a complete copy.
Student Demographics Profile:
  • Achievement Data
  • Attendance Rate
  • Graduation Rate
  • ACT scores
  • Vocational/Technical participation
  • At-Risk numbers
  • Co/Extra-curricular participants in district activities
  • Explain the district’s AYP and accreditation status: http://online.ksde.org/rcard/searchpage.aspx
  • Explain any special populations and what is being done to meet the challenges and opportunities they present.
  • Give a brief presentation on how schools are funded, including budget per pupil, weightings, the state 20 mill levy, how special funds are used and why money is kept in reserve in some of these funds.
  • Provide a brief review of easy to read documents specific to your district from KSDE’s web site, such as the Budget Profile and the Budget-at-a-Glance. Both of these documents for all districts can be found here: http://www.ksde.org/Default.aspx?tabid=5358
Personnel Profile:
  • Number of Administrators and the duties assigned
  • Number of Teachers and alignment to curriculum expectations
  • Number of Classified Staff
  • Is the overall staff aging?
  • Are there critical needs that may be hard to fill?
  • When positions open, are there many qualified applicants?
  • Are the applicants experienced, or mainly beginning teachers?
  • Are there issues filling coaching and sponsor vacancies?
  • Is the local pay scale competitive with area schools of similar-sized schools?
District Facilities Profile:
  • Configuration and building alignment
  • Explain the number of buildings within the district, the age and utilization of each.
  • Discuss briefly, any additional building(s) needed in the future or potential restructuring in the use of buildings. Outline any long-term facilities concerns and maintenance issues.
  • Transportation structure including total miles covered, buses/vehicles utilized, and average daily ridership.
  • Outline the basics - compromise, communication and how boards must operate in a political environment in difficult times.
Additional Tips:
  • Outline any particular local challenges unique to the district not covered above.
  • Give each candidate a copy of the KASB publication "So You Want to be a School Board Member." This can be used for reference and additional study.
  • After the election is over and your new board members are in place KASB will be there to help you with the transition.  We will work with your new members to build an effective “District Leadership Team.”
  • Please inform your new board members about the opportunity to attend the New Board Member Workshops and provide the dates.