Perceptions of Superintendents and School Board Members Who Experienced the Transition from Appointed to Elected School Boards

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Virginia Tech

A selected group of school superintendents and school board members who had served during the transition from appointed to elected school boards in Virginia from 1992 – 2006 were interviewed to determine their perceptions of the positive and negative effects of the change. Superintendents indicated the transition from appointed to elected school boards had a somewhat negative effect, while school board members said there was no effect. The law providing for the direct election of school board members in Virginia was approved April 1, 1992, and was §22.1-57.1 through §22.1-57.5 of the Code of Virginia (Elected School Boards Act, 1992). Prior to this time no provisions for the election of school boards in the state were set, and school boards were appointed, either by the local governing body (Underwood, 1992) or by a school board selection commission (Code of Virginia, 2009, §22.1-36). The change in governance from appointed to elected school boards is an important phenomenon in Virginia , and the knowledge gained from the study could provide ways to lessen the stress which often exists in superintendent-school board relationships.

elected school boards, appointed school boards, school board members, superintendents