Empowering Elected School District Officials

Elected school district officials, including school board and budget committee members, now have a resource devoted entirely to educating and empowering them to assert their lawful authority and be responsive to their electorate.

Seminars

We offer informational seminars for members and the public.

Member Resources

We provide online resources and collaboration for members.

Model Policies

Our committees develop and communicate best practices.

Join Today!

If you are a current or past school board member or otherwise have fiduciary responsibility for a school district budget, we invite you to become a member. Help contribute to improved school board governance!  

NEWS

Latest Events and Announcements

Seminar: Future of Schooling @ Nackey Loeb School of Communications 

In this workshop, we will discuss the future of schools – what school board members need to know about the changes (technological, demographic, economic, and political) that they will be facing, and ways to view potential problems as opportunities. Videos are available for each speaker: Ian Underwood (part 1) and Commissioner Frank Edelblut (part 2).

Education’s Staffing Surge

EdChoice's “Back to the Staffing Surge” podcast measures US public school employment growth versus student growth as well as teacher salary fluctuations and student outcomes over the past 65 years using publicly available data that state departments of education...

3 Bills Dubbed ‘Horrendous’

Three bills coming before the House this week aim to give the public more information about their government by eliminating some exemptions in the right-to-know law. The supporters of these bills say they are furthering the purpose and intent of the right-to-know law,...

1st Amendment Questions

Donna Green, president of the School District Governance Association of NH, said she’s seen multiple instances of school boards writing unconstitutional ethics policies, including provisions that members cannot speak negatively against board actions – even if they...

Edelblut Speaks to SDGANH

Edelblut and his message were right on target. Given that the School District Governance Association of New Hampshire is an association of current and past school district elected officials dedicated to mutual support and information sharing with the mission of...

Making Collective Bargaining Negotiations Public

By Donna Green Published by the Union Leader on Mar 15, 2017 Salaries and benefits are the biggest expenses in public education. They are also the biggest drivers for the continually increasing costs of running our schools with fewer and fewer students. In my school...

TESTIMONIALS

What Our Members Say

As a three term Budget Committee member (and former Vice-Chair), there is no formal statewide equivalent organization for folks like me.  Fortunately, I found out at my first SDGANH meeting that a large number of the attendees were former and current BudComm members that had stories to tell and techniques to share about how they dealt with School District (and Town) budgets.  We also shared tactics that were used and how to cut through that F.U.D. Fog. After all, we are the last bastion in protecting the taxpayers’ wallets!
 
-Skip Murphy
Gilford Budget Committee
The SDGANH was formed to ensure proper governance of New Hampshire School Districts. We do this by educating our membership and the public on the proper roles of school board members, budget committee members, and their administrators.
 
To do this, we are here to help you traverse the complex mix of state law, federal law, state education regulations, local board policies, administrative procedures, and the all-important budget process. 
 
To understand public education, you need to understand these issues. Join us to make your job easier.
 
– Howard Coffman
Member, Nashua Board of Education

FAQ

You’re not alone…

How do elected officials regain control without needing to meet every week for 6 hours?
So much happens without school board knowledge or approval. Chances are that previous boards gave automatic authority to the superintendent to do the following:
  • apply for federal and state grants 
  • engage and consult legal counsel 
  • set the school board’s meeting agenda 
  • determine staffing levels
  • file state reports that don’t require a signature.
 
Boards are often kept occupied by business that is more PR than prudent governance.  Meetings can be more efficient and accomplish substantive governance objectives when the board itself controls and sets their meeting agendas.  The board chairman should ask board members for meeting topics and should also ensure that regular financial and policy issues are included in all agendas.
 
Furthermore, superintendents and business managers should not be given blanket authority in advance for anything.  The board should always be involved in approving grants, setting staffing levels, and applving a program of course offerings. 
 
Isn’t this micromanaging?   Not at all.  These are things your voters expect you to be supervising for their benefit, and they are imperative in controlling the budget.
 
Why should the board do this when we trust our superintendent?  Again, your voters expect elected officials to exercise their lawful oversight over SAU functions.  When boards delegate too much authority to administrators, boards have historically found it difficult to regain information and oversight ability.
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Become a Member Today!

Help us restore local elected control in school districts, and push
for some legislative changes to increase transparency and accountability
for the ultimate benefit of our children’s education.

Join Today...