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

The School District Governance Association

Rich spoke to Donna Green, member of the Timberlane Regional School District, about the recently created School District Governance Association. Donna explained why she started the organization and they took a call from Harriet in Deerfield, who talked about her...

The Crisis in Education isn’t Money

By Donna Green Published by the Union Leader on Jan 13, 2017 Calls for education funding reform in New Hampshire get louder every year. It's not hard to understand why. Since I moved to the lovely town of Sandown, NH nine years ago, my school taxes have gone up 28%....

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...