School system, chamber hosts clinic for candidatesPublished 12:20pm Monday, June 4, 2012
Prospective Hartselle school board candidates will get a chance to learn more about the positions they’ll be running for during a seminar later this month.
The event is scheduled for June 19 at 6 p.m. in the Hartselle City Schools’ central office meeting room.
Hartselle City Schools is hosting a program conducted by the Alabama Association of School Boards to help those wishing to run for Hartselle City Schools’ first-ever elected school board. Hartselle Area Chamber of Commerce is sponsoring the meeting.
Sally Howell, executive director of AASB, said this meeting is timely since a new law governing the actions of school board members takes effect July 1. Also qualifying for the election will begin July 3.
“There are new qualifications for board members,” Howell said. “There are also rules that will affect what is expected of board members. So this is very timely.”
Howell added that this program could clear up a number of misconceptions about the role board members play in the school system. It could also warn board members against certain types of campaigning.
“It’s also good to hold this before candidates begin qualifying or, more importantly, before they begin campaigning,” Howell said. “If a candidate runs on the basis that he or she would try to have an employee fired, that could cause that board member to appear biased.”
Howell said that could result in the board member having to recuse himself or herself during a personnel hearing and a board’s personnel ruling could be subject to challenge.
And while a school board selects the school superintendent and signs off on a number of personnel actions, Howell said school boards make policies and are not involved in the day-to-day administration of the school system.
“That responsibility is left to the school superintendent, principals and other administrators in the school system,” Howell said. “It’s just like when Nick Saban was hired as Alabama’s new football coach. The board of trustees didn’t tell him what assistants to hire. In that same manner, you should allow the principals to select the teachers and personnel at that school.”
School superintendent Dr. Mike Reed said this is one of the first seminars like this to be held in Alabama.
“It’s designed to help inform those who want to run for the school board to know what the qualifications, duties and resresponsibilities of these positions,” Reed said. “Sally will also inform them of what is new to these school board qualifications.
“We appreciate the Hartselle Area Chamber of Commerce for sponsoring this program and I would like to thank Sally for coming to do this program for us,” Reed added.
The program is free and open to the public. Qualifying for the school board will be July 3-17. The fee is $50.