Front Cover
 Title Page
 Table of Contents
 Suggestions for using this...
 The county superintendency...
 Planning the school program
 Relationships to state and federal...
 Relationships within the count...
 Relationship to the county...
 Relationships to district...
 Establishment, organization and...
 School personnel
 Child welfare
 The instructional program
 Transportation of pupils
 The school plant
 School finance
 School business administration
 School districts
 Code of ethics
 Appendix I: Rules and regulations...
 Appendix II: Opinions of the attorney...
 Appendix III: Record and report...

Group Title: Its Florida program for improvement of schools. Bulletin
Title: Handbook for county superintendents in Florida
Full Citation
Permanent Link: http://ufdc.ufl.edu/UF00080768/00001
 Material Information
Title: Handbook for county superintendents in Florida
Alternate Title: Florida Program for Improvement of School ; Bulletin 19
Physical Description: ix, 339 p. : incl. forms. ; 23 cm.
Language: English
Creator: Florida -- State Dept. of Education
Florida Work-conference on School Administrative Problems, (1940
Publisher: State Dept. of Education
Place of Publication: Tallahassee Fla
Publication Date: 1940
Copyright Date: 1940
Subject: School superintendents   ( lcsh )
School principals   ( lcsh )
School management and organization -- Florida   ( lcsh )
Educational law and legislation -- Florida   ( lcsh )
Genre: government publication (state, provincial, terriorial, dependent)   ( marcgt )
conference publication   ( marcgt )
non-fiction   ( marcgt )
Statement of Responsibility: Prepared at the University of Florida, Gainesville, Florida work-conference on school administrative problems, Edgar L. Morphet, director.
Bibliography: "For further study" at end of each chapter except chapters XV and XVI.
 Record Information
Bibliographic ID: UF00080768
Volume ID: VID00001
Source Institution: University of Florida
Holding Location: University of Florida
Rights Management: All rights reserved by the source institution and holding location.
Resource Identifier: ltuf - AHQ5359
oclc - 09472023
alephbibnum - 001630589
lccn - e 41000075

Table of Contents
    Front Cover
        Front Cover 1
        Front Cover 2
    Title Page
        Page i
        Page ii
        Page iii
    Table of Contents
        Page iv
        Page v
        Page vi
        Page vii
        Page viii
    Suggestions for using this handbook
        Page ix
        Page x
    The county superintendency in Florida
        Page 1
        Page 2
        Page 3
        Page 4
        Page 5
        Page 6
        Page 7
        Page 8
        Page 9
        Page 10
        Page 11
        Page 12
    Planning the school program
        Page 13
        Page 14
        Page 15
        Page 16
        Page 17
        Page 18
        Page 19
        Page 20
        Page 21
        Page 22
        Page 23
        Page 24
    Relationships to state and federal agencies
        Page 25
        Page 26
        Page 27
        Page 28
        Page 29
        Page 30
        Page 31
        Page 32
        Page 33
        Page 34
        Page 35
        Page 36
        Page 37
        Page 38
    Relationships within the county
        Page 39
        Page 40
        Page 41
        Page 42
        Page 43
        Page 44
        Page 45
        Page 46
        Page 47
        Page 48
        Page 49
        Page 50
        Page 51
    Relationship to the county board
        Page 52
        Page 53
        Page 54
        Page 55
        Page 56
        Page 57
        Page 58
        Page 59
        Page 60
        Page 61
        Page 62
        Page 63
        Page 64
        Page 65
        Page 66
        Page 67
        Page 68
        Page 69
        Page 70
        Page 71
        Page 72
        Page 73
        Page 74
    Relationships to district trustees
        Page 75
        Page 76
        Page 77
        Page 78
        Page 79
        Page 80
        Page 81
    Establishment, organization and operation of schools
        Page 82
        Page 83
        Page 84
        Page 85
        Page 86
        Page 87
        Page 88
        Page 89
        Page 90
        Page 91
        Page 92
        Page 93
        Page 94
        Page 95
    School personnel
        Page 96
        Page 97
        Page 98
        Page 99
        Page 100
        Page 101
        Page 102
        Page 103
        Page 104
        Page 105
        Page 106
        Page 107
        Page 108
        Page 109
        Page 110
        Page 111
        Page 112
        Page 113
        Page 114
        Page 115
        Page 116
        Page 117
        Page 118
        Page 119
        Page 120
        Page 121
        Page 122
        Page 123
        Page 124
    Child welfare
        Page 125
        Page 126
        Page 127
        Page 128
        Page 129
        Page 130
        Page 131
        Page 132
        Page 133
        Page 134
        Page 135
        Page 136
        Page 137
        Page 138
        Page 139
        Page 140
        Page 141
        Page 142
    The instructional program
        Page 143
        Page 144
        Page 145
        Page 146
        Page 147
        Page 148
        Page 149
        Page 150
        Page 151
        Page 152
        Page 153
        Page 154
        Page 155
        Page 156
        Page 157
        Page 158
        Page 159
        Page 160
        Page 161
        Page 162
        Page 163
        Page 164
        Page 165
        Page 166
        Page 167
    Transportation of pupils
        Page 168
        Page 169
        Page 170
        Page 171
        Page 172
        Page 173
        Page 174
        Page 175
        Page 176
        Page 177
        Page 178
        Page 179
        Page 180
        Page 181
        Page 182
        Page 183
        Page 184
    The school plant
        Page 185
        Page 186
        Page 187
        Page 188
        Page 189
        Page 190
        Page 191
        Page 192
        Page 193
        Page 194
        Page 195
        Page 196
        Page 197
        Page 198
        Page 199
        Page 200
        Page 201
        Page 202
        Page 203
        Page 204
        Page 205
        Page 206
    School finance
        Page 207
        Page 208
        Page 209
        Page 210
        Page 211
        Page 212
        Page 213
        Page 214
        Page 215
        Page 216
        Page 217
        Page 218
        Page 219
        Page 220
        Page 221
        Page 222
        Page 223
        Page 224
        Page 225
        Page 226
        Page 227
        Page 228
        Page 229
        Page 230
        Page 231
        Page 232
        Page 233
        Page 234
        Page 235
        Page 236
        Page 237
    School business administration
        Page 238
        Page 239
        Page 240
        Page 241
        Page 242
        Page 243
        Page 244
        Page 245
        Page 246
        Page 247
        Page 248
        Page 249
        Page 250
        Page 251
        Page 252
        Page 253
        Page 254
    School districts
        Page 255
        Page 256
        Page 257
        Page 258
        Page 259
        Page 260
        Page 261
    Code of ethics
        Page 262
        Page 263
        Page 264
        Page 265
        Page 266
        Page 267
        Page 268
    Appendix I: Rules and regulations of the state board of education
        Page 269
        Page 270
        Page 271
        Page 272
        Page 273
        Page 274
        Page 275
        Page 276
        Page 277
        Page 278
        Page 279
        Page 280
        Page 281
        Page 282
        Page 283
        Page 284
        Page 285
        Page 286
        Page 287
        Page 288
        Page 289
        Page 290
        Page 291
        Page 292
        Page 293
        Page 294
        Page 295
        Page 296
        Page 297
        Page 298
        Page 299
        Page 300
    Appendix II: Opinions of the attorney general
        Page 301
        Page 302
        Page 303
        Page 304
        Page 305
        Page 306
        Page 307
        Page 308
        Page 309
        Page 310
        Page 311
        Page 312
        Page 313
        Page 314
        Page 315
        Page 316
        Page 317
        Page 318
        Page 319
        Page 320
        Page 321
        Page 322
        Page 323
        Page 324
        Page 325
    Appendix III: Record and report forms
        Page 326
        Page 327
        Page 328
        Page 329
        Page 330
        Page 331
        Page 332
        Page 333
        Page 334
        Page 335
        Page 336
        Page 337
        Page 338
        Page 339
Full Text



Handbook for


Florida Program
For Improvement of Schools
Bulletin No. 19
December, 1940

Prepared at the
University of Florida, Gainesville

Edgar L. Morphet, Director

COLIN ENGLISH, State Superintendent
Tallahassee, Florida

Edgar L. Morphet, Director of Administration and Finance,
State Department of Education
M. W. Carothers, Director of Instruction,
State Department of Education
N. L. Engelhardt, Jr., Professor of Education, (Summer)
University of Florida
James L. Graham, Supervisor of School Plant Planning,
State Department of Education
T. George Walker, Manager, State Textbook Service and
Supervisor of Transportation, State Department of

Cecil Bernard, Teacher, Punta Gorda
Howard W. Bishop, Superintendent-Elect, Alachua County
L. H. Driggers, Superintendent-Elect, Hardee County
W. T. Newsome, Superintendent, Suwannee County
Clotilde B. Smith, Teacher, Santa Clara Elementary School,

*Frank J. Banning, Superintendent-Elect, Lake County
U. J. Bennett, Superintendent, Broward County
*Frank Brigham, Superintendent-Elect, Polk County
*Walter Craig, Superintendent-Elect, Pasco County
*Z. D. Holland, Superintendent-Elect, Flagler County
F. A. Rhodes, Superintendent, Leon County
Judson B. Walker, Superintendent, Orange County
R. P. Terry, Board Member, Dade County; President
State Association of School Board Members
Walter W. Wolfolk, Board Member, Polk County
James Gillesie, Trustee, Volusia County
W. H. Marshall, Principal, Sealey Memorial School,
J. H. Workman, Principal, Pensacola High School,
R. L. Carter, Supervisor, Hillsborough County
*Also Part-Time Members of the Handbook Committee

Sponsored by
The Research Committee
of the
Florida Education Association


According to law, the county is the unit for the organ-
ization and administration of schools in Florida. Each
county has a County Superintendent of Public Instruction
who acts as secretary and executive officer of the Board.
He is responsible for the administration of the schools, for
the supervision of instruction, and for taking necessary
steps to facilitate improvements in the educational pro-
gram of the county.
In the interest of the welfare of the children, as well as
of the taxpayers, it is important that the school system of
each county function satisfactorily and efficiently. In-
efficiency or neglect in any one or more of the sixty-seven
counties of the state sooner or later handicaps the entire
state program of education.
It should be obvious that the schools in the county can
be operated satisfactorily only when all agencies respon-
sible for the management and operation of the schools
function properly. That means that the County Board,
County Superintendent, trustees, principals and others
concerned must understand their duties and respon-
sibilities, be qualified to carry them out and see that they
are performed in proper relationship to the duties and
responsibilities of the others. It is the function of this
handbook to help in that process. This is one of a series
of handbooks intended to aid school officials to work
together more effectively in improving the schools.
The County Superintendent in each county necessarily
occupies a most strategic position. If he is a trained or
experienced man and is capable of the professional and
business leadership he is expected to assume, he should
be in excellent position to assist in the development of a
desirable program of education. On the other hand, if
he is not trained or interested, the entire county school
program may easily be handicapped. It is becoming in-
creasingly important, therefore, that the County Superin-
tendent continuously study his position as related to the
county school program in order to function most effective-
ly. This handbook, if properly used, should be of material
assistance to County Superintendents, as well as to others
who are interested in planning an improved school pro-
gram for the various counties of the state.

State Superintendent.



FLORIDA ........................................ .......... 1
Role of the County Superintendent.......................... 1
Qualifications of the Superintendent...................... 4
Scope of Powers...................... .......................... 6
Duties and Responsibilities................................ 8
The Office of County Superintendent...................... 10

II. PLANNING THE SCHOOL PROGRAM........................ 13
Importance of Planning.................... .......-..... 13
Procedure in Planning the Program........................ 15
Defining Objectives ................................... ..... 15
Assembling Information........................-- .----. 17
Democratic Procedures Essential.................... 18
The Long-Time Plan.................... ................ 19
Appraisal of the Plan........................................ 21
Annual Plan .................-------.... ---------................. 22

AGENCIES ..........................-------.................-- 25
State Educational Agencies-------......................... .. 26
State Board of Education............................... 26
State Superintendent---.........-----.............. ---... 27
State Department of Education...................... 29
Institutions of Higher Learning.........----............ 31
Other State Agencies....................---............ ------ 32
Miscellaneous Agencies in the State-............... 34
Federal Agencies ...................... ---------....... .. 35

Determining Wishes of the Public............................ 39
The Public Relations Program.....................-------........... 40
Program Must Be Based on Accurate Infor-
mation .......................------ ...............----.. 42
Other County and City Officials----.....---...................---..... 45
Other County and City Agencies.............................. 48
Parent-Teacher Associations------------............ ........ 50

Cooperation Essential .....................................-------------. 53
Recognizing Functions of the County Board............ 54
Relationships Outside of Board Meetings---.............. 56
Preparing for Board Meetings---------............................... 57
Meetings of the Board------........------..............---...........----59
The Order of Business..--............................... 61
Board Meetings Open to the Public................ 64
Executive Meetings.................................. .... 65

Minutes of the Board----------------........................... ........ 65
Policy Index ...........-- -........................... 69
Legal Opinions .................... .....--------------- 70
Contracts -...............- .....--------.....-------. 71
Compensation of the Board...................................... 72
Executing Policies Approved by the Board............ 73

Trustees Have Supervision of Schools................... 75
Cooperation and Consultation Essential------................. 76
County-Wide and Other Meetings--------.......................... 79
Organization and Meetings of Trustees------.................... 80

OPERATION OF SCHOOLS------........--................. 82
School Centers and Attendance Areas.................... 82
Organization of Schools and Scope of Work............ 85
The Elimination and Consolidation of Schools........ 87
Standardization and Self-Analysis of Schools---......... 90
Opening and Closing Dates...................------------ 92
Holidays and Vacation Periods---------........................... 93
Vocational Classes and Schools........---------............ 94

VIII. SCHOOL PERSONNEL...............................------------ 96
Responsibilities of the County Superintendent--....... 96
The County Staff ................-------.....-------------- 98
Administrative and Supervisory Assistants .. 98
Office Assistants... ------..................------- ---- 100
The Instructional Staff ................... ..--------------. 102
Certificates Required .......................------------....... 107
Duties ....----.......------------ ----------- 108
Other School Personnel...................-------------- 109
Direction of Work and Supervision of Instruction 109
Personnel Records ..--......--...--------... -----------. 111
Compensation and Salary Schedules.....----------..... --111
Contracts ......................-----------------.. 113
Continuing Contracts--.....-----.............. --.--.... 114
Transfer and Promotion ....................------------ 115
Suspension and Dismissal..-----------.........-.... --. 116
Leave of Absence Provisions........ -----------.................... 117
Sick Leave................. ......--------------------- 118
Illness-in-the-line-of-duty Leave ------................. 119
Professional Leave -------.....................-------.. 119
Personal Leave ..........----.............. .......... --------- 120
Substitute and Temporary Teachers..-------..................... 120
Retirement Provisions-------.............................. 122


IX. CHILD WELFARE ..........................---................ .... 125
School Census-.......................................................... 125
Attendance of Pupils----............. ......................... 126
Kindergartens and Nursery Schools................ 127
Age of Admission to First Grade.................... 127
Compulsory Attendance............................................ 129
Certificates of Exemption............................... 130
Enforcement of Compulsory Attendance................ 131
Attendance Assistants ...................................... 132
Responsibilities of Parents-............................... 132
Pupil Accounting...................................................... 133
Classification, Promotion and Progress of Pupils.... 135
Control of Pupils.. ----------........................... ... ........ 136
Education of Special Groups...........-------...................... 137
Health Examinations and Treatment..-------................. 139

X. THE INSTRUCTIONAL PROGRAM............................ 143
Role of the Instructional Staff................-- ........ -----143
Developing the Program......................................... 145
Supervising Program........................ .................. 148
Instructional Materials and Aids........................... 152
Courses of Study.............................................. 152
Textbooks ................................----.....---- ---- 155
Libraries and Library Books......................----...... 159
Other Instructional Aids.................................. 161
Extra-School Activities .............-----..-----.................--..... 163
Measuring Progress and Outcomes.......................... 164

XI. TRANSPORTATION OF PUPILS-----................................ 168
Plan of Ownership............................... ................. 168
Equipment ............................ ........--------------- 171
Plan of Operation................................................. 173
Plan of Maintenance........-............................. 175
Planning Routes................................................. .. 176
School Bus Drivers---.............. -------------................... 179
The Principals-------------............................--.. 181
Insurance .................... ................ .................... 182
Records and Reports..------------...................... --......... 183

XII. THE SCHOOL PLANT ----..........-........................ 185
School Surveys................................................ ..... 185
School Sites.......... -----------------..................... 188
Planning the School Building Program.................... 190
Plans and Specifications.................................. 191


Construction of the Building................................... 194
Financing the Program............................................ 196
Protection from Fire and Other Hazards................ 199
Other Safeguards-- -------...........-...-....-... --. .. 200
School Plant Operation --------..................... --.....- 201
Maintenance Program ....---..........................-......... 203
Use of School Property------------........-----.......... 204
Records and Reports..................................... ...... 204

XIII. SCHOOL FINANCE--... ---------........................ 207
The Program........................---....... ...................... 207
Relationship to Educational Program.............. 207
Eight Months' Term Required as Minimum.... 208
Limitations and Handicaps------............ ---............. 208
Opportunities .................................................... 209
The School Budget-................................ ........... 210
Preparing the Budget........................------------. 211
Parts of the Budget..........--- --------..................... .. 213
Approval of the Budget........................-------....... 214
Executing the Budget...................................... 216
School Revenues.--...... .......................--------- 218
State Teachers' Salary Fund....-------..................... 218
State Textbook Fund..................................... 222
Vocational Funds.............................................. 222
County Current School Fund........................... 222
District Current School Funds.....................-.. 222
District Bond Construction Funds.................. 223
District Bond Interest and Sinking Funds.... 223
School Expenditures.................................................. 224
Financial Accounting-........................................... 227
Apportionment of Funds Within the County.......... 230
Indebtedness ..... ................................ ............. 232
Indebtedness Against Funds for Support and
Maintenance of Schools------......................... 232
Safeguarding School Funds...................................... 235

Administrative Offices.............................................. 238
Office Management......................................---- 241
Contracting and Purchasing Procedures.................. 244
Supply and Equipment Management........................ 246
Records and Reports----..-------------..--- --............... 250
Calendar of Activities-.......... -......................... 251

XV. SCHOOL DISTRICTS ................................................... 255
District Elections--.............. ............ ....... .... 255
Organization and Reorganization of Districts........ 256

Biennial Tax and Trustee Elections---........................ 258
Trustees and Trustee Elections......-................. 258
District Tax Elections....---............................ 259
District Budget.....------......------ -............ ...... 260
Bonds and Bond Elections.........----......... --............. 261

XVI. CODE OF ETHICS ........... ........................... 262
Proposed Code of Ethics...------........................... ..---- 262
Relationships to Code of Ethics for Teachers.. 262
Relationships to the Public-----...............................----. 263
Relationships to County Board and Trustees.... 264
Relationship to the Staff.................................. 265

APPENDIX I--.... ------...... ........----.. -- ---- .. 269
Index ........---------- -----.... ..............--- ............... --- 269
Rules and Regulations of State Board of Education.-.......---. 269
APPENDIX II.........-...--- ................... 301
Index ......... ........------............. ........................... 301
Opinions of Attorney General Relating to Education.......... 301
APPENDIX III..-.....................--- ............. 326
Record and Report Forms---....................--- .--------........... 326

This Handbook covers all major aspects of the work of
the County Superintendent in Florida, but it is not in-
tended to include all details. The handbook has been
planned as one of a series and should be used in that
manner. It should be supplemented by other handbooks
and information as needed.
In order to understand the work of the County Board
and the relationships between the Superintendent and the
Board, the County Superintendent should study A Hand-
book for County School Board Members in Florida. Simi-
larly, to understand the work and relationships of trus-
tees, the County Superintendent should study A Hand-
book for School Trustees in Florida. Another handbook
has been prepared for principals which can be used in a
similar manner.
In addition to the handbooks mentioned above dealing
with duties and relationships, several handbooks have
been prepared to cover the details involved in the various
aspects of the work of County Superintendents. For ex-
ample, the handbook on School Plant Operation and
Maintenance in Florida provides information that should
be needed in that field. Similarly, handbooks have been
prepared on Transportation of Pupils in Florida, Provid-
ing Better Teachers for Florida Schools, Continuity of
Service for Teachers in Florida, A Guide to Improved
Practices in Elementary Schools and A Guide to a Func-
tional Program in the Secondary School. During the com-
ing months, additional handbooks will be made available,
one of which will deal with Supply Management, another
with Attendance Service, another with Financial Manage-
ment and Accounting, and others will deal with various
phases of instructional problems.
This handbook should, therefore, be used in proper re-
lationship to other handbooks and bulletins. Used in that
manner, it should be invaluable to County Superintend-
ents, and likewise, to County Board members, trustees,
principals and others who need to understand or wish to
know and understand more about the County Superin-
tendent and his work.


The Constitution of Florida requires the Legislature to
provide for the election for a term of four years of a
County Superintendent of Public Instruction in each coun-
ty, whose powers and duties are to be as prescribed by
law. (Article VIII, Section 6.) The Florida School Code
defines general and specific powers and prescribes the
duties and responsibilities of County Superintendents.
(Sec. 432, 433.)
According to the laws of the State, the county is the
unit for the organization and administration of schools
(Section 401). The responsibility for the organization and
control of the schools of each county is vested in the
County Board (Section 403 (2)). The County Superin-
tendent is designated as secretary and executive officer
of the Board (Section 431). He is to have the responsi-
bility for the administration of the schools and for the
supervision of instruction (Section 403 (3)). The attitude,
ability, and industry of the County Superintendent may be
expected, therefore, to determine to a great extent the
efficiency and adequacy of the county school program.

In Florida the County Superintendent, as well as the
members of the County Board, is elected by vote of the
people of the county. Moreover, the trustees of each dis-
trict are elected by vote of the people of that district.
The County Superintendent, the County Board, and the
trustees are thus all responsible to the people for the
school program. In such a system it is particularly im-
portant that responsibilities be clearly differentiated in
order to avoid the possibility of confusion and conflict.
Fortunately, the new School Code provides a satisfactory
and proper basis for differentiation. The legal responsi-
bilities of the County Superintendent differ from those
assigned to the County Board, and the responsibilities of
the County Board likewise differ from those assigned to


the trustees. It is of great importance that these funda-
mental distinctions be fully understood and observed at all
times if the county school system is to function properly.
.The person in best position to help to clarify,-or to con-
fuse,-this situation in each county is the County Super-
In many states the Superintendent of Schools is ap-
pointed by the Board instead of being elected by popular
vote. Leading educational authorities in the nation seem
to favor this procedure which apparently has a number
of distinct advantages if proper safeguards are observed.
In such systems the School Board is in position to select
the best qualified and most capable person for Superin-
tendent, regardless of his residence, and to hold him re-
sponsible for proper administration of the schools. There
is little danger or likelihood of divided or confused re-
sponsibility. However, even this procedure does not in all
cases assure maximum efficiency and freedom from poli-
tics. In the long run, the success of any plan will depend
to a great extent upon the ability and attitude of the per-
sons who participate. In Florida, if County Superintend-
ents meet satisfactorily their responsibilities and are con-
scientious in seeking to administer the schools on a pro-
fessional rather than on a political basis, the elective
system may be continued because people are likely to be
satisfied with the results. On the other hand, if there are
many counties in which schools become involved in poli-
tics and are indifferently administered, there is almost
certain to be a demand sooner or later for change.
Under the Florida school law, the County Superintend-
ent, as is generally true throughout the United States, is
responsible for advising the Board on all phases of the
school-program and for carrying out all policies adopted
by the Board. Section 403 (3) provides that:
"Responsibility for the administration of the schools and for
the supervision of instruction in the county shall be vested in
the County Superintendent as the secretary and executive officer
of the County Board, as set forth in Article III of this Chapter
of the School Code."
The major responsibilities which the County Superin-
tendent is expected to assume may therefore be stated
as follows:


(1) The County Superintendent should serve at all times as
the professional advisor of the County Board. He is expected
to know the best educational procedures, to have at
hand all important facts relating to the school system,
and to be prepared to advise the County Board regard-
ing any problem which may arise. Advice, however,
should always be based on and should grow out of what
the facts show and should never be merely unsupported
personal opinion.
(2) The County Superintendent is the administrator for all
phases of the school program. It is his responsibility to see
that the entire school program is so organized and ad-
ministered that the schools can operate smoothly and
(3) The County Superintendent is expected to serve as, or to
direct the work of, the business manager and the purchasing
agent for the schools. He is responsible for overseeing the
business phases of the program as well as the instruc-
tional phases. The conception that the Board is respon-
sible for the business and the County Superintendent
for instruction, or that there should be a separate busi-
ness manager responsible directly to the Board, is en-
tirely erroneous. The County Board is responsible for
determining all policies and the County Superintendent
is expected to execute and administer those policies.
(4) The County Superintendent is the professional leader and
advisor for all members of the staff. He should be able to
assist them in meeting and solving their problems and
in improving their own effectiveness in the county
school system. Moreover, he should be in position to
lead and guide them in formulating an improved pro-
gram for the schools of the county.
(5) The County Superintendent should serve as the leader in
interpreting the schools to the community and the community
to the schools. If the schools are to have the understand-
ing and support of the citizens, there must be a definite
program for securing that support. The County Super-
intendent should be responsible for leading and direct-
ing such a program.
It should be clear that these responsibilities are of
major importance in the county school system. The role


of the County Superintendent is therefore a strategic one.
He is in a position to aid in developing an effective school
program for the county or to handicap that development.
If he is well qualified and is interested in his work he
should be an important factor in directing the develop-
ment of the type of program the children should have.
If he is poorly qualified or is merely interested in holding
his position, he likewise may be an important factor in
handicapping children and teachers and in disappointing
the parents and taxpayers.

Florida has not yet prescribed by law any definite quali-
fications for the County Superintendent. Section 425 recog-
nizes the possibility that qualifications may be prescribed,
and Section 515 provides that:
"Each person employed or occupying a position as County
Superintendent, administrative assistant to the County Superin-
tendent, school supervisor, principal, teacher, attendance assist-
ant, school librarian, or other position in which the employee
serves in an administrative or instructional capacity in any public
school of any county in this State shall hold the certificate re-
quired by law and by regulations of the State Board in fulfilling
the requirements of law for the type of service rendered."
So far, however, no certificates or other requirements have
been prescribed either by law or by regulations of the
State Board for County Superintendents in this State.
It is interesting to observe that Florida and South Caro-
lina are the only southeastern states which have not pre-
scribed definite requirements for the County Superin-
tendency. All other states require that County Superin-
tendents hold at least a teaching certificate and have had
some teaching experience. Alabama requires three years
of college training with a certificate in administration and
supervision; Georgia, either a number of years of experi-
ence in school work or graduation' from a college; Louisi-
ana, a B.A. degree or the equivalent with experience in
school work; Maryland, five years of college work; Mis-
sissippi, two years of training with experience in education
or four years of training if the person has no previous
experience; North Carolina, graduation from a four year
college and previous teaching experience; Tennessee, ex-


perience in teaching and school administration; and Vir-
ginia requires the M.A. degree with a minimum of fifteen
hours of professional training, including courses in finance
and educational administration.
In future years it will become increasingly unlikely that
a person without previous professional training and ex-
perience in education can succeed as a County Superin-
tendent except at great cost to the taxpayers and to the
children. The role that the County Superintendent must
play makes it highly desirable that he either have had
previous experience as a superintendent or that he meet
the following requirements:
1. Be a graduate of a standard four-year college.
2. Hold a certificate in administration and supervision
based on special training in that field.
3. Have had several years experience in teaching.
Lawyers, accountants, engineers, doctors, and even
barbers and beauticians are now required to have special
training and to meet special requirements before being
recognized as qualified to begin work in these fields. In
other words, their clients and patients are given some pro-
tection by law against lack of skill or knowledge. Simi-
larly, it is only reasonable to assume that children, teach-
ers, and taxpayers should have some protection in the way
of minimum requirements for their educational leaders.
Courses are now available in many colleges for training
in the field of school administration and supervision. All
County Superintendents, as well as principals, without
considerable previous experience, should be expected to
have the benefit of those courses.
In addition to the above requirements, the County
Superintendent should have good business judgment, a
broad general education, executive ability, moral courage,
social intelligence, sympathy, tact, and outstanding ability
to lead.
Professional and General Improvement. Any County
Superintendent who meets fully his responsibilities will
need at all times to take advantage of every opportunity
for improving his professional training and information.


In fact, the law recognizes this responsibility by making
it a duty of the County Superintendent:
"To attend such conferences for superintendents as may be
called or scheduled by the State Superintendent and to avail
himself of means of professional and general improvement so
that he may function most efficiently." (Section 433 (20).)
Sources of Information. There are many sources of
professional and general information available to the
Superintendent if he will seek to learn about them and
use them as a means of improving his work. In fact, there
are so many publications in the field of education that
one of the problems of a busy administrator is to select
those most pertinent to his work. He cannot read every-
thing that is available, therefore, he will want to read
those materials which will be most helpful. Professional
magazines which are likely to be most helpful in the field
of general administration and supervision include The
Nation's Schools, The School Executive, Educational Ad-
ministration and Supervision, and The American School
Board Journal. More specialized magazines can readily
be obtained for practically every phase of education.
In a handbook of this type it is obviously impossible to
list all sources of information available. Suggestions for
helpful references on specific problems can be obtained
by writing the State Department of Education. Some of
the most helpful publications in each of the major fields
of responsibility are listed at the end of the appropriate
chapter in this Handbook and other more general, but
particularly helpful references are listed at the end of
the Handbook.

The County Superintendent has only such powers re-
lating to the schools as are prescribed by law. According
to the School Code the County Board is clearly established
as the policy-forming and contracting agency. The Coun-
ty Superintendent is assigned the responsibility of advis-
ing with the County Board, of serving as its secretary, and
of executing policies adopted by the Board (Section
403 (3)). The County Superintendent, therefore, has no
power to contract or create obligations except under regu-
lations of the County Board, and has no authority to de-


termine policies. If he should attempt to exercise either
of these functions he would be infringing upon powers of
the County Board.
Section 432 prescribes the general powers of the County
Superintendent. It makes clear that he not only has the
authority, but that it is his duty to exercise the following
general powers:
1. To exercise general oversight over the county school
system; to determine problems and needs and to recom-
mend improvements.
2. To advise and counsel with the County Board on
all educational matters and to recommend for action such
matters as need to be acted upon. All recommendations
should be supported by facts and other evidence needed
to enable the Board to reach a sound decision.
3. To recommend to the Board such policies as he may
consider necessary for the operation of the county school
system. A comprehensive statement of best policies rec-
ommended in all major fields will be found in the Hand-
book for County School Board Members in Florida. These
proposed policies should be carefully studied and closely
followed by the County Superintendent in his recommen-
4. To recommend rules and regulations necessary for
the efficient operation of the county school system and to
see that those which are adopted are carried out. Rules
and regulations should not be so detailed as to limit pro-
gress, but should be sufficiently definite as to aid in avoid-
ing unwise procedures.
5. To recommend minimum standards, and to see that
those which are adopted by the County Board are ob-
served. Minimum standards should serve to prevent any
school from operating on a basis that would handicap
the pupils.
6. To perform all duties and exercise all responsibil-
ities assigned to him by law and by regulations of the State
The law presumes, and in fact, requires that the County
Board will seek the advice of the County Superintendent
on all matters before acting on those matters and will


then leave to the County Superintendent the execution of
all policies which have been adopted. For the County
Board to attempt to execute its own rules and regulations
and minimum standards or to carry out its own policies
would constitute an infringement upon powers assigned
to the County Superintendent.
This distinction is of the utmost importance. Confusion
between the function of determining and the function of
executing policies means confusion in the entire school
system. The County Superintendent should never attempt
to function in any field without determining the policy of
the County Board. If the County Board has not adopted
a policy he should seek to have a desirable policy adopted.
The policies adopted by the County Board constitute
principles for guidance and protection of the County Su-
perintendent. He should consistently refrain from decid-
ing matters referred to him in terms of his own opinion,
because he has no power to do that. Instead, he should
conscientiously act in keeping with policies adopted by
the Board. In announcing such decisions, the Superin-
tendent should, at the same time, make clear the policy
of the County Board so that the reason for his decision
can be understood. Such procedure will not only protect
the County Superintendent but it will also protect and
stabilize the school program.
Numerous sections of the School Code refer to or pre-
scribe duties and responsibilities of the County Superin-
tendent. However, all basic duties and responsibilities
are covered in the various subsections of Section 433. In
the first place, it is made clear that it is the duty of the
County Superintendent to exercise all general powers con-
ferred upon him by law after advising and counseling
with the County Board. Unless the Superintendent ac-
companies all suggestions and recommendations by a
statement of the pertinent facts and their implications,
he cannot expect such recommendations to carry much
weight with the County Board. The specific duties of
the County Superintendent in the following major fields
are discussed in subsequent chapters of the Handbook:
1. Planning the school program.


2. Maintaining proper relationships with State, county,
and local officials and citizens.
3. The establishment, organization, and operation of
4. Personnel administration.
5. The pupils.
6. The instructional program.
7. Transportation.
8. The school plant.
9. Finance and taxation.
10. Business management.
11. Records and reports.
Enforcement of Laws and Regulations. The County
Superintendent is held jointly responsible with the Coun-
ty Board for seeing that all laws and rules and regulations
relating to education are properly observed in the county.
According to the law it is the County Superintendent's
"To see, insofar as practicable, that all laws and regulations
of the State Board, as well as supplementary regulations of the
County Board, are properly observed; to report to the County
Board any violation which he does not succeed in having cor-
rected." (Section 433 (16).)
Responsibility for Safety. Almost every provision of the
law relating to the duties and responsibilities of the Coun-
ty Superintendent emphasizes by implication his responsi-
bility for safety. Children attending the schools of the
county and likewise school employees, are entitled to a
maximum of safety. This means that the County Superin-
tendent must develop plans which will insure the dis-
covery and prompt correction of any hazards which arise
and which are subject to correction. Where hazards are
not subject to correction, every precaution should be taken
to safeguard pupils and employees. There can be no
excuse for failure to discover and correct or afford pro-
tection from a hazard which is likely to result in danger to
any person connected with the schools.


The position of the County Superintendent is prescribed
in the Constitution; therefore, he is considered a consti-
tutional officer.
Term of Office. The term of office for the County Su-
perintendent is four years, or "until the election or ap-
pointment and qualification of his successor" (Section
424). The County Superintendent takes office at the same
time as new members of the Board, that is, on the first
Tuesday after the first Monday in January (Article XVIII,
Section 14 of the Constitution of Florida).
Place of Office. The office of the County Superintendent
must be located in the county seat (Section 429). Office
space is commonly provided in the court house, although
there is no requirement that the office be located there.
In fact, it is usually better, for many reasons, for the
offices of the County Superintendent and County Board to
be in a building separate and apart from the court house.
Vacancy in Office. The Governor is required to remove
from office any County Superintendent or other school
officer who wilfully fails to perform his duties as a school
officer and the office thereupon becomes vacant (Section
208). The office would also become vacant if the County
Superintendent would remove his residence from the
county. Any vacancy is filled by the appointment by the
Governor of a person qualified under the School Code.
(Section 428.)
Compensation. The compensation for County Superin-
tendents is in accordance with a formula prescribed by
law and is based on the total annual receipts for school
purposes in the county during the previous year. (Chap-
ter 17,862, Acts of 1937.) The Attorney General has
ruled (Oct. 2, 1940) that receipts from sale of bonds or
warrants, the amount apportioned to the county for text-
books, receipts from insurance, sale of property, and other
non-revenue receipts, grants from the Federal Govern-
ment for W. P. A. or similar projects cannot be included.
In view of the fact that the County Superintendent is re-
quired to visit schools and has other responsibilities which
necessarily require considerable traveling if he is to dis-


charge his duties properly, he should have a reasonable
travel allowance in addition to his prescribed salary.

Bolten, F. E. The Beginning Superintendent. Macmillan,
1937, $4.00.
Cooke, Dennis Hargrove; Hamon, R. L., Proctor, A. M.
Principles of School Administration. Educational
Publishers, Inc., Minneapolis, 1938, $2.75.
Edwards, Newton. The Courts and the Public Schools.
University of Chicago Press, 1933, $5.00.
Graves, Frank P. The Administration of American Edu-
cation. The Macmillan Company, 1932, $2.00.
Hill, C. M. Educational Progress and School Administra-
tion. Yale Press, 1936, $3.00.
Hunkins, R. V. The Superintendent at Work in Smaller
Schools. D. C. Heath and Company, 1931, $2.00.
Moehlman, Arthur B. School Administration. Houghton-
Mifflin Company, Boston, 1940, $3.50.
Newlon, Jesse H. Educational Administration as a Social
Policy. Scribners, New York, 1934, $2.00.
Reavis, W. C. Democratic Practices in School Adminis-
tration. University of Chicago Press, Chicago, 1939,
Reeder, Ward G. Fundamentals of Public School Ad-
ministration. Macmillan, 1930, $2.25.
Critical Problems in School Administration. 12th Year-
book, National Education Association, Department
of Superintendence, Washington, D. C., 1934, $2.00..
Education and Economic Well-Being in American Democ-
racy. National Education Association, Educational
Policies Commission, Washington, D. C., 1940, $ .50.
Educational Leadership; Progress and Possibilities. 11th
Yearbook, National Education Association, Depart-
ment of Superintendence, Washington, D. C., 1933,


Safety Education. American Association of School Ad-
ministrators 18th Yearbook, National Education As-
sociation, Washington, D. C., 1940, $2.00.
Social Services and the Schools in American Democracy.
National Education Association, Educational Poli-
cies Commission, Washington, D. C., 1939, $ .50.
Standards for Superintendents of Schools. American As-
sociation of School Administrators, National Educa-
tion Association, Washington, D. C., 1939, $ .50.
The Improvement of Education. 15th Yearbook, National
Education Association, Department of Superintend-
ence, Washington, D. C., 1937, $2.00.
The Organization and Administration of Education in
American Democracy. National Education Associa-
tion, Educational Policies Commission, Washington,
D. C., 1938, $ .50.
The Superintendent of Schoools and His Work. American
Association of School Administrators, National Edu-
cation Association, Washington, D. C., 1940, $ .25.



If man does not plan, he becomes the victim of his
environment. Only by planning can he control his en-
vironment and use it for his own benefit. Planning is
particularly important for the schools because it helps
to protect the children from discrimination or inadequate
opportunities. It affords the only certain means of assur-
ing continued improvements in the school program. If
planning is neglected or is ineffective, the schools are
likely sooner or later to be confronted with extravagances
or deficiencies or both.
Almost every instance of serious handicaps to the school
program can be traced to lack of planning, to improper
planning or to political interference with planning. Any
county which has inadequately trained teachers year after
year, which is faced with chronic financial problems,
which continues to operate small and expensive schools,
or which has any other similar handicap is almost certain
at one time or another to have had inadequate planning
or to have suffered from some undesirable interference in
its school planning program. In few counties in the
State has planning even begun to approach its possibilities.
A well planned school program is the best possible safe-
guard against developments based on expediency or de-
cisions influenced by pressure groups. Lack of planning
gives every opportunity and incentive to pressure groups
to try to get the school program to move in the direction
they desire. Lack of planning sooner or later means chaos
and inefficiency. A planned program assures objectives
which may be used for guiding progress and for prevent-
ing steps in the wrong direction.
Practically all laws relating to schools assume or imply
a planned program. They all point to the need and desira-
bility of planning and if the provisions of these laws are to
be carried out fully and effectively, proper planning pro-
cedures are essential.


Section 433 (5) assigns long and short term planning
as a specific responsibility and duty of the County Super-
intendent. It is the duty of the County Superintendent:
"To supervise the assembling of data and to sponsor studies
and surveys essential to the development of a planned school
program for the entire county; to prepare and recommend such
a program to the County Board as the basis for operating the
county school system. One phase of this program shall be a
long-time program, and another phase shall constitute the annual
program. The long-time program shall be concerned with the
location and development of elementary, high, and special
schools, school buildings, transportation, personnel, instruction,
and other educational features involving the interest and welfare
of the children and citizens of the county over a period of years.
The annual program shall be concerned with the budget, sites
to be purchased, buildings to be constructed, transportation
routes, personnel, instruction, and all other phases of the school
program for any particular school year, which shall be developed,
insofar as possible, in harmony and conformity with the long-
time program."
Place of the County Superintendent. The County Su-
perintendent is, or should be, the central figure in de-
veloping a planned program, as indicated by the law
quoted above. This does not mean that he does all the
planning himself but rather, that he assumes the leader-
ship and initiative in developing planning procedures.
His office is the place where all important information
should be assembled and kept on file. It should be the
place where significant facts are assembled, organized
and evaluated to determine their significance for the
schools and to aid in deciding the direction in which the
school program should move. The County Superintendent
should coordinate and integrate the work of all others so
as to make planning in the county purposeful and ef-

Best Practices

(1) The school officials of each county should recog-
nize fully their responsibility for developing their
school program in accordance with a carefully
prepared plan and should take steps to meet fully
that responsibility.
(2) The County Superintendent should recognize his
duty to guide and direct the planning and should
qualify himself to assume the necessary, leadership.


(3) The County Superintendent should develop a pro-
gram which exemplifies successful planning in a
democracy. In this program he should be the
leader and not the dictator.
(4) The program should give the opportunity to every
member of the staff to participate to the maximum
of his ability so that all may understand the plans
which are developed and may feel proper respon-
sibility for seeing that they are carried out.

There are definite procedures which can and should be
used in planning the school program in any county. Plan-
ning is not merely a process of sitting down and thinking
out what would best meet the wishes of an individual or
a group of individuals. It is a complicated, painstaking
process which requires the assembling of important facts,
proper interpretation of those facts and the use of signifi-
cant facts and other pertinent information in determining
objectives and procedures. Planning is a scientific rather
than a haphazard process. The extent to which the school
program is based on careful scientific studies of this type
will to a great extent determine its soundness and validity.

Defining Objectives
Determining and defining objectives constitutes one of
the most important steps in planning. In fact, planning
itself assumes that there are objectives to be obtained.
The best planning procedure requires the cooperation and
participation of all school personnel in determining and
stating the objectives. For the administration to assume
and accept certain objectives is not sufficient because lack
of understanding on the part of others is likely to mean
lack of cooperation or support. In few instances have
school objectives been definitely enough stated. For ex-
ample: The school officials of most counties have some
idea of where buildings will need to be constructed during
coming years, but few counties have sufficient information
or have established sufficiently satisfactory standards to
be used in determining which centers should be per-
manent. This is usually because the objectives and stand-
ards of this phase of the program have not been clearly


enough defined and thus there are no criteria to be used
for guidance in planning.
A good statement of the general objectives of education
is to be found in The Purposes of Education in American
Democracy, one of the publications of the Educational
Policies Commission. However, this statement of objec-
tives is not sufficient for a particular school or county in
Florida. More specific statements of objectives of the in-
structional program of the State may be found in the
bulletin Ways to Better Instruction in Florida Schools.
Other bulletins and handbooks published by the State
Department of Education contain statements of objectives
in other fields. However, even these statements of objec-
tives are not sufficient for any county or school because
to be meaningful, they must be evaluated and adapted to
the needs of the county. In general, the objectives ac-
cepted by any county or school will conform to the ob-
jectives generally accepted throughout the State and
nation but the objectives to be more meaningful should
usually be re-stated and re-worded.

Best Practices
(1) There should be a definite program for defining
and re-defining the objectives of education and of
each phase of education in the county. Officials
and teachers should recognize that civilization is
changing and that educational objectives must
continuously be re-evaluated and re-stated to con-
form to changes in civilization and to adapt the
schools to changes in civilization.
(2) Any program for determining and stating objec-
tives should call for the participation of all as a
basis for understanding and support.
(3) Each person involved in the school program should
have in his hands a written or printed statement
of objectives of the total school program as well
as a statement of the more detailed objectives of
the phase with which he is particularly concerned.
(4) All major objectives should be submitted to the
County Board for approval and adoption before
being definitely recognized and accepted as ob-
jectives for the county school program.


Assembling Information
The process of assembling information to be used as a
basis for planning improvements in the program cannot
be separated entirely from the process of determining
objectives. In fact, any statement of objectives is bound to
be influenced by facts relating to the status of the school
Each county should have a definite program for de-
termining which facts are of greatest significance and for
assembling those facts to show trends and status. Every
phase of the school program should be included. For
example, it is not possible to plan a satisfactory high
school program without knowing what proportion of
the children remain in school, how this proportion has
changed during recent years, what proportion of the high
school graduates go to college, the occupations of grad-
uates of the high school, and much other pertinent infor-
mation. It is not possible to develop a school building
program without knowing where present schools are lo-
cated, how rapidly each school has been growing, whether
the elementary school population is continuing to increase
in all sections of the county, where the children live, which
roads are best suited for transportation, and, in fact,
without having at hand many other pertinent facts. As
a basis for planning next steps in any program it is im-
portant to have at hand information showing trends and
present status. If this procedure is followed, next steps
can well assure progress; otherwise, they may be steps
in the wrong direction instead of in the desired direction.
Best Practices
(1) The County Superintendent should develop a plan
to assure the continuous assembling of all perti-
nent facts regarding all phases of the school pro-
gram, and should take steps to assure that all
school personnel will participate in this process.
Plans for assembling and interpretation of facts
should call for the preparation of tables, charts
and maps showing present status as related to pro-
posed objectives.
(2) All pertinent information should be organized and
filed so as to be readily accessible at any time it is


(3) There should be a definite plan and program for
acquainting the Board and the public with signifi-
cant facts and developments and their relationship
to the objectives of the school program.
(4) From time to time the various phases of the pro-
gram should be evaluated in terms of the objec-
tives to determine how much progress has been
made and what needs are most urgent.
(5) Trends, status and objectives should be used as a
basis for planning next steps. In other words, the
next step can in most instances be only a little in
advance of the present status and cannot depart
too far from recent trends, although it should be in
the direction of accepted objectives. Each part of
the program must definitely be related to each
other part. Otherwise, the program will not be
properly integrated and certain aspects will be
developed at the expense of other aspects.
(6) The Board should approve all proposed next steps
in the program before any attempt is made to exe-
cute those steps.

Democratic Procedures Essential
It is impossible to place too much emphasis on the im-
portance of democratic procedures. In a democracy,
schools must be democratic institutions. School officials
are responsible for seeing that democratic procedures are
observed in all phases of the school program. The easiest
thing for a County Superintendent and County Board to
do is to follow a plan which suits them. However, such
procedure is autocratic, not democratic. Moreover, unless
each member of the school personnel has a definite part
in developing the school program for the county, he is not
in position to make the maximum contribution to the at-
tainment of that program. Few persons can appreciate
the importance of a plan proposed by someone else as
fully as they can understand the significance of a program
which they have had a definite part in developing. In
each county, there should be committees of teachers and
principals responsible for studying and analyzing infor-
mation, for relating it to the objectives and, in fact, for
proposing objectives and needed restatements of objec-
tives. No single objective relating to the instructional


program should come before the County Board for con-
sideration unless it has first had the consideration of ap-
propriate committees of teachers and principals. This
procedure may require more time but is almost certain,
if properly developed, to get far better results in the long

Best Practices
(1) Committees of principals, teachers and, in fact,
janitors, bus drivers and other personnel, should
be organized to study their respective phases of
the school program and to recommend objectives
and procedures. Such committees should not be
organized sporadically but should be a definite
continuing part of the continuing school program.
(2) There might well be a central committee of teach-
ers and principals in the nature of an administra-
tive council to consider recommendations and sug-
gestions from specialized groups within the county.
No single objective should be accepted by the
County Superintendent and County Board without
having had the consideration and approval of such
a committee.
(3) The objectives which are finally accepted and the
procedures adopted for attaining those objectives
should be the result of the cooperative effort of all
school personnel in the county. All should feel
responsible for the program and for its proper

Any school program should be projected several years
in advance. It is not sufficient just to develop a program
for next year. A program developed in such a manner
might be either too far advanced or not sufficiently ad-
vanced to permit proper development during future years.
Section 433 (5) quoted above, clearly recognizes and pre-
scribes the responsibility of the County Superintendent
for developing a long-term program and specifies certain
procedures to be observed. The long-time program should
be stated largely in terms of the objectives. In other words,
it may not be possible to achieve objectives even over a
period of five or ten years, but it should be possible to


approach many of those objectives. For example, it may
not be possible to develop a high school program which
will keep all pupils in school through the twelfth grade,
but it should be possible to make considerable improve-
ment over a period of years.
Steps in developing a long-time plan are essentially the
same as those involved in the planning procedures dis-
cussed above. In fact, the development of a long-time plan
is impossible without taking such steps.
Cooperation is particularly important in the develop-
ment of a long-time plan. Not only must there be co-
operation within the county between the County Superin-
tendent and his staff, but also cooperation with other
county and state agencies, such as the State Department
of Education. Census figures and other similar informa-
tion obtained from State and Federal agencies are par-
ticularly important to show trends and possibilities. The
State Department of Health should be in a position to
cooperate in health studies and surveys which should be
used as a basis for determining objectives and procedures
to be followed over a period of years in improving health.
The State Department of Education is in a position to co-
operate in studies of the various phases of the school pro-
gram. For example, a survey of the entire school system
might well be undertaken with the cooperation and under
the direction of the State Department of Education and a
long-time program developed on the basis of such a
A long-time program is essential for the following
1. It serves as a guide to assure development in every
phase of the school program.
2. It helps prevent serious and costly errors which may
occur as a result of an unplanned program based on ex-
3. It provides an outline for progress regardless of
changes in administration.
4. It provides for proper emphasis on the individual as
well as on the group.


5. It provides for adjustments to meet needs affected
by social, economic and population changes.

Best Practices
(1) Each county should outline in as specific terms as
practicable a five to ten year program. This pro-
gram should include major steps and objectives
for the entire period.
(2) The County Superintendent should seek to secure
the assistance of the State Department of Educa-
tion and of various other state, federal and county
agencies in developing and projecting various
phases of a long-time program.
(3) The long-time program should be carefully bal-
anced so that each phase is properly related to the
other phases to prevent over-development or un-
der-development of any one phase.
(4) Any long-time program should be continuously
evaluated to determine how well it is adapted to
the needs of the schools and of the people of the
county. Modifications will be made in objectives
and in steps when such modifications are found to
be desirable as a means of bringing about improve-
ments in the program. Long-time planning must
always be dynamic and continuing. It is never

Appraisal of the Plan
Some procedure for continuous appraisal of the plan
and of the steps that have been taken to attain the ob-
jectives in the long-time program is essential for the suc-
cess of such a program. No program can be perfectly
developed at the very beginning. If the steps which are
being taken to attain the objectives are continuously
evaluated, some defects and inefficiencies are certain to
be discovered before much harm has resulted. With such
a procedure of appraisal, therefore, it is possible to im-
prove objectives and to revise procedures from time to
time so as to insure more consistent progress in attaining
the objectives.
The appraisal and evaluation should come largely from
within the county. Teachers, principals and other groups


should be organized to carry on a continuous study of the
program and to propose revisions and improvements.
From time to time, it may be desirable to secure some out-
side agency to assist in evaluating various phases of the
program. For example, it may be desirable to call upon
the State Department of Education to assist in evaluating
objectives and procedures or in suggesting improvements
in the program. The procedure for evaluation should
cover every phase of the program, not just certain phases,
otherwise, irregular and unbalanced progress may be the
Best Practices
(1) Teachers, principals, and other members of the
school personnel should be encouraged to engage
in a continuous study of the program and to pro-
pose adjustments and improvements.
(2) A specific committee might well be appointed to
assume major responsibility for appraisal and
evaluation. Such a committee should be a continu-
ing committee but the personnel should gradually
be changed through a period of years so as to in-
crease the possibility of new ideas and to avoid
uncritical acceptance of what has been done. The
proposals of the appraising committee might well
come before all teachers and principals or particu-
larly before an executive group appointed to con-
sider and advise concerning policies, objectives
and procedures.
(3) From time to time it may be desirable to secure
assistance from the State Department of Education
or from other agencies in connection with the ap-
praisal of various phases of the program. More-
over, the appraisal program should be such as to
insure consideration of all phases of the program,
including those having to do with administration
as well as those having to do with instruction. A
dynamic appraisal program will go a long way
toward assuring continued progress.

It has been only a few years since many counties began
a school year without knowing just how much money they
might have or just how they were going to spend their


money. The result was often neglect of some phases of
the school program and over emphasis on other phases.
In many instances such a procedure quickly resulted in the
development of a substantial indebtedness which is still
handicapping schools in those counties.
There are many phases or factors to be considered in
developing plans for the year. There must be plans for
finance, plans for school buildings, plans for transporta-
tion, plans for the various phases of the instructional pro-
gram and, in fact, plans to cover every aspect of the school
program. Plans for the year must be properly related to
the long-time program. Objectives set up for the year
should be steps in attaining the long-time program. Lack
of a plan for the year is likely to result in compromises
with pressure groups or in neglect of some phase of the

Best Practices
(1) Plans for all phases of the program for the year
should be carefully developed as steps in the long-
time program. Caution should be taken to see that
the year's program is properly balanced so that
no one phase is over emphasized.
(2) When plans for the year have been developed they
should be carefully followed at all times except
where deviations are necessary to bring about
needed improvements which could not have been
foreseen at the beginning of the year.
(3) Deviations from the annual plan will be made only
when failure to make such deviations would be
likely to handicap the program and when making
the deviations would result in material improve-
ment without involving difficulties for other phases
of the program.

Moehlman, Arthur B. Social Interpretation. D. Appleton
Century Company, New York, 1938, $3.00.
The Purposes of Education in American Democracy. Na-
tional Education Association, Educational Policies
Commission, Washington, D. C., 1938, $ .50.


The Scientific Movement in Education. 37th Yearbook,
Part II, National Society for the Study of Education,
Public School Publishing Company, Bloomington,
Ill., 1938, $4.00.
The Unique Functi6n of Education in American Democ-
racy. National Education Association, Educational
Policies Commission, Washington, D. C., 1937, $ .50.



The schools occupy an entirely different status than any
other services provided in the county. Education is recog-
nized as primarily a function of the State rather than of
the county. In fact the State School Law provides that:
"Public education is basically a function and responsibility of
the State. The responsibility for establishing such minimum
standards and regulations as shall tend to assure efficient opera-
tion of all schools and adequate educational opportunities for all
children is retained by the State." (Section 301.)
While education is thus recognized as a State function,
the law also makes clear that the county school officials
are responsible for the control, organization, administra-
tion and supervision of the county school system. Section
301 further states that:
"The responsibility for the actual operation and administration
of all schools needed within the counties in conformity with regu-
lations and minimum standards prescribed by the State, and also
the responsibility for the provision of any desirable and prac-
ticable opportunities authorized by law beyond those required
by the State are delegated by law to the school officials of the
respective counties."
The county school system thus must be operated in
accordance with the provisions of the law and must meet
the requirements of the minimum standards prescribed by
the State. If regulations adopted within the county should
conflict with those prescribed by the State Board, the reg-
ulations of the State Board would take precedence.
In view of this situation close cooperation between
county and State school officials is of great importance.
A satisfactory State school program can be developed only
as a result of careful cooperative efforts. Lack of harmony
in connection with any phase of the State school program
is likely sooner or later to handicap the entire program.
Any county school officials who are critical without mak-
ing a sincere attempt to reconcile their point of view with
the philosophy of the State program or to bring about
adjustments in accordance with their point of view, and


likewise any county school officials who fail to keep in
touch with trends and developments are likely to weaken
instead of strengthen the program. Each county school
official should seek to take an active part in the develop-
ment of the program so that he will be in a position to
understand it fully and to give it proper support. The
development and carrying out of a satisfactory State pro-
gram of education is just as important for all the counties
in the State as the planning of a satisfactory program
within the county is for each county.

State Board of Education
The law provides that "the general control of the public
schools of the State shall be vested in the State Board."
(Section 215.) The State Board in Florida is an ex-officio
body comprised of the Governor, Secretary of State, the
Attorney General, the State Treasurer, and the State Su-
perintendent of Public Instruction. The relationship of
the State Board of Education to the school program of
the State is similar to the relationship of the County Board
to the County School Program. The State Board de-
termines policies, adopts rules and regulations, and pre-
scribes minimum stanidardWtirs the State system of public
education. (Section 307.) All rules and regulations and
minimum standards properly adopted or prescribed by the
State Board have the full force and effect of law and must
be observed in all counties. (Section 306.) The State
Board, of course, cannot adopt regulations which conflict
with the provisions of law. All rules and regulations of
the State Board now in effect are given in Appendix I of
this Handbook. In each case reference is made to the
section or sections of the School Code to which the regu-
lation applies. The County Superintendent should consult
this list to determine regulations which must be observed
in each field.
The State Board does not execute its own policies, as
that responsibility is assigned to the State Superintendent.
Most contacts of the county school officials, therefore,
are directly with the State Superintendent as executive
officer of the State Board rather than with the State Board
itself. According to law certain matters have to be re-


ferred to the State Board for its specific approval. Such
matters always pass through the hands of the State Su-
perintendent and his staff who prepare recommendations
for the consideration of the State Board. In Florida the
State Board of Education serves as the State Board for all
phases of education including Vocational Education.
(Sec. 308 (9).)
Best Practices
(1) The County Superintendent should keep a file of
all policies, rules and regulations and minimum
standards adopted by the State Board, and should
take steps to see that these are fully understood
in his county. All such materials should be care-
fully indexed by subject so that they can be readily
located at any time and so that their relationship
to the various provisions of the school law can be
fully understood.
(2) Any policies, regulations, or minimum standards
which are not satisfactory should be called to the
attention of the State Superintendent and modifi-
cations recommended. As long as no modifications
are made, however, the provisions of the regula-
tions and standards are expected to be fully ob-
served in the county.
State Superintendent
The State Superintendent is the executive head of the
schools of the State. He administers the State Department
of Education and is responsible for guiding and directing
the development of a long-time program for the schools.
He also is responsible for preparing publications and dis-
seminating information relating to the school program,
for recommending changes and improvements in the
school laws and for executing various policies, rules and
regulations and minimum standards prescribed by the
State Board of Education. (Section 317.)
As a means of developing the Florida Program for Im-
provement of Schools the State Superintendent has co-
operated with representatives of institutions of higher
learning and with leading school people of the State in
planning and carrying on special studies relating to vari-
ous phases of the program. Proposals growing out of


these studies are taken up with principals, Superintend-
ents, Board members, trustees and others in district con-
ferences held in various sections of the State at least once
each year for evaluation and discussion. Out of these
discussions grow further proposals for revisions and im-
provements in the State program. Each person in the
State has an opportunity to contribute to the development
of this program and is jointly responsible for helping to
carry it into effect.
Best Practices
(1) County Superintendents throughout the State
should keep in close touch with the office of the
State Superintendent in order to be familiar with
the problems and issues which may affect not only
the State program of education but the program
in their respective counties.
(2) The planning program in each county, as discussed
in Chapter II, should be closely related to the
planning program for the Florida Program for the
Improvement of Schools and should be properly
integrated with that program. All planning com-
mittees within a county should keep in close
touch with State planning committees as a means
of facilitating this process.
(3) Proposals for developments within the county
which would be at variance with those generally
accepted for the State or proposals for legislation
relating to education should be taken up with the
State Superintendent and his staff to determine
their possible bearing on and significance for the
State program. Proposals which are in conflict with
those accepted for the State should not be encour-
aged unless there is reasonable conclusive evidence
that the measures in the long run would be at
least equally as satisfactory as those incorporated
in the State program.
(4) The State Superintendent has the authority to hear
and determine controversies relating to laws and
other matters which are referred to him, or he may
refer such matters to the State Board for a deci-
sion. (Section 317 (17).) It is usually far better
practice to attempt to get controversies which arise
and cannot be settled satisfactorily within the


county before the State Superintendent and, if
necessary, before the State Board for consideration
and probable settlement than it is to have such
matters taken directly to the courts. Court action
frequently results in delay and continued contro-
versy which might be avoided through proper in-
vestigation of the facts.

State Department of Education
The State Department of Education operates under the
Direction of the State Superintendent. It is comprised of
staff members responsible to the State Superintendent
who have had special training and who are particularly
well qualified in their various fields, as well as of various
clerical and secretarial assistants to the staff members.
The State Department of Education is organized with
two major divisions. The Division of Instruction com-
prises all services relating directly to the improvement
of instruction. In the Division of Instruction are services
relating particularly to supervision and improvement of
instruction in both elementary and secondary schools, the
curriculum services, services relating to evaluation and
recognition of schools, health and physical education,
teacher training and certification, vocational education,
vocational rehabilitation and Negro education.
The second major division, the Division of Administra-
tion and Finance, includes all of those services which are
not directly and immediately related to instruction but
which are basic to the improvement of instruction. The
Division of Administration and Finance includes all serv-
ices relating to transportation, textbook and supply man-
agement, school plant planning services, attendance,
finance, school laws and statistical information.
Most of the services of the State Department of Edu-
cation are advisory in nature. Through the State Depart-
ment, the County Superintendent may arrange to have a
survey made of any or all phases of the school program
of his county, he may secure plans and specifications for
all buildings, may obtain advice regarding proposed
school centers and building plans, may get help in pur-
chasing buses, planning transportation routes, or in de-


developing a proper maintenance program for a fleet of
school buses, may secure assistance in developing plans
for requisitioning, distributing, storing and using text-
books, may obtain advice relating to budgets or any other
aspects of the financial program and, in fact, may secure
assistance on any problem in the field of administration
and finance. Similarly, in the field of instruction the
County Superintendent may arrange to have representa-
tives visit individual schools, analyze problems, hold con-
ferences with teachers and principals relating to the vari-
ous phases of the instructional program, secure assistance
in bringing about improvements in the curriculum, obtain
advice relating to libraries, physical and health education,
and any other phases of elementary and secondary school
work, and may secure detailed assistance relating to any
phase of vocational education, vocational rehabilitation
or Negro education.
In addition to the advisory services, the law requires
the State Superintendent, functioning through the State
Department to exercise a number of regulatory functions.
For example, all teachers must be certificated through the
State Department and cannot be paid unless they are
properly certificated. The Course of Study is prescribed by
the State Board and must be carefully followed. Text-
books are also requisitioned through the State Department
and certain requirements must be observed in connection
with the textbook program. A number of requirements
have also been prescribed in the fields of transportation,
planning school buildings, records and reports and, in
fact, in a number of other fields as discussed in later chap-
ters of this handbook.
The State Department also publishes a number of bulle-
tins relating to various phases of education. Copies of
these bulletins can readily be obtained for official use
without cost.

Best Practices
(1) The County Superintendent should plan to use for
the benefit of the schools of his county the various
services provided through the State Department
of Education which can be used advantageously.


(2) As a basis for requesting services from the State
Department, the County Superintendent and his
staff should establish a procedure for defining
problems as a phase of the county school planning
procedure. When it appears that material assist-
ance may be obtained by seeking advice or when
guidance is needed in the study of special prob-
lems, an effort should be made to obtain assistance
from the State Department on the problem under
(3) It should be recognized that the services provided
by the State Department are intended to be advi-
sory in nature. If all requirements of law and regu-
lations of the State Board are fully and promptly
met, the State Department will not have occasion
to call attention to its regulatory functions. It
should be recognized that only when certain re-
quirements have not been met is it necessary for
attention to be directed to these requirements and
to the steps which must be taken to meet them.
Institutions of Higher Learning
The institutions of higher learning of the State operate
under the State Board of Control which, in the final analy-
sis, is responsible to the State Board of Education. The
institutions of higher learning not only provide the cus-
tomary college courses but provide a number of special
services which should be of particular interest to the
County Superintendent and his staff. It should be possible
for the County Superintendent to secure through the insti-
tutions of higher learning assistance in carrying on cer-
tain special studies which would be of benefit to the
county. For example, graduate students may frequently
be found who would be interested in carrying on certain
studies as thesis problems. Moreover, the results of theses
which have been written at various times should be avail-
able to the County Superintendent so that he may be in a
position to use any recommendations which may be sig-
nificant for his county school program. Through the Uni-
versity of Florida the County Superintendent may arrange
to secure extension courses which can be adapted to par-
ticular needs in his county. Moreover, during summer
schools facilities are provided at all institutions for help-
ing teachers from cooperating schools and for carrying on


projects of particular interest and value for various phases
of the school program and for practically all teachers.

Best Practices
(1) The County Superintendent should keep in close
touch with the institutions of higher learning in
order to obtain the maximum benefits for his coun-
ty from the services provided by those institutions.
(2) Special problems which arise and present difficulty
for solution in the county may well be referred
either to the State Department of Education or to
institutions of higher learning for special study.
(3) Plans may well be developed from time to time to
secure extension courses within the county which
will contribute to the proper development of the
county school program. For example, a certain
curriculum project may be taken for study by all
teachers during the year with the assistance and
guidance obtained from institutions of higher
learning in working out such a study. Courses
designed to meet the needs of the countyprogram
should ordinarily be favored over traditional acad-
emic courses.

In addition to the State agencies which are directly
concerned with education, there are a number of other
State agencies which provide services which are of signifi-
cance for the County Superintendent and for the county
school program. Each County Superintendent should be
familiar with these agencies and the services each of them
is rendering or might render.
Legislature. The Legislature has considerable signifi-
cance both for county and State educational programs
because it determines not only school laws but also laws
relating to finance which may be just as significant. The
County Superintendent should keep in close touch with
representatives from his county and help them to under-
stand the school program of the county and its relation-
ship to the State program of education. He should en-
courage them to support educational measures which
contribute to the proper development of the State pro-


gram of education and to oppose those which might be
harmful or questionable.
State Board of Health. The State Board of Health is
one of the most important agencies in the State as far the
schools are concerned. Through the county health unit,
or otherwise, the County Superintendent should make an
effort to keep in close touch with the State Board of Health
at all times. This Board cooperates with the State Board
of Education in prescribing various forms and regulations
relating to health and sanitation. For example, forms
which are usually used for physical examination of school
employees may be obtained through the State Board of
Health. Moreover, it is possible to obtain advice and sug-
gestions relating to the operation of the schools during
epidemics or other emergencies which may involve health
Attorney General. The Attorney General renders opin-
ions on many legal questions relating to education. The
opinions are rendered only on request of the State Super-
intendent. Any County Superintendent who has a ques-
tion which seems to need an opinion should, therefore, get
in touch with the State Superintendent with a view to
securing an opinion from the Attorney General if such an
opinion has not already been rendered. It is always safer
to seek an opinion when there is doubt regarding the
legality of a matter than it is to proceed regardless of the
doubt. The County Superintendent should always keep a
carefully organized file of all opinions of the Attorney
General so that these may be consulted at any time.
Another important relationship with the Attorney Gen-
eral arises when the County Board is considering the pos-
sibility of using a sinking fund to purchase bonds. Section
1055 provides that the Attorney General must pass on the
legality of all such bonds.
The State Treasurer. The State Treasurer is the treas-
urer for all school funds of the State. The most direct
relationship to the State Treasurer is in connection with
the State Teachers' Salary Fund. The Treasurer and the
State Superintendent cooperate in prescribing regulations
which must be observed by the counties in using this fund.
Accounts are kept by the Treasurer and, in order to avoid


confusion, at least a monthly reconciliation should be
made by the County Superintendent.
Comptroller. The Comptroller is directly concerned
both with school depositories and with school bonds. The
office of the Comptroller passes upon the sufficiency of
securities provided by each depository and has authority
to require additional security when necessary. (Sec. 1090
(1-b).) The Comptroller is also required to approve the
sufficiency and adequacy of bonds of school officials. (Sec.
1089.) Each month the Comptroller certifies to the State
Superintendent the amount available for apportionment
to the State Teachers' Salary Fund. (Sec. 1009.)
Secretary of State. School officials receive their com-
missions from the Secretary of State and also file a copy
of their bonds with him.
Florida Industrial Commission. The Florida Industrial
Commission is charged with the enforcement of the Child
Labor Laws of the State. (Chaper 18,418, Acts of 1937.)
There are a number of provisions relating to attendance
in Chapter VI of the School Code which involve relation-
ships with the Florida Industrial Commission and par-
ticularly with the State Child Labor Inspector.
State Planning Board. Potentially the State Planning
Board may be of considerable significance for each county.
There should be a Planning Board in each county whose
work ties in with that of the State Planning Board. The
County Superintendent should keep in touch with de-
velopments in this field which should have considerable
significance for the school program of the county.
State Road Department. The development of State
roads, of course, has considerable significance for schools
where transportation is involved. Of more immediate
significance in many cases is the service provided by the
State Highway Patrol which may help to see that regula-
tions relating to school buses are observed and may aid
in preventing motorists from jeopardizing the lives of
children by passing school buses.
Miscellaneous Agencies in the State
There are a number of agencies in addition to those
established by the State which have considerable signifi-


chance for the school program in the county. Among the
most important of these are:
The State Congress of Parents and Teachers. The Coun-
ty Superintendent should keep in touch with the work of
this organization and should encourage and promote its
proper development.
State Education Association. Every cooperation should
be given to the State Education Association which is the
teachers' organization of the State. The County Superin-
tendent should attempt to interest the County Board in
encouraging teachers to attend annual and district meet-
ings and to contribute otherwise to the development of
the organization.

Best Practices
(1) The County Superintendent should be familiar
with all State agencies whose services have some
significance for the school program for his county
and should prepare plans which will make it pos-
sible to utilize those services to the greatest ad-
(2) The County Superintendent should realize that his
relationship with most State agencies other than
those responsible for education are frequently in-
direct rather than direct. Much of the correspond-
ence where other agencies are involved is carried
on through the State Department of Education as
the logical agency for such correspondence. How-
ever, necessarily some of the correspondence will
be direct. The County Superintendent should see
that all such agencies function in proper relation-
ship to the schools and do not attempt to infringe
upon the prerogatives of the schools.

The County Superintendent has little direct relation-
ship with many Federal agencies. In all relationships,
however, he should keep in mind the fact that education
is a function of the State and not of the Federal Govern-
ment. It is perhaps desirable for the Federal Government
to establish minimum standards for some phases of edu-
cation where such standards can be highly objective. It


is highly undesirable for the Federal Government to seek
to control education or to establish educational facilities
which tend to duplicate or compete with or to take the
place of those which have been established or should be
established by the State.

Office of Education. About once a year, the County Su-
perintendent is asked to prepare certain reports for the
Office of Education. These should be prepared carefully,
checked for accuracy and sent in promptly because the
Office of Education depends upon various local school
officials to cooperate in making available information re-
lating to the schools in various States which could not
otherwise be compiled and made available. The County
Superintendent should also be alert to various types of
information published by and through the Office of Edu-
cation and should seek to use these advantageously in his
county. He should keep at hand a list of bulletins, many
of which will be of great value to the instructional staff.
Much of the statistical information will be of interest in
connection with similar information for his own schools.
The Office of Education also has responsibility for admin-
istering vocational education. Although vocational educa-
tion is controlled directly by the various counties and
States, each State must submit a plan which meets certain
requirements prescribed by the Federal Government. All
of these requirements should be fully met. However, the
County Superintendent should avoid using vocational edu-
cation and the fact that Federal funds are available as an
excuse for taking steps which are taken only for that
reason. The vocational program should be a definite and
integral part of the entire school program of the county.
Works Projects Administration and Similar Agencies.
During recent years, County Superintendents have had
considerable contacts with various Federal emergency
agencies through which they have been able to receive
grants for aid in constructing school buildings or for other
similar projects. Any steps taken in connection with such
agencies should always be properly coordinated with the
county program and with the State program of education.
Care should be used to avoid permitting such agencies to
dictate or influence requirements for any phases of the


program if such requirements seem to be contrary to or in
conflict with the best interests of the entire program.
Particular care should be exercised not to yield to the
temptation to set aside funds for matching merely be-
cause Federal funds or assistance can be obtained in that
way. Projects should be recommended on their merits
and in proper relationship to the entire program.
National Youth Administration. The National Youth
Administration has rendered very valuable assistance in
making possible the attendance of children in school who
otherwise would probably not be able to attend. The
N. Y. A. program should fit in with the county educational
program and all educational phases of the program should
be handled by county school officials and not by N. Y. A.

American Association of School Administrators. There
are a number of national professional organizations in
which the County Superintendent and his staff should be
interested. Among the most important of these for the
County Superintendent is the American Association of
School Administrators which meets annually during the
latter part of February. The County Superintendent and
many of the principals of the county should be interested
in this organization because of its possible contributions
to their school program. Many topics are discussed which
will be of value provided a program can be worked out
within the county for deriving maximum benefits from
those discussions. Attendance at meetings of such or-
ganizations should fit into and contribute to the county
program. In addition to the American Association of
School Administrators, there is the National Association
of School Business Officials which meets in October and
which should be of interest to the business manager, if
there is one. The National Education Association meets
about the first of July each year and should be of interest
to many administrators as well as teachers, although it
does not take up so specifically administrative problems
as does the American Association of School Administra-
tors. The National Education Association has headquar-
ters in Washington. Research bulletins and any other
materials which should be of interest and value to school


administrators are published by the association and its
related organizations. Meetings of the Department of
Rural Education, held in connection with meetings of the
National Education Association, and materials published
by that organization should be of particular interest to
County Superintendents who have responsibilities for the
administration of rural schools.

Cubberly, Ellwood P. State School Administration, Hough-
ton Mifflin Company, 1927.
.Educational Progress in Florida. Part I, Biennial Report,
State Superintendent of Public Instruction'1936-38,
Tallahassee, Florida, 1938.
Federal Activities in Education. Educational Policies
Commission, Washington, 1939.
Florida School Laws, 1939, Chs. I, II and III.
Organization and Administration of Public Education;
Staff Study No. 2. The advisory committee on Edu-
cation, Washington, 1938.
Report of the Committee. The Advisory Committee on
Education. U. S. Government Printing Office, Wash-
ington, D. C., 1938, $ .35.
Report of the Florida School Code Committee, Talla-
hassee, Florida, 1937.



In a democracy, a person elected by popular vote is
expected to represent all of the people, not just the people
who voted for him. The County Superintendent, there-
fore, is Superintendent for all of the people in the county
and has an obligation to serve all of them equally faith-
fully. Unless that obligation is recognized in full, the
school program will sooner or later become involved in
politics and be handicapped accordingly.
The County Superintendent has certain very distinct
obligations to the citizens of his county. The most im-
portant of those obligations are discussed below.

It is the joint obligation of the County Board and the
County Superintendent to find out what the public is
thinking about the schools,-what the citizens of the
county think they want in the way of a school program.
Most of this will be done informally and through personal
contact. Some of it will come through Board meetings
and through conferences with trustees and some through
the principals, teachers and parent teacher association of
individual schools.
The fact that the County Superintendent has an obliga-
tion to determine what the public thinks it wants does not
mean that he and the Board are obligated to try to carry
out all those wishes. Many of the wishes of the public will
be conflicting. Many people have not had any real oppor-
tunity to find out what they want or need in the way of
schools. Many of the things they think they want would
not be for the best interest of the children. The County
Superintendent and County Board have a higher duty
than merely to try to carry out the wishes of any group or
combinations of groups of citizens in the county; that is
to try to determine the real educational needs of the
county and to develop plans to meet those needs. It is
their obligation to find out what is for the best interest of
the children.


In most instances, educational programs needed for the
children will coincide reasonably well with the wishes of
the people on a county-wide basis. However, that is not
always true. People may become convinced that taxes are
too high and may seek tax reductions which would handi-
cap the schools. People in certain sections of the county
may wish the Board to use operating funds for construct-
ing a building when such a step would result in shortening
the term. Most people tend to think in terms of the type
of school they attended rather than in terms of the ad-
justments which should be made to meet the needs of
modern civilization. Under such circumstances, it be-
comes the obligation of the County Superintendent to de-
termine the real needs which should be met by the schools
and to develop a program for helping the public under-
stand those needs. It is his function to educate and guide
the public, not merely to yield to what the public may
think it wants. That may seem to be politically unwise,
but experience has proven that the public responds to
leadership and has more respect for a program based on
principles that are fundamentally sound than one based
on expediency.
Best Practices
(1) Superintendents should use every means feasible
to determine what the public and the various
groups comprising the public think is desirable in
the way of an educational program. Such informa-
tion will be invaluable to the Superintendent and
Board in formulating a desirable program.
(2) At the same time, systematic effort should be made
to determine the real needs of the schools and to
develop a carefully planned program for coming
years as discussed in the previous chapter.
(3) Plans should then be made for helping the public
understand and appreciate the real needs of the
schools. The Superintendent should act as leader
in helping to interpret these needs to the public,
instead of being satisfied merely to try to do what
the public thinks it wants.
The law makes it the duty of the County Superintendent
"to assist patrons and people generally in acquiring


knowledge of the aims, services and needs of the schools"
(Section 433 (19)). In each county, there should be a
carefully developed public relations program so that the
entire school situation may be properly interpreted to the
people of the county. The chief purposes of this program
should be:
(1) To establish in the mind of the public the true
function of the schools as a democratic institution serv-
ing the needs of a democratic society.
(2) To inform the public about the objectives of the
school program for the county in order to secure their
cooperation in attaining these objectives.
(3) To impress upon the citizens of the county the con-
structive influence that the schools can and should exert
upon community life; and to make clear to every citizen
the services and significance of the schools for the
(4) To help the public understand and appreciate the
significance of plans and procedures for the organiza-
tion and operation of the schools.
(5) To acquaint the public with additional duties and
responsibilities which should be assumed by the schools
and to explain how changes in the school program and
in the administration of the school system can help to
meet these needs.
(6) To keep the public informed regarding the cost of
education, the manner in which the money is used, how
it is obtained and whether the funds are adequate.
Any public relations program must be carefully planned
if it is to be successful. It is not sufficient to give out school
information occasionally or for county school officials to
get their names in the headlines from time to time. More-
over, a public relations program cannot be a propaganda
program. It must acquaint the people, and see that they
are kept fully informed at all times regarding the existing
situation as related to the ultimate possibilities. A good
plan should be truthful, honest, continuous, inclusive,
understandable, dignified and should be based on a knowl-
edge of what people already know and understand about
the schools.


Program Must Be Based on Accurate Information
The County Superintendent must have at hand a com-
prehensive fund of educational information if he is to
develop a successful program. He must understand all
phases of the school system and must know at all times
where to go and how to proceed to get any information
which may be useful in interpreting it to others. More-
over, he should have a thorough knowledge and compre-
hensive picture of social, economic, political and other
conditions which prevail in the county, particularly as
those conditions are related to the schools, and as the
schools are related to the various aspects of life in the
county. This information should be obtained in a variety
of ways. In the first place, the Superintendent himself
should be well informed regarding all aspects of educa-
tion in general, including significant modern trends and
developments. He should have available information from
national agencies, such as the Office of Education and the
National Education Association. He should be familiar
with the results of outstanding studies relating to various
phases of the school program; should be acquainted with
bulletins and publications of the State Department of
Education and of the State Education Association; should
know the results of educational studies carried on in the
colleges and universities of the State; and should have at
hand a mass of information relating to county and com-
munity organizations, to significant happenings and de-
velopments in the county, and the results of surveys of
health, economics, labor and other conditions in the coun-
ty. In fact, he should have access to any and all informa-
tion which may throw light on various phases of the school

It is not sufficient, however, for the County Superin-
tendent to have such information. He must develop a
definite plan for using it or, rather, for seeing that it is
used properly. Every person connected with the county
school system should be able to contribute to the develop-
ment of the information and to the interpretation and
proper use of the various types of information. The fol-
lowing are some suggestions for using information effec-
tively in a public relations program:


The County Superintendent. .By virtue of his position,
the County Superintendent should be the leader in de-
veloping a plan for using the information properly in a
public relations program. He should initiate such a pro-
gram, see that it is well balanced and that it is properly
functioning. The following are some important steps
which can be taken by the County Superintendent. He
(a) Make himself and his office a source of informa-
tion for the general public.
(b) Arrange for conferences and discussions with
leading citizens.
(c) Hold conferences with newspaper representatives
for the purpose of furnishing them with informa-
tion for publication.
(d) Speak on educational subjects at important meet-
(e) Suggest and perhaps even outline talks relating to
schools by non-school speakers.
(f) Send out personal and circular letters and bulletins
of information regarding the various aspects of the
school program.
(g) Arrange for the preparation of periodic or annual
reports concerning the schools.
(h) Contribute articles to newspapers and give radio
(i) Assume general direction of the program and take
steps to assure the full cooperation of all agents
and agencies concerned.
County Board. The Board should be kept fully in-
formed at all times concerning all school problems and
progress. They should authorize the publication of all
policies adopted for the schools, help to determine proper
trends for the program and give the County Superintend-
ent full support and encouragement in carrying it out.
Trustees. The trustees of the various districts should
understand the program sufficiently well that they can aid
in interpreting the needs and problems of the schools to
the people in their district. Moreover, they should be


provided with all information which will be useful to them
in understanding and explaining the program.
School Personnel. Through school faculty meetings,
county-wide meetings of teachers and other means, the
schools personnel should be kept fully informed at all
times. It should be recognized that the teachers are a
definite part of the administrative as well as of the in-
structional organization. The better they understand the
entire program and the greater part they have to play in
developing that program, the better their position to inter-
pret it to the public.
Pupils. Schools should never exploit pupils nor expect
them to act as propaganda agencies. However, it is proper
and desirable that pupils be given opportunity to under-
stand the school program. From day to day, they will
discuss with their parents the various problems and de-
velopments and will constitute an important means of
helping parents to understand the schools.
Parents and Patrons. Parents and patrons usually have
a better opportunity to become acquainted with schools
than the remainder of the citizens. There should be fre-
quent opportunities for parents, patrons and other in-
terested citizens to meet together in connection with the
school program. Special days, special occasions such as
commencements, school exhibits, school plays, athletic
contests and similar activities afford an opportunity for
the people to come together and become acquainted with
various phases of the school program. If plans are prop-
erly developed, considerable information regarding the
schools can be disseminated on such occasions.

Best Practices
(1) The County Superintendent should take the leader.
ship in organizing a program to insure that the
schools and their needs are properly interpreted
throughout the county.
(2) This program should be based on correct and com-
plete information-not propaganda.
(3) The County Superintendent should plan to have
coming to his office a continuous stream of im-
portant information which will help him to under-


stand the school program and, which when prop-
erly interpreted will help the public to understand.
This information should cover every phase of the
school program, including the plan for organiza-
tion and administration of the schools; the qualifi-
cations, abilities, successes and shortcomings of the
staff; the pupils who attend the schools, their pro-
gress in the schools; the instructional program and
procedures, including the materials of instruction;
the transportation program; the school plant pro-
gram; and all materials, problems and procedures
relating to finance and taxation.
(4) The public relations program to be successful must
be carefully organized on a broad basis. It must
have sound and worthy objectives, must be based
on a plan to use significant pertinent information,
should involve all school personnel and should uti-
lize all available school and community agencies.
Newspapers, radio, talks, conferences, reports and
school newspapers and other available channels
should be used as means of making available sig-
nificant information and interpretations. Exhibits,
displays and school fairs afford particularly good
opportunities for explaining various phases of the
school program. On special occasions school buses
might well be used to transport parents from the
rural areas for particularly significant programs.
Every person in the county should be helped to ap-
preciate the importance of the schools and to feel
that he has a definite part and responsibility for
bringing about their improvements.

A school program cannot be operated in complete isola-
tion from the other functions of government that are
carried on in the county or in the cities within the county.
To a greater or lesser extent, all progress is interrelated.
This does not mean that schools must be so closely tied in
with county government that they are to be affected by
every shift in county or city politics. In fact, the schools
are so organized that they need not and should not become
at all involved in any phase of county or city politics. This
is fortunate. It is recognized by leading educational au-
thorities as a far better situation than where schools come
directly under the control of county or city governmental


agencies. In Florida, school officials are elected directly
by the people and are not appointed by other county or
city officials. Moreover, tax levies for school purposes are
determined either by a vote of the people or by action of
school officials elected by the people. Therefore, the
schools can and should be independent of other govern-
mental agencies. Yet, there are certain relationships that
must necessarily exist and should be taken into considera-
tion. There should always be a close and harmonious
working relationship which will permit the schools to be
conducted in close cooperation with other agencies in the
county and in accordance with the needs of the children.
County Commissioners. The County Board is not in
any respect responsible to the County Commissioners. It
is a coordinate body. However, the County Commission-
ers have a few responsibilities that directly pertain to the
schools. One of those is approval of bonds of school offi-
cials. It is made the responsibility of the County Commis-
sioners to examine the bonds twice a year and, if any
bonds are insufficient, to call the matter to the attention
of the County Board and send a copy of the notice to the
Comptroller and to the State Superintendent. (Section
1089 (7).) The County Board of Public Instruction also
certifies to the Board of County Commissioners the taxes
to be levied for school purposes. The Commissioners can-
not alter these levies in any way but are required to order
the Assessor to assess the taxes as certified by the County
Board (Section 1076). County Commissioners are re-
quired to cooperate with the County Board in improving
roads to be used for school transportation and in eliminat-
ing hazards along transportation routes. (Sections 812
and 813). The County Commissioners are also required
to provide office space, heat and light for the office of the
County Superintendent and for the Board meeting room.
(Section 429.)
Tax Assessor, Tax Collector. According to law, Tax
Asessors and Collectors are entitled to fees deducted from
school taxes. Both the Tax Assessors and Tax Collectors,
therefore, derive a substantial part of their salaries from
school taxes. From one point of view, therefore, the As-
sessors and Collectors, when dealing with school taxes,
are working for the schools as well as for the taxpayer.


They have certain definite responsibilities prescribed by
law and should be expected to carry out these responsi-
bilities. The Assessor must assess taxes in all school dis-
tricts separately and the Collector must similarly collect
taxes in all such districts as well as county-wide taxes.
(Section 1076). The Tax Collector is required to pay over
to the designated school depository at least once each
month all school taxes collected and provide the County
Board with a duplicate of the deposit slip. He is also
required to take all necessary precautions to safeguard
the school funds. (Sections 1087, 1088.)
Clerk of the Court. The Clerk of the Court likewise has
the responsibility of depositing in the proper depository
and turning over to the County Board duplicate deposit
slips for all school moneys collected by him.
Supervisor of Registration. The Supervisor of Registra-
tion cooperates in holding school elections and is required
to provide the County Board with certified lists of quali-
fied electors as required by the County Board for the
various elections. (Section 1032 (2-b).)
City Officials. City officials are required to cooperate in
helping to eliminate hazards along school transportation
routes or along roads regularly used by pupils to go to
and from school. (Sec. 813.) It is highly desirable that
city officials cooperate in providing services needed by
the schools. Often playgrounds can be used for both
school and civic purposes. Similarly parks can be use-
ful both to the schools and to the city. City officials, of
course, are expected to cooperate in providing traffic con-
trol and promoting safety for pupils on their way to and
from school.

Best Practices
(1) The County Superintendent should keep in close
touch with all county and city officials, should keep
them acquainted with the problems and needs of
the school program and should seek to secure their
cooperation at all times.
(2) The County Superintendent should very carefully
avoid involving the schools in county or city poli-
tics. While he should cooperate with county and
city officials, such cooperation should be carried on


on a professional basis so that there will be no
danger of political interference.
(3) The County Superintendent should familiarize
himself with all responsibilities of county and
city officials relating to schools and should see that
those responsibilities are properly performed. Any
neglect to do this is likely to result in some handi-
cap to the school program.

In addition to the persons, designated as officials in
counties or cities, who have certain responsibilities which
directly relate to the school program, there are a number
of agencies within each county and city for which the
officials are at least indirectly responsible and whose func-
tions relate more or less directly to the school program.
It is important that the County Superintendent not only
have a list of such agencies but that he understand their
functioning so as to be in position to derive all advantages
possible for the school program. Section 433 (15) of the
School Laws requires the County Superintendent
"To recommend plans for cooperating with, and on the basis
of approved plans, to cooperate with Federal, State, county and
municipal agencies in the enforcement of laws and regulations
pertaining to vocational education, vocational rehabilitation,
physical restoration of children and adults, health of pupils,
school attendance, child welfare, and other matters relating to
County Health Department. A number of counties in
the State now have county health units. Every county
should have such a unit. The County Superintendent and
County Board should take every step possible to encour-
age the establishment of a health unit, if such a unit has
not been established, and when the health unit is available
should carefully work out a program to assure maximum
services for the schools and children.
County Agricultural and Home Demonstration Agents.
Agriculture and home economics teachers in the county
should work in close cooperation with the county agri-
cultural agent and the home demonstration agent, such
agents should usually be in position to render a great
many services which are closely related to the program


of the schools. The salaries of these persons, however, are
expected to be paid by the County Commissioners.
Budget Commission. In a few counties, the County
Budget Commission has responsibility for approving school
budgets. Fortunately, in most counties, there is no such
relationship required. Effective budgetary controls for
school funds are now provided by the State.
Planning Board. Unfortunately very few counties in the
State have a planning board which is established or recog-
nized by law. The organization of such a board, at least
on an informal basis, should be encouraged. There is
always a close relationship between county and city plans
and the school program which can be developed. The
County Superintendent should be active in helping to
further plans for improvement of the county in general
and should see that plans for the school program are
properly integrated with general county and city plans.
Civic Clubs. There are several civic clubs in most coun-
ties, each of which is interested in a number of projects
which are closely related to the welfare of the schools.
Several of these clubs are likely to have committees devot-
ing attention to underprivileged children, others to such
problems as vocational guidance, scout work and other
projects which involve children of school age and fre-
quently, indirectly at least, involve the schools. These
organizations should be encouraged to cooperate with
the schools in helping to make possible the needed reme-
dial treatment for underprivileged children and other
similar projects which will be of great advantage.

Best Practices
(1) In each county, there should be a program to utilize
for the schools all services which may properly
be provided by other agencies in the county. It is
the function of the County Superintendent to see
that this program is developed.
(2) All work in the schools carried on by non-school
agencies should have the approval of the County
Superintendent or a committee designated for that
purpose and should contribute to a realization of
the school program. The committee should see that
itTs properly integrated.


(3) School officials should be on the alert to see that
county and municipal officials and agencies do not
attempt to usurp and take over any functions which
belong to the schools. Schools are established as
democracy's educational institution and should
carry out that function. Duplication and overlap-
ping are always undesirable.

Parent Teacher Associations are so important to the
welfare of the schools and to the county school program
that the organization should always have special con-
sideration. There is now a Parent Teacher Association
for most of the schools of the State and practically all
counties have active and properly functioning county
councils. School officials should be alert to the possibilities
of the organization for service to the schools and should
seek to help it to become more valuable. Very seldom
during recent years has a Parent Teacher Association
sought to interfere unwisely in school affairs. Instead,
the organization has contributed greatly to a better under-
standing of the school program and has helped to bring
about a prompt realization of many of the school needs.

Best Practices
(1) The organization of an active Parent Teacher As-
sociation should be encouraged in every school in
the county. Further, an active county council
should be encouraged and supported.
(2) Facts relating to the school program should be
made available to Parent Teacher Associations so
that they will be in position to understand all
aspects of the program and to interpret it properly
to others.
(3) Teachers and principals should be encouraged to
work with Parent Teacher Association organiza-
tions and to help the organizations attain their
objectives. Principals, teachers and others often
can play important roles in keeping the organiza-
tion on a proper functional basis. However, school
authorities should avoid any attempt to dominate
and control the organization.


Farley, Belmont. School Publicity. Teachers College,
Columbia University, 1927, $1.50.
Moehlman, Arthur B. Public School Relations. Rand-
McNally and Company, Chicago, 1927, $2.00.
Reeder, Ward G. Introduction to Public School Relations.
The Macmillan Company, New York, 1937, $2.25.



The County Superintendent's relationships to the Coun-
ty Board are of major importance. Unless the County
Superintendent can obtain and hold the confidence and
respect of the Board, he is not likely to be in a position to
exercise the leadership expected of him in planning the
county school program.
There is always danger that the County Board may
lose sight of its true function and gradually set itself up
as an executive body. Moreover, there is always the possi-
bility that some individual member of the Board may,
either through personal ambition or because he is so in-
terested in the schools, become more and more involved
in school detail and tend to become a second executive.
In such a situation the County Superintendent is likely to
run into conflicts or may even find himself serving merely
as secretary for the Board and not as an administrative
On the other hand there is the possibility that the Board
may consider its responsibilities entirely too lightly and
may be willing to rubber stamp almost everything the
County Superintendent does. That likewise is an unfor-
tunate situation and should be carefully guarded against.
Only when both County Board and County Superintendent
are functioning in their respective spheres as prescribed
by law can the county school program be properly safe-
guarded and carried out.
If the County Superintendent is to understand fully the
functioning of the County Board and his relationship to
the Board, he must study the subject as carefully as he
would study any phase of the school program. One of
the best ways to begin the study is to secure a copy of the
Handbook for County School Board Members in Florida
and become thoroughly familiar with his duties and re-
sponsibilities as related to those of the Board. This, how-
ever, will not suffice. The County Superintendent must
likewise study the Board itself and the manner in which it


functions. Only by doing that and by relating such study
to a proper conception of what the Board should do can
the Superintendent work out a satisfactory program of
It is impossible to develop and carry out a satisfactory
school program in ,any county unless there is harmony
and cooperation among the school officials. Any form of
dissension, and particularly dissension that comes before
the public, is bound to result sooner or later in harm to
the children and to the entire school program. Coopera-
tion is always possible except in extreme cases of prejudice
or unreason. In every instance the County Superintendent
should consider the matter of securing and maintaining
cooperation as his responsibility rather than the responsi-
bility of the Board. If there is lack of cooperation he
should consider the situation as resulting from his failure
unless there is conclusive evidence that some other person
or factor is responsible.
The school law makes it the duty of the County Superin-
tendent "to cooperate with the County Board in every
manner practicable to the end that the County School
system may continuously be improved." (Sec. 433 (17).)
A similar provision of the school law requires the County
Board to cooperate fully with the County Superintendent.
(Sec. 423 (17).) Thus any failure to carry out a plan of
cooperation becomes a failure to observe the requirements
of the law.
Best Practices
(1) The County Superintendent should study the Board
and its individual members and should seek to
understand fully the bases on which cooperation
may best be developed.
(2) The County Superintendent should at all times deal
honestly and fairly with the Board and should
never keep from them any pertinent information
or problems pertaining to the schools.
(3) He should strive to meet fully his own duties and
responsibilities and to refrain from taking any
action which might be construed by the Board as
interfering with its proper prerogative.


(4) The County Superintendent should seek to secure
agreement on principles and objectives as a basis
for agreeing on procedures. Frequently an ap-
parent disagreement relating to procedures can be
clarified by discussing objectives and the principles
to be observed in obtaining those objectives.
(5) Decisions should be sought on the basis of facts
and evidence rather than on the basis of personal
opinion and judgment. Such discussion can be kept
on a professional and objective basis and there is
much less likely to be disagreement and dissension
than if it is put on a personal basis. If there is an
honest difference of opinion the County Superin-
tendent should seek to find the reason for the dif-
ference, to evaluate it honestly, and to reach a
decision based on principles and objectives which
have already been accepted.
(6) The County Superintendent should stand on prin-
ciples which are recognized as valid instead of
yielding to the wishes of the County Board when
those wishes are clearly based on political ex-
pediency. In the long run the public will respect
a position based on principles which will safeguard
the schools far more than they will respect super-
ficial harmony based on subserviency.
(7) Only if the County Board should obviously be seek-
ing to play politics at the expense of the schools
or should refuse to consider evidence which indi-
cates a fundamental need should the County Su-
perintendent consider taking his point of view
before the public. In Florida the County Superin-
tendent is responsible to the electorate as well as
to the County Board. He is therefore in position
to stand upon fundamental principles. However,
such a step should be taken only as a last resort.

It is equally important that the County Board under-
stand the functions of the Superintendent and that the
County Superintendent understand fully the functions of
the Board if there is to be harmony and cooperation. A
basic point for the County Superintendent to keep in mind
is that, by law, the County Board is established as the body
responsible for the organization and control of the schools


of the county. Section 215 provides that "The immediate
control of the schools of any county shall be vested in the
County Board." Section 403 (2) further provides that
"the responsibility for the organization and control of the
public schools of the county shall be vested in the County
Board" which, according to Section 422, is the policy de-
termining and contracting body for the county. These re-
sponsibilities, along with the authority to adopt rules and
regulations, and prescribe minimum standards, constitute
basic powers of the Board which cannot be assumed in
any form by the County Superintendent.
The law makes clear, however, that the County Superin-
tendent is to advise with the County Board on all matters,
is to serve as secretary of the Board and to act as execu-
tive officer. The County Superintendent is vested with
"responsibility for the administration of the schools and
for supervision of instruction in the county." (Sec. 403
Unless the County Superintendent himself clearly dif-
ferentiates at all times between policies and the details
involved in the execution of policies he will not be in
position to observe distinctions prescribed by law and
sooner or later will encounter difficulties with the County
Board. The County Superintendent cannot afford to an-
nounce some policy for the schools of the county that has
never been considered by the Board or to announce a
decision which is contrary to an officially adopted policy.
This is one of the matters which should be most carefully
studied at all times.

Best Practices

(1) The County Superintendent should take every step
practicable to assure that the County Board func-
tions as prescribed by law and does not interfere in
administrative details.
(2) The County Superintendent should scrupulously
carry out his own duties and responsibilities and
should avoid at any time interfering with the
policy forming, contracting and controlling func-
tions of the County Board.


(3) Both the County Board and the County Superin-
tendent should give continuous study to these basic
distinctions as a means of assuring continued im-
provement in developing effective working rela-

The County Superintendent should recognize members
of the Board as individuals with whom he will have to
work closely and harmoniously in developing a program
for schools of the county. It will, therefore, be necessary
that he know and understand each Board member as fully
as possible and that he maintain at all times a close per-
sonal as well as professional relationship with the Board
members. This does not mean that the County Superin-
tendent has to cater to members of the Board merely
because they are on the County Board. On the contrary,
he should treat them as members of an official body with
whom he has to work. The Superintendent should recog-
nize that individual members of the Board have no power
as individuals. According to law, the power is vested in
the Board, not in its individuals. A promise of an indi-
vidual member of the Board made outside of Board meet-
ings carries no more weight than that member carries as
an individual. Moreover, no action of a Board taken
outside of Board meetings is legal. That is, individuals
cannot sign resolutions, contracts or other papers outside
of Board meetings and have such a signature considered
as legal except where it is specifically authorized by the
Board. Section 423 emphasizes that the powers and duties
designated are to be exercised by the County Board "act-
ing as a Board."

Best Practices
(1) The County Superintendent should cultivate a
friendly personal relationship with each member
of the Board so that matters may be discussed
freely and with the best prospect of mutual under-
(2) The Superintendent should study each Board mem-
ber carefully so as to be familiar with his likes
and dislikes, his strong points and his weaknesses,
and should try to understand how each Board


member can be approached and his cooperation
secured on a professional basis.
(3) The County Superintendent should keep all Board
members fully informed on a friendly, informal
basis concerning all major developments and prob-
lems relating to the schools.
(4) Suggestions of individual members of the Board
should be followed only insofar as they are good
suggestions worthy of being followed and are con-
sistent with policies adopted by the Board. They
should not carry an undue amount of weight mere-
ly because they come from a Board member. Such
suggestions should always be received courteously
and diplomatically and should always be weighed
as carefully as any other suggestion would be
(5) Every professional courtesy that should be ex-
tended to teachers and principals should likewise
be extended to Board members.
(6) Board members should be invited to important
school meetings, should be given a place of honor
and, when they are in position to make a contribu-
tion, might well be given an opportunity to appear
on the program.

According to law, Board meetings have to be held in a
room designated for such meetings. This may either be
the office of the County Superintendent or in a room con-
venient to that office. (Sec. 417.) The County Superin-
tendent, thus, has an opportunity to prepare the meeting
room and put it in order in advance of the meeting.
There can be no excuse or justification for any County
Superintendent going. to any Board meeting without
proper advance preparation. Such a procedure contrib-
utes to unbusinesslike Board meetings and makes it im-
possible in the long run for the County Superintendent
to function as he is expected to function by law.
The Room. By way of physical preparation, the County
Superintendent or his Secretary should see that the room
is in good order, is heated if necessary and is otherwise in


condition for a meeting, that the table is clear of other
materials and is ready for use by the Board, that chairs
are arranged for Board members and others who may be
present, that note pads and pencils are available, that the
approving stamp is convenient to the chairman, and that
typewritten or mimeographed agenda are at the place of
each member of the Board.
The County Board File. In advance of each meeting the
County Superintendent should prepare a file of all matters
to be taken up with the Board. In this file, matters should
be classified according to the order of procedure of the
Board. Matters requiring decisions relating to policy
should be clearly differentiated from matters which re-
quire the approval of the Board or other matters which
may require the establishment of rules and regulations or
minimum standards. Complete information should be
assembled regarding each point which may come up for
attention of the Board. Furthermore, the County Superin-
tendent should prepare his own analysis based on the
evidence and should have carefully written down the
recommendations which, in his opinion, should be sub-
mitted to the Board. Such careful preparation should be
made, not only for regular meetings, but for all special
Advance Conferences. When major problems are to
come up for consideration, it may be desirable for the
County Superintendent to go over the entire situation with
each member of the Board in advance of the meeting so
that he may be fully acquainted with the problems, issues
and facts involved. The Board members should not be
expected to make a major decision after only a superficial
consideration of facts made possible by the limited time
available in a meeting in which many other problems
must come up for consideration. It is only fair then to
Board members that they should have opportunity in
advance of the meeting of becoming acquainted with the
major problems and issues and with the information bear-
ing on them.
Best Practices
(1) Careful and conscientious preparation should be
made for every meeting of the Board. The County


Superintendent should realize that unless he takes
this precaution he is likely at some time to be in a
position which may be fully as awkward as that of
a teacher who fails to prepare his lessons.
(2) Careful attention should be given to the physical
order of the room to see that everything is properly
arranged and that everything that may be needed
by the Board for the meeting will be available.
(3) The County Superintendent should keep a special
file for Board meetings. In this file he should
classify all matters which should come to the at-
tention of the Board according to their place on
the agenda. Matters requiring decisions and mat-
ters requiring determination of policy should be
carefully differentiated from routine matters mere-
ly requiring approval.
(4) In advance of the meeting, the County Superin-
tendent should assemble all pertinent information
relating to each matter requiring decision of the
Board and should also prepare in written form
his own analyses and recommendations.
(5) Major problems requiring a prompt decision might
well be discussed with individual members of the
Board in advance of the meeting. This will serve
to acquaint them with the issues and with all perti-
nent facts so that they will be in better position to
decide the matter properly when the time arrives
for an official decision.

Meetings of the Board are of major importance because
all business of the Board is transacted at that time. Such
meetings may either be conducted efficiently and on a
sound business basis with proper attention to all major
points, or may easily degenerate into sessions involving
numerous complaints, considerable dissension and such
indefinite disposal of business that there is likely to be
considerable doubt regarding the final decision. In the
long run, Board meetings can be fully satisfactory only
when conducted on a proper business basis.
Place of Meetings. The law requires that all regular
and special meetings of the Board be held at the county


seat and in the office of the County Superintendent or in
a room convenient to that office and regularly designated
as the County Board meeting room. (Sec. 417.) Business
transacted at any other place would not be legal. This
provision is intended to avoid the possibility of meetings
being held without some member of the Board or the
County Superintendent knowing about the meeting or
where it is held.
Organization Meeting. The organization meeting of
the Board is held on the first Tuesday after the first Mon-
day in January following each general election. The
County Superintendent is required to act as chairman
until the organization is completed. (Sec. 415.) It is the
duty of the County Superintendent to transmit to the State
Superintendent within two weeks a certified copy of the
proceedings of organization. (Sec. 433 (1).)
Regular Meetings. The Board is required at its organ-
ization meeting to prescribe a schedule of regular meet-
ings for the biennium. Not more than one regular meeting
is to be held each month. (Sec. 416.) If the Board func-
tions as a policy determining body as prescribed by law,
there should ordinarily not be need for more than one
regular meeting each month. If the Board begins to get
into executive details, it is certain to need to meet more
frequently. No business may be transacted at any meet-
ing unless a quorum, that is a majority, is present. (Sec.
418.) It is the duty of the County Superintendent to
attend all regular and special meetings of the Board and
to advise, but not vote, on all questions under considera-
tion by the Board. (Sec. 433 (2).)
Special Meetings. Special meetings may be called when
necessary by the County Superintendent or by the County
Superintendent on request of the chairman of the Board
or on request of a majority of the members of the Board.
The procedure for calling a special meeting is set forth
in Section 416 and should be fully observed. The law
provides that all actions taken at special meetings shall
have the same force and effect as if taken at regular
Rules and Regulations. One of the most important steps
which can be taken by any Board to assure orderly, busi-


nesslike meetings is the adoption of an adequate set of
rules and regulations. Such a set is proposed in Chapter
III of the Handbook for County School Board Members in

The Order of Business
It is very important to have a definite order of business
which is followed at all meetings. The Superintendent as
Secretary should take the initiative in seeing that such
an order of business is adopted and followed. The topics
below afford an outline of suggested order of business.
The comments under each heading call attention to items
or procedures which are particularly important.
1. Meeting Called to Order. Meetings should be called
to order by the chairman promptly at the time designated.
2. Roll Call. The roll should be called by the secretary
and members present and absent should be noted.
3. Reading and Approval of Minutes. The minutes of
the last Board meeting must always be read by the secre-
tary and formally approved by the Board unless they are
to be mimeographed and sent to the Board members in
advance and approved with corrections without the for-
mality of reading. A formal motion for approval or for
approval with necessary corrections is required. Minutes
are not official until this has been done and until they
have been properly corrected and signed as explained
later in the chapter.
4. Oral Communications. As the next item of business,
all persons who have oral communications to present to
the Board should be heard. This includes delegations and
committees who may wish to be heard by the Board. Ordi-
narily, the County Superintendent should be able to settle
most controversies which arise and to satisfy most dele-
gations who might otherwise go before the Board. This
will be particularly true if the Board has adopted the
recommended policy of requiring all matters proposed to
be submitted to the Board first to be brought before the
Superintendent so that he may determine whether the
Board has already adopted a policy under which the
matter may be decided without special Board action. (See


page 31, Sec. 15, Handbook for County School Board
Members.) Ordinarily, the Board should not arrive at a
decision on a matter presented by a delegation unless the
Board has already adopted a policy and the matter can
be decided in terms of that policy.
5. Written Communications. This item of business
should include the presentation and discussion of petitions
or other written communications which may come before
the Board.
6. Report of the County Superintendent. At each Board
meeting, the County Superintendent should present a
formal report. This report should comprise and include
at least the following items:
(1) Status of the Budget. The County Superintendent
should have for the benefit of the Board a detailed
report showing receipts and expenditures to date
as related to the various items of the budget. The
monthly financial statement is required by law
and should constitute the basis for this report, but
the County Superintendent should make any ex-
planations that are necessary to make entirely
clear the status. This explanation should be in
typewritten or mimeographed form.
(2) Report of Cash on Hand in Various Funds. This
report should show the exact status of each fund
as related to obligations due and payable. For
example, the amount of cash in each portion of the
State Teachers Salary Fund, loans outstanding
against each portion of the fund, and obligations
which are due and payable should be fully ex-
plained. Moreover, the status of such special funds
as the Principals' Petty Cash Fund should be fully
(3) Other Items. The County Superintendent's formal
report should cover according to subject matter
all other items which should be brought to the
attention of the Board. This should include any
items in the field of transportation, buildings and
grounds, supplies and equipment, instruction and
other important fields.
7. Approval of Bills and Payrolls. The law requires


the Board to approve all bills and payrolls. The procedure
should be somewhat as follows:
(1) Payrolls. The County Superintendent should have
prepared a complete monthly payroll according to
the amount due each person, the period covered,
type of service rendered and funds from which
payment is recommended. The payrolls should be
prepared on forms authorized by the State Board.
(2) Bills. The County Superintendent should prepare
a supplementary statement including all bills
classified and organized in proper form for prompt
approval by the Board. Each item should be prop-
erly arranged and charged against the fund from
which it would ordinarily be paid. Any informa-
tion necessary to explain any item of expense
should be presented to the Board to facilitate
prompt approval.
(3) Loans. If any loans should be necessary to meet
payrolls due before the next regular meeting of
the Board, this matter should be brought to the
attention of the Board. Arrangement for prompt
payment of personnel is essential.
8. Unfinished Business. The County Superintendent
should bring to the attention of the Board any unfinished
business which has been brought over from the last meet-
ing. For example, it will frequently happen that the
Board desires to study a problem further before determin-
ing the policy to be followed. That matter can be carried
over as unfinished business and should be brought up at
this point in the order of business of the Board. Each
such item of unfinished business should be brought up
for consideration of the Board and some definite action
taken, either to decide the matter or to carry it over to
another meeting. Of course, all decisions should be made
as promptly as possible.
9. New Business. All new business which is to come
before the Board should be brought to the attention of
the Board under the proper heading. Routine business
relating to finance will, of course, be disposed of in the
portion of the meeting devoted to financial transactions.
Any other items should be brought up in accordance with
the order agreed upon by the Board and Superintendent.


10. Policies, Regulations and Standards. Questions in-
volving policies are likely to come ub throughout the
meeting of the Board and may not receive proper atten-
tion. To insure proper consideration of this important
problem there should be a definite time in each meeting
when the matter of policies is given the full attention of
the Board. It is so easy to confuse policies with other
actions that this very fact justifies a portion of the meet-
ing being set aside to consider policies and nothing else.
All proposed statements of policies should be carefully
written out because the exact wording is important. The
Board can then be in position to act on the wording of the
statement which is before it. The County Superintendent
should study carefully Chapter IV of the County Board
Members' Handbook in order to be thoroughly familiar
with procedures for determining and stating policies. If
any rules and regulations are on minimum standards and
are desirable to supplement any policies or for any other
reason, they should be brought before the Board in defi-
nite written form. It is not sufficient for the Board to agree
that there should be regulations or minimum standards
in certain fields. The Board should have before it a
definite statement which usually should be prepared by
the County Superintendent or by a committee of teachers
and principals with the approval of the County Superin-
tendent. In general, regulations should not be so definite
as to restrict progress and yet should be sufficiently
definite to prevent undesirable deviations.
11. Adjournment. Although adjournment should be
set as a definite order of business following the completion
of a schedule similar to the one outlined above, the regu-
lations of the Board should permit deviation to care for
any last-minute items which may have come up but which,
for one reason or another, may not have been included
in their regular place in the program. Care should be
taken, however, to keep the number of such items to a
Board Meetings Open to the Public
In general, meetings of the Board should be open to
the public and should be held in a room in which in-
terested persons will have opportunity to attend. Usually,


however, there will be few persons outside of interested
delegations and newspaper representatives who will at-
tend the meeting of the Board. The County Superintend-
ent should see that place is provided for all newspaper
representatives and that other visitors can enter and leave
conveniently without disturbing the Board.
The minutes of the Board should always be open to the
public for inspection. Policies and regulations which are
approved by the Board should be made available to the
public through the newspapers and should be mimeo-
graphed and distributed to all schools. The school system
can function best only when all school personnel under-
stand policies and know what is expected of them. More-
over, the Board can hold the confidence of the public only
if the public is convinced that there is nothing secret or
furtive about Board meetings. The County Superintend-
ent can be an important factor in helping to create the
right impression because, as secretary, all important in-
formation will be expected to pass through his hands and
should promptly be made available to the public.

Executive Meetings
From time to time it will be desirable and necessary for
the County Board to schedule an executive session or to
devote part of a regular meeting to executive matters.
Such matters as discussion of a problem involving some
particular teacher or pupil, the selection of a school site
under consideration when premature publicity might
affect the price and availability, or other matters which
could best be worked out in executive session in order to
safeguard the schools might well come up for attention.
However, executive meetings should be used with care.

It is the duty of the County Superintendent as executive
secretary of the Board to keep all minutes. (Sec. 433
(3).) Minutes of the Board are official and legal records
and therefore must be kept properly in order to protect
both the Board and the County Superintendent. More-
over, minutes should be kept according to a definite sys-
tem and plan in order that they may be available for


ready reference. Unless this is done important actions
taken by the Board may, after a lapse of several months
or a few years, become so lost in the minutes that they
can hardly be located. A plan which will reduce to a
minimum the possibility of actions being lost in the min-
utes and which will provide maximum legal protection to
the Board and Superintendent is what is desired.
The County Superintendent need not actually take
down the minutes of the Board, but may have his secretary
take the minutes in shorthand. Minutes should be tran-
scribed immediately following the meeting of the Board.
The Superintendent should then promptly and carefully
go over the copy while the proceedings are still fresh in
his mind, and should make any corrections that are neces-
sary. It is important that the minutes constitute an exact
record of each action. After the County Superintendent
has corrected the minutes, a revised copy may be made
on the proper numbered page of the minute book for ap-
proval by the Board at its next meeting, or mimeographed
copies may be prepared and sent to the Board members.
The following principles should be observed in prepar-
ing the minute book:
1. The minutes for each meeting should begin on a new
page. They should carry the date and time of the meet-
and should indicate whether the meeting is a regular
or special meeting.
2. The minutes of each meeting should state who was
present and who was absent from the meeting.
3. The minutes should follow the order of business
agreed upon by the Board. Major items or classifica-
tions in the order of business should be typed in capital
letters in the center of the page and underlined. These
should also be numbered in Roman numerals so as to
help make clear the distinction between the major items
in the classification.
4. Each action of the Board should show who presented
the resolution or motion, who seconded it and should
state who voted in favor and against the proposal.
5. All minutes should be sufficiently indented so that


a running comment can be carried in the margin. This
running comment can be used as a rough index for
quickly locating actions. For example, an item under
the heading "policies" may be set up as follows:


of New

Beginning with the fiscal year 1941-42
no person who is not now teaching in the
county may be nominated for a position
as a teacher in an elementary school in
the county and no such person will be
appointed to teach in any school in the
county unless that person has at least two
years of college training (four years is
preferred for those counties which can
set the standard as high as four years)
and is properly certificated in the field
in which he is expected to teach.

Motion by: John Jones.
Seconded by: Bill Smith.
Ayes: John Jones, Bill Smith, Sam
Nays: None.
Motion: Carried.
6. Each subject considered by the Board under each
of the major headings should have a separate para-
7. There should be no erasures in the minute book. If
there are to be any corrections, corrections should be
made in ink and should be initialed by the chairman
and secretary.
8. Minutes of each meeting should carry a certification
that the minutes were approved at a regular or special
meeting of the Board on the date given and should have
the signature of both the chairman of the Board and
the Superintendent as secretary. A typewritten signa-
ture is not sufficient. Minutes are not valid unless they
are signed.


9. The minute book should carry an index which is
brought up to date after the minutes of each meeting
have been approved. This index may be in the minute
book, or it may be in the form of a card index which is
keyed to the minute book itself. The index should show
the nature of the action according to subject, the date
on which taken and the page of the minute book on
which recorded.

Best Practices
(1) The County Superintendent should study carefully
the matter of keeping minutes. It would be desir-
able for him to familiarize himself with the pro-
cedure followed in various counties as well as in
his own county, then recommend to the Board for
adoption the best procedure he can locate.
(2) A procedure once adopted should be carefully and
completely followed at all times until the pro-
cedure is modified by official action of the Board.
Consistency is important for many reasons.
(3) The County Superintendent should be exceedingly
conscientious in seeing that minutes are properly
recorded and prepared. He himself should check
statements prepared by his secretary to see that
they are correct, clear and well worded. Rough
copies of the minutes should be re-written until
they are in satisfactory form to be copied on the
proper page of the minute book.
(4) Minutes should always be prepared in duplicate.
The second copy should be kept in a separate place
from the original copy so that if anything should
happen to the original copy, the second copy will
serve as a protection to the County Superintendent
as well as to the Board.
(5) The original copy of the minutes should always be
kept in a fireproof vault when not in use.
(6) It is the responsibility of the County Superintend-
ent to see that all minutes are properly signed
when approved. Unsigned minutes give him no
(7) The County Superintendent, himself, should see
that the index is kept up to date after each meet-


ing. Such an index if properly prepared will help
the Superintendent to answer many questions, will
solve many problems and will save much time for
the Board.

Policies of the County Board are so important and so
basic that the County Superintendent should keep a sep-
arate record for all policies. Perhaps the best form for
this record is either a card index or a visible record file.
All policies should be indexed by subject and then care-
fully cross-indexed so that any policy may readily be
located. The card on which the policy is recorded should
carry at the top the subject, a general title of the policy,
the date on which adopted and the page of the minute
book on which recorded. It should then state the policy
exactly as it was adopted by the County Board.
Such a policy index is one of the most important records
in the office of the County Superintendent, for he can then
refer to it at any time as the basis for answering questions..
The County Superintendent has no legal authorization
for deciding matters on the basis of his own judgment.
Moreover, he has no legal protection if his judgment
should happen to be contrary to a policy adopted by the
County Board. The only safe procedure for him to follow
is to answer such questions in terms of policies. If he has
any doubt he should turn to the policy book or index and
read the policy as the basis for his decision. Citizens of
the county will accept far more gracefully any decisions
rendered according to that plan than they will accept
the mere statement of the Superintendent that he does
not approve proposed action. Moreover, such a procedure
insures consistency which could not otherwise be obtained.

Best Practices
(1) All policies should be recorded in a separate policy
book or policy card file and should be classified by
subject so they can readily be located.
(2) All questions and problems should whenever pos-
sible be answered or solved in terms of the policy
adopted by the Board.


(3) No matter should be referred to the Board in a
field in which an adequate policy has been adopted
unless a revision in the policy seems desirable.
(4) If any question arises which is not covered by a
policy, the Superintendent should present the mat-
ter to the Board and should recommend the policy
he thinks most appropriate for adoption.
All actions of the County Board must be in accordance
with law or the Board has no protection whatever. Simi-
larly, all decisions of the County Superintendent must be
in accordance with the policies of the County Board and
with laws of the State or the County Superintendent has
no protection. Most school laws are clearly enough stated
that their intent can be determined by county school offi-
cials. The volume Florida School Laws, 1939, is organized
according to a definite plan with which the County Su-
perintendent can readily become familiar and is so fully
indexed and cross-indexed that it should not be difficult
to locate any item. If there seems to be uncertainty about
the wording of any provision, it should be carefully
studied in an effort to arrive at the real meaning. If there
still is any doubt about the intent of the law, the County
Superintendent and the Board should be in position to
secure legal advice. Most County Boards employ an at-
torney. However, there is no need for a Board to employ
a full-time attorney or to pay such an attorney more than
a small amount except under unusual circumstances. In
the first place, there are relatively few questions which
need to be referred to an attorney if Board members and
the Superintendent will but study the law. In the second
place, when there is serious doubt regarding the law it
is often desirable to obtain an opinion from the Attorney
General. The question on which an opinion is desired
should be submitted to the State Superintendent in writ-
ing and he, in turn, will refer it to the Attorney General
for an opinion unless such an opinion has previously been
rendered. This procedure is necessary because the Attor-
ney General cannot answer questions submitted directly
to him by county school officials. (See Appendix II for
Digest of Opinions of Attorney General.)
Both County Superintendents and County Boards


should use care to call on the attorney for the Board only
for legal advice. There can be no reason or justification
for calling on the attorney to carry on correspondence
which should be carried on through the office of the Coun-
ty Superintendent or to render advice on policies which
should be determined by the County Board. There should
be a clear cut distinction between policies to be decided
by the Board and the purely legal advice to be offered by
the attorney.
The County Superintendent should keep a file of all
opinions of the Attorney General and should index such
a file so that any opinions already rendered can readily
be located.

Best Practices
(1) In general, the County Superintendent and County
Board should seek to secure as attorney for the
Board the person best qualified to serve in that
capacity. While the attorney should be selected by
the Board, there should generally be concurrence
between the County Superintendent and the Coun-
ty Board as to the person best qualified to serve.
(2) Only questions involving legal interpretations
should be referred to the attorney. All matters
involving decisions relating to policies should be
handled by the County Board. There should be
a clear-cut distinction between policy determina-
tion and points on which legal advice is needed.
(3) Most questions on which interpretations are need-
ed are likely to involve points which should be de-
cided by the Attorney General. Opinions on such
questions may readily be obtained by writing the
State Superintendent. The County Superintendent
should keep a file and index of all such opinions
so as to avoid the necessity of raising questions
which have already been answered.

The law clearly provides that the County Board shall
be the contracting agency. Neither the County Superin-
tendent nor the trustees have any authority to contract
for materials or services except in accordance with regu-


lations of the County Board and with the approval of the
County Board. The County Superintendent, however, has
a number of very important responsibilities with reference
to contracts. The law provides that it is his duty:
"to recommend to the County Board the desirable terms, condi-
tions and specifications for contracts, for supplies, materials or
services to be rendered; to see that materials, supplies or services
are provided according to contract." (Sec. 433 (12-i).)
It is the duty of the County Superintendent to see that
contracts are properly drawn (when necessary, the advice
of the attorney for the Board should be obtained) and
that the Board is assured of getting the supplies, materials
or services which it desires. Moreover, the County Su-
perintendent should see that the terms of all contracts are
properly fulfilled and that the Board receives full value
in accordance with the terms of the contract.

The Compensation of members of the County Board of
many counties is prescribed by local law. The County
Superintendent, however, should know whether these
laws authorize a per diem or a monthly compensation plus
a travel allowance or authorize only the compensation
without the travel allowance. According to general law,
County Board members are entitled to a per diem plus
$4.00 for each day's service at official meetings and ten
cents per mile for every mile actually traveled in going
to and from the court house by the nearest practicable
route. Section 420 provides that:
"subsistence (of County Board members) shall be allowed only
for trips without the county, and such subsistence and travel
without the county, when such travel is authorized by law or by
regulations of the State Board, shall not exceed the travel and
subsistence allowance for employees of the State."
According to State regulations, the subsistence cannot
exceed the actual cost of subsistence with a maximum of
$4.50 per day for room and meals. Receipts must be
furnished for all lodging and no tips or similar personal
expenses may be listed. Travel is at the rate of actual
railroad or bus fare for which receipts are required. If
travel is by private car an allowance of five cents per mile
is made for the car actually used. Thus, if several persons


travel in one car, as would often be the case, only the
person who owns the car would be entitled to the mileage.
County Board members should seldom need to make
trips without the county. Trips to the meeting of the State
Association of School Board Members, to the meeting of
the Florida Education Association, or to district confer-
ences called by the State Superintendent when Board
members are included should be considered appropriate.
Occasionally, a conference of all Board members and the
County Superintendent with representatives of the State
Department of Education at Tallahassee may be desir-
able. The matter of travel without the county can easily
be overdone. For example, individual Board members
should not take it upon themselves to make trips to see
about purchases or to make other trips of an executive
nature, as executive responsibilities should be left to the
County Superintendent or purchasing agent.

The County Superintendent is responsible for executing
all policies adopted by the County Board (Sec. 431). This
does not mean that he has attitude to do as he pleases
when the Board is not in session. In fact, his position in
many respects is similar to the position of the president of
a bank. The board of directors of a bank adopts policies
which direct and limit the administrative responsibilities
of the president. Policies should point the direction in
which the school program should move and state the
guiding principles which should be followed. Within the
limits of those policies, the County Superintendent should
be free to execute and administer the school program.
However, he should at all times be careful to keep strictly
within the limits of policies officially adopted by the
Board. Any attempt to follow his own interpretation of
such policies is always questionable and is likely to lead
sooner or later to difficulty.

Almack, John C., The School Board Member. New York,
Macmillan Co., 1927.


Handbook for County School Board Members in Florida.
State Department of Education, Tallahassee, 1940.
Grill, Geo. W., Minutes of a Board of Education. Bruce
Publishing Company, Milwaukee, 1932.
Olsen, Hans C., The Work of Boards of Education. Teach-
ers College, Columbia University, New York City,
The School Board Member, N. E. A. Research Bulletin,
Volume XI, No. 1, January, 1933.


During prior years, there has been considerable con-
fusion relating to duties and responsibilities of trustees
with the result that trustees have sometimes assumed
responsibilities that did not belong to them and other
times have assumed very few responsibilities. The Florida
School Code now quite clearly sets forth the duties of
trustees and differentiates between those duties and the
duties of the County Superintendent and likewise the
duties of the County Board. Furthermore, there is now
available a Handbook for School District Trustees in
Florida which not only explains the legal responsibilities
of trustees but also sets forth what is considered best
practices for trustees. Both the School Law and the Trus-
tees' Handbook should be very carefully studied by the
County Superintendent in order that he may understand
how trustees are supposed to function.

It has sometimes been assumed that the Constitution
assigns the trustees a number of responsibilities, including
that of nominating teachers. There are no such provisions
in the Constitution. In fact, the only provision in the Con-
stitution is that trustees "shall have the supervision of the
schools within the district." (Article XII, Section 10.)
Since 1899 the term "supervision" has been iriterpreted
to mean general supervision and not control. The control
of the schools has, thus, traditionally been assigned by
law to the County Board. Moreover, the County Superin-
tendent has the responsibility for the supervision of in-
struction in the county (Section 403 (3)), and the prin-
cipal of each school is responsible for the supervision of
instruction in his own school. (Section 403 (5).) The
responsibilities of the trustees are, thus, definitely limited.
In fact, the general supervision prescribed by the Con-
stitution has been interpreted to mean general lay super-
vision. The general powers of the trustees are restricted
to the following by Section 442:


(1) "To consult with patrons, teachers and principals regard-
ing all matters relating to the welfare of the schools in
order to determine the progress and needs of those
schools, but to have no authority over instructional mat-
ters except in an advisory capacity."
(2) "To advise with the County Superintendent and the
County Board and make recommendations with respect
to the general welfare and needs of the schools of the
There is no provision in law for travel or other expenses
for trustees. Moreover there is no provision for trustees
to have an office or to employ legal or clerical assistants.
In fact, the law seems to contemplate that meetings of the
trustees will be held in one of the schools in the district.
It is recommended that one of the principals serve as
secretary to the trustees. If any legal advice is needed
relating to matters pertaining to the district, such advice
should be provided by the attorney for the County Board.
There is no authorization and should be no reason for the
trustees to expect to employ their own attorney. Further-
more, any clerical assistance which may be needed in con-
nection with the minutes or other matters pertaining to
the schools of the district should logically be provided
through the office of the principal who serves as secretary
or through the office of the County Superintendent. All
correspondence relating to teachers, purchases of sup-
plies and other matters should be expected to be carried
on by the principals of the schools or by the County Su-
perintendent depending on the matters involved rather
than by individual trustees.

The County Superintendent should, thus, consider the
trustees of each district an advisory body to represent the
citizens of the district. He should consult the trustees re-
garding problems relating to the schools of the district as
well as other matters relating particularly to the welfare
of the schools. There should, thus, be a close, friendly
working relationship between the County Superintendent
and the trustees. The County Superintendent should not
wait for the trustees to come to him with requests and
suggestions, but should actively seek their suggestions and
help them to feel responsible for promoting the welfare


of the schools. On the other hand, he should help them
to realize that their suggestions, except where otherwise
prescribed by law, must necessarily be considered as sug-
gestions which must be decided in terms of the best in-
terest of all of the schools in the county.

County Superintendent and Trustees. There are a num-
ber of instances in which the County Superintendent is
required to consider the suggestions and recommenda-
tions of the trustees before submitting a recommendation
to the County Board. These instances are listed in Chap-
ter VI of the Trustees' Handbook and include the pro-
visions of Sec. 433 (9-a) relating to supplementary
courses of study, Sec. 433 (10) relating to transportation
of pupils, Sec. 433 (11) relating to recommendations re-
garding school building and maintenance programs, Sec.
443 (10) relating to repairs and alterations for school
buildings, and Sec. 1060 (4) relating to requisitions
against district current fund budgets.

On the other hand, there are a number of instances in
which the County Superintendent is required to submit his
recommendation to the trustees for their reaction before
submitting proposals to the County Board. These are also
listed in Chapter VI of the Trustees Handbook and in-
clude the provisions of Sec. 443 (4) relating to the elimi-
nation of schools, Sec. 443 (1 and 2) relating to recom-
mendations of principals and teachers and other person-
nel, and the provisions of Sec. 433 (13-c) and 443 (5)
relating to district budgets.

County Board and Trustees. There are several types of
actions by County Boards which cannot become final until
approved by the trustees as explained in Chapter V of the
Trustees' Handbook. Among these are consolidation of
elementary schools with an average daily attendance of
more than 30 or high schools with an average daily at-
tendance of more than 75 pupils (Sec. 443 (4)), expendi-
tures against the district current fund budget until after
the budget has been approved (Sec. 443 (5)), amend-
ment of the district current fund budget (Sec. 1078),
tax levies for the district if the trustees recommend a


higher millage than that recommended by the County
Board (Sec. 443 (6)), and purchases of sites when dis-
trict funds are involved (Sec. 423 (11-b)).
The School Law also prescribes a number of instances
in which the trustees submit nominations or recommenda-
tions to the County Board, but these of course are ex-
pected to be submitted through the County Superintend-
ent as executive secretary. Among these are nominations
of principals, teachers and other employees (Sec. 443 (1
and 2)), written charges filed against any member of the
instructional staff recommending dismissal (Sec. 443
(3)), recommendations of higher millage levies than
those recommended by the County Board (Sec. 443 (6)),
recommendations for expenditures against the district
current fund (Sec. 443 (8)), and recommendations re-
garding the disposition of surpluses from bond issues
(Sec. 443 (9)).

Best Practices
(1) The County Superintendent should cultivate a
close personal relationship with all trustees in the
county so that he will be in position to consult with
them at any time regarding the needs of the
(2) The limitations on the responsibilities of trustees
should be kept clearly in mind by the County Su-
perintendent and should be made clear to the
County Board and the trustees so that there will
be no confusion. Trustees should be considered as
a general advisory body representing the citizens
of the county except in those instances where the
law specifically requires them to make recommen-
dations and nominations or to consider recommen-
dations or approve tentative actions.
(3) The County Superintendent should study carefully
the provisions of law relating to trustees and
should submit to them for approval those matters
which require their approval and should likewise
consider carefully their recommendations relating
to all matters where consideration of such recom-
mendations is required.
(4) The County Superintendent should see that each
trustee has a copy for official use as long as he is


a trustee of the Handbook for School District Trus-
tees in Florida. He should help individual trus-
tees and groups of trustees to understand the pro-
visions of this handbook and to apply the sug-
gested best practices in their relationships with
the school program in the county.
(5) Trustees should be invited to attend functions of
the schools in their districts and should have such
honors and recognition as seem appropriate in
connection with the school program.
(6) Other suggestions relating to best practices are
given later in this handbook under specific topics
where relationships between trustees and the
County Superintendent are further discussed.

It is desirable that trustees see clearly the problems of
the schools in their respective districts as related to the
problems in the entire county and as a part of the State
program of education. If the trustees do not understand
this relationship, they are likely to be over-insistent on
matters relating to the welfare of their schools and to
lose sight of the relationship between the program in their
district and the program for the entire county.
It is desirable that an occasional county-wide meeting
be arranged so that trustees have opportunity to come
together and become better acquainted with the County
Board, the County Superintendent and with each other.
In fact, it would be desirable to have the principals of
the schools attend such meetings which might well be
held at least once each year. A number of counties hold
an evening meeting at which dinner may be served. A
program of interest to all which will help to center at-
tention on the county-wide outlook on educational prob-
lems and promote cooperation among the various districts
is desirable. Among the problems that might well be
considered at such a meeting are procedures in selection
and placement of teachers, community problems as re-
lated to the schools, procedures for purchasing school
supplies and equipment, regulating the use of school prop-
erty, or policies adopted by the County Board in develop-
ing the county school program.


The County Superintendent should plan from time to
time to attend meetings of district trustees in their own
districts and discuss with them their problems and sug-
gestions for solutions. Moreover, the County Superin-
tendent should encourage trustees to attend district meet-
ings held by the State Department of Education when
problems which would be of interest and benefit to trus-
tees are discussed. Usually such meetings which would
be helpful to trustees are held at least once each year.

Chapter III of the Trustees' Handbook deals with the
organization, meetings and term of office of trustees and
explains that the supervising principal of the district if
there is one, or some principal in the district elected by
the trustees, shall serve as secretary and any correspond-
ence shall be carried on through his office.
Chapter IV deals with elections. The following forms
prescribed, but not provided, by the State Department of
Education are to be used in commissioning trustees:

Form B-2s
County Board. of Public Instruction
State of Florida, County of ----...................
.............................................. 19........
To ............................. .......
To ------------------Florida
.......................... ... ........... F lorida
On the........day of---...........---............, A.D. 19......., you were duly elected
to be a Trustee in and for Special Tax School District No.............other-
wise known as................................school district, for the term of two
years beginning the first Tuesday after the first Monday in January,
19......., and continuing until your successor is elected and qualified
according to law. Accordingly you are hereby commissioned to act as
Trustee for said Special Tax School District for a period of not to
exceed two years as provided herein, and contingent on the faithful
performance of the duties required of you by law. A blank form of
acceptance is herewith enclosed, which you will please fill out and
return within ten (10) days, or the position will be declared vacant
and filled by appointment.
By order of the County Board of Public Instruction.

Sec. and Co. Supt. Pub. Inst.


Form B-2t
County of ....--...................
............................... ---- -... (P. O .) .................................. 19...
To...............-.................---- Secretary and Co. Supt. Public Instruction.
I have your letter of...................., enclosing Commission of the Board
of Public Instruction of this County confirming my election to serve
as Trustee of Special Tax School District No........., called---........---
....--.....-...School District.
I hereby accept this commission and pledge myself to endeavor at all
times to serve the best interest of the schools and to perform impar-
tially and faithfully all duties required of me by law.
Very respectfully,


Handbook for School District Trustees in Florida, State
Department of Education, Tallahassee, 1940.


Under ordinary circumstances, the location of school
centers and particularly of the larger school centers is
relatively fixed and permanent. The fact that a school
center is already in existence, however, does not mean
that it is properly located. Moreover, a school center
may be accommodating pupils in all of the grades when
it should properly serve only for elementary school pur-
poses. Frequently the area which the various school cen-
ters should serve has not been properly defined and
limited. In fact, there are still many unsolved problems
of various types relating to school centers.
The law makes the County Superintendent responsible
for recommending the location of school centers and the
area from which children should attend each school.
However, any recommendations which involve the elimi-
nation of district schools are required to be submitted to
trustees as explained later. (Sec. 433 (6-a).)
The proper location for a school center and the area
from which children should attend that center are matters
which frequently are not easy to determine. Ordinarily
it is not possible for a County Superintendent merely to
drive out and look over a situation and then decide where
the school center should be and where the pupils should
attend school. In fact, there have been many improperly
located centers throughout the country resulting from
just such recommendations. Improperly located centers
mean that too large a proportion of the children may have
to be transported or some of the class rooms may have to
be abandoned.
Scientific Studies. For a County Superintendent to sub-
mit sound recommendations relating to location of school
centers and the area from which children should attend
those centers requires accurate information. The County
Superintendent should have at hand maps showing the


location of schools and of every child of school age, other
maps showing the conditions of roads in rural areas and
in urban areas maps showing the location of through
streets and the sections of most rapid growth over a period
of years. Such maps are not necessarily difficult to make,
but require information which is sometimes difficult to
secure and which necessitates painstaking effort if it is
to be properly presented. Moreover, even after maps are
prepared, there are frequently questions of interpretation
which are difficult to solve. Sometimes local feelings are
so keenly involved that regardless of the recommenda-
tion which may be made, the Superintendent is likely to
be considered prejudiced. Under such circumstances com-
petent assistance from some agency outside the county
such as the State Department of Education may be de-
County or District Line Schools. The law clearly indi-
cates that school centers should be properly located with-
out reference to district or county lines. In other words,
if after considering topography, condition of roads, resi-
dence of pupils and all other pertinent factors, it is desir-
able to locate a school just inside a district or county
line to serve pupils in another district or county, such a
location should be recommended. The cooperation of
Boards of adjoining counties and trustees of adjoining
districts so that children may have access to the school
facilities they need without tuition charges, is required
by law. (Sec. 423 (6-d), 433 (6-d).)
In arriving at recommendations relating to attendance
areas for the various school centers district and county
lines should be ignored. A program which would permit
children to attend those centers which are most logical
for them to attend and which would involve least expense
without handicapping the pupils is what should be recom-
mended. If a cooperative arrangement with another
County Board is necessary to carry out this program, such
an arrangement should be recommended. Sec. 433 (6-d).)

Best Practices
(1) The County Superintendent should study carefully
the present location of school centers and the areas


from which children attend those centers in the
various parts of his county and should determine
insofar as possible the problems which seem to
exist because of improper or unwise locations. A
more intensive study should then be planned in
areas in which acute problems exist. If there are
many particularly acute problems he should pro-
pose to the County Board a plan for securing the co-
operation and assistance of representatives from
the State Department of Education in carrying on
the study.
T2) If the problems are not particularly acute the
County Superintendent and the school personnel
of the county should cooperate in preparing vari-
ous types of maps and carrying on their own study
in order to arrive at sound conclusions as to the
readjustments which are needed relating to the
location of school centers and attendance areas.
(3) If the assistance of the State Department of Edu-
cation is secured in studying these conditions and
advising regarding the proper locations, plans
should be made to interest the County Board in
adopting on the basis of these recommendations
a definite program which will determine where
centers are to be continued and where readjust-
ments should be made.
(4) All school centers should be classified as perma-
nent, that is those existing school centers or per-
haps even new school centers which are to be
needed in the program over a period of years and
which for all present and future purposes appear
to be permanent; as temporary, that is school cen-
ters which may need be continued for the pres-
ent, but which ultimately should be eliminated;
as probable, that is school centers about the de-
velopment of which there is some uncertainty and
which may or may not become permanent school
centers during coming years.
(5) When a definite program has been developed,
proposals relating to the elimination of schools in
the various districts should be taken up with the
trustees in order that they may understand the
facts and be in a position to arrive at similar con-
clusions. When trustees concur in the recommen-


dation, they should join the County Superintend-
ent in submitting recommendations to the County
Board. When there is a difference of opinion, the
Superintendent should submit to the County Board
a statement of the facts relating to the situation,
and the procedure of the Board should then be
in accordance with the procedure prescribed by
law relating to elimination of schools as explained
(6) The County Superintendent should seek to recom-
mend the arrangement of attendance areas so as
to prevent overlapping and duplication, to make
it possible for children to have access to the school
facilities which are best suited to their needs, and
to prevent children from being transported at the
public expense or from going at their own expense
to other school centers where their attendance
would be likely to result in complications for the
county program.
(7) When specialized facilities such as, for example,
a commercial department in a small high school,
are not available or are not practicable at the
school center which a pupil would logically attend
and when such facilities can be made available
for the pupil at another school center without ex-
cessive cost, the County Superintendent should
recommend adjustments to care for the needs of
such pupils.

Unless the County Board adopts satisfactory policies
and standards, each school in the county is likely to tend
to develop as a twelve year school regardless of the num-
ber of pupils enrolled. Such a situation of course would
be highly undesirable because of the excessive expense
that would be involved as well as the fact that children
in the smaller schools, particularly those in the upper
grades, even with the extra expense probably could not
obtain the facilities they should have. The Superintend-
ent is required to recommend plans and regulations for
determining school centers at which work should be re-
stricted to the elementary grades, centers at which work
should be offered only in the high school grades, and


school centers at which work should be offered in any
or all grades. He is also to recommend the grade or
grades in which work should be offered at each school
center. (Sec. 433 (6-e).)
Standards. As the basis for such recommendations
there should be careful studies along the lines recom-
mended above. Moreover, the County Superintendent
should assist the County Board in determining and estab-
lishing minimum standards which will assure that each
school center will be adequate to meet the needs of the
children. It is commonly recognized that elementary
schools having less than 200 pupils cannot readily offer
satisfactory work except at excessive cost nor can a junior
or senior high school with much less than 300 pupils give
satisfactory work except with excessive cost. Moreover,
in rural areas where high schools are likely to be small,
six year high schools are usually preferable to separate
junior and senior high schools, because of the cost factor
as well as other factors.
Organization. Furthermore, the County Superintend-
ent needs to study the whole problem of organization
of the school system to determine whether it should be
organized on the traditional 8-4 basis, the 6-3-3 basis
or on a 6-6 basis, or perhaps even on a 6-4-4. If there
is not some uniformity, schools in the county are likely
to be operating on different bases with many resulting
problems. The State law favors a 6-3-3 or 6-6 plan of
organization, but recognizes that there are conditions
under which an 8-4 organization may be desirable. (Sec.

Best Practices
(1) In addition to the determination of permanent,
probable and temporary school centers and at-
tendance areas either with or without assistance
from the State Department, the County Superin-
tendent should also prepare recommendations as
to which centers should serve for elementary
schools, which for high schools and which for both
elementary and high schools. Such recommenda-
tions should be based on desirable minimum stand-
ards adopted by the County Board and may be


reached on the basis on studies carried on with
the cooperation and assistance of the State De-
partment representatives.
(2) Until better evidence is available the 6-3-3 plan
or 6-6 plan should be recommended for the or-
ganization of the schools in the county. (The 6-6
plan is favored for rural areas.) Exceptions should
be recommended when there are building condi-
tions which cannot be readily overcome and which
would make it unnecessarily expensive to follow
fully another plan of organization. However, the
entire problem should continuously be studied to
determine the possibilities of improving the plan
of organization. No one plan of organization
should be accepted as final under present condi-
(3) The program which is recommended should pro-
vide for elimination of definite breaks and gaps
between the various grade levels. The junior high
school, for example, should be a logical and prac-
tical step from the elementary school and the
break between the sixth and seventh grades should
be reduced to a minimum.
(4) If the 6-3-3 or 6-6 plan of organization is adopted
definite recommendations should be made for pro-
viding adequate junior high school work for grades
seven to nine. The program should not be per-
mitted to stop at labeling a few schools as junior
high schools and then continuing the traditional
(5) The program should be so developed that no school
will be permitted to offer work above the grade
level designated for the school. For example, if
a school is designated as a six grade elementary
school, it should not be permitted to have pupils
in the seventh grade merely because the principal
would like to teach pupils in that grade or be-
cause the community wants the seventh grade to
remain. Such variations would soon break down
the plan of organization and needlessly handicap
the pupils involved.
A school should never be eliminated or consolidated
merely because such a step can be taken. There have


been many unwise consolidations of schools which have
resulted in excessive expense or handicaps to the chil-
dren in the community. All proposals relating to elimi-
nation and consolidation of schools should be worked
out as a part of the program involving the proper loca-
tion of schools and school centers as previously recom-
mended. In other words, there should be a definite reason
relating to the county-wide program for each such step
To eliminate a school does not necessarily mean to
abandon a school center. A high school may be elimi-
nated, for example, by limiting the work at a school
center to six grades instead of twelve. In other words,
the problem of elimination and consolidation of schools
ties in with the question of which centers should be
designated for elementary, junior or senior high school
work and which should not.
According to law it is the duty of the County Super-
"to determine when the needs of pupils can better be served by
eliminating school centers and by consolidating schools; to
recommend to the County Board plans for elimination of school
centers that should be eliminated and for the consolidation of
such schools as should be consolidated." (Sec. 433 (6-c).)
If school centers recommended for elimination are des-
ignated as district schools, however, the matter must be
submitted to the trustees for their consideration. If an
elementary school recommended for elimination or con-
solidation had less than 30 pupils in the average daily
attendance during the preceding year or a high school
had less than 75 pupils, the trustees are required either
to give their consent or to show cause why elimination
should not be effected. The matter is then left to the
County Board for a decision. If, however, the school is
larger, the decision of the trustees becomes final. (Sec.
443 (4).)

Best Practices
(1) Recommendations relating to elimination and con-
solidation of schools or school centers should grow
out of the study relating to the location of school
centers and attendance areas previously discussed.

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