Front Cover
 Title Page
 Table of Contents
 School board member’s creed
 Role of the county board and its...
 Relationships of the county...
 organization and meetings of the...
 Procedure for determining...
 Scope of work and general powers...
 Specific duties and responsibilities:...
 Specific duties and responsibilities:...
 Specific duties and responsibilities:...
 Specific duties and responsibilities:...
 Specific duties and responsibilities:...
 Specific duties and responsibilities:...
 Specific duties and responsibilities:...
 Specific duties and responsibilities:...
 Specific duties and responsibilities:...
 Code of ethics
 Index of responsibilities for county...

Title: Handbook for county school board members in Florida.
Full Citation
Permanent Link: http://ufdc.ufl.edu/UF00080925/00001
 Material Information
Title: Handbook for county school board members in Florida.
Physical Description: Book
Language: English
Creator: Florida Department of Education
Publisher: Florida Department of Education
Place of Publication: Tallahassee, Fla.
Publication Date: 1941
General Note: Florida Department of Education bulletin 17
 Record Information
Bibliographic ID: UF00080925
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.

Table of Contents
    Front Cover
        Front Cover 1
        Front Cover 2
    Title Page
        Page i
        Page ii
        Page iii
        Page iv
    Table of Contents
        Page v
        Page vi
        Page vii
        Page viii
        Page ix
    School board member’s creed
        Page x
        Page xi
        Page xii
    Role of the county board and its members
        Page 1
        Page 2
        Page 3
        Page 4
        Page 5
    Relationships of the county board
        Page 6
        Page 7
        Page 8
        Page 9
        Page 10
        Page 11
        Page 12
        Page 13
        Page 14
        Page 15
        Page 16
        Page 17
        Page 18
        Page 19
        Page 20
    organization and meetings of the board
        Page 21
        Page 22
        Page 23
        Page 24
        Page 25
        Page 26
        Page 27
        Page 28
        Page 29
        Page 30
        Page 31
        Page 32
        Page 33
    Procedure for determining policies
        Page 34
        Page 35
        Page 36
        Page 37
        Page 38
        Page 39
        Page 40
        Page 41
        Page 42
        Page 43
    Scope of work and general powers of the board
        Page 44
        Page 45
        Page 46
        Page 47
        Page 48
        Page 49
    Specific duties and responsibilities: Establishment and operation of schools
        Page 50
        Page 51
        Page 52
        Page 53
        Page 54
        Page 55
        Page 56
        Page 57
        Page 58
        Page 59
        Page 60
        Page 61
    Specific duties and responsibilities: School personnel
        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
        Page 75
        Page 76
    Specific duties and responsibilities: Child welfare
        Page 77
        Page 78
        Page 79
        Page 80
        Page 81
        Page 82
    Specific duties and responsibilities: The instructional program
        Page 83
        Page 84
        Page 85
        Page 86
        Page 87
    Specific duties and responsibilities: Transportation of pupils
        Page 88
        Page 89
        Page 90
        Page 91
        Page 92
        Page 93
    Specific duties and responsibilities: The school plant
        Page 94
        Page 95
        Page 96
        Page 97
        Page 98
        Page 99
    Specific duties and responsibilities: School finance
        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
    Specific duties and responsibilities: School districts
        Page 114
        Page 115
        Page 116
        Page 117
        Page 118
    Specific duties and responsibilities: Records and reports
        Page 119
        Page 120
    Code of ethics
        Page 121
        Page 122
        Page 123
        Page 124
        Page 125
        Page 126
    Index of responsibilities for county boards
        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
Full Text

County School Board Members

Florida Program
For Improvement of Schools
December, 1940

.,, Florida




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..-I '- -,,';. ". :

Handbook For

Florida Program
For Improvement of Schools
Bulletin No. 17
December, 1940

Prepared At The
University of Florida, Gainesville
Edgar L. Morphet, Director

COLIN ENGLISH, Superintendent
Tallahassee, Florida

Edgar L. Morphet, Director of Administration and Fin-
ance, State Department of Education
M. W. Carothers, Director of Instruction, State Depart-
ment of Education
N. L. Engelhardt, Jr., Professor of Education (Summer),
University of Florida
T. George Walker, Manager, State Textbook Service, and
Supervisor, School Transportation, State Department
of Education
M. B. Chamberlain, Principal, Barberville
Mrs. Charles M. Fisher, Miami Senior High School, Miami
M. S. Hayes, Manager, State Textbook Exchange, Jack-
C. I. Hollingsworth, Superintendent Polk County
A. F. Swapp, Principal, St. Cloud
C. H. Gray, Superintendent, Gadsden County
D. H. Moore, Superintendent, Lake County
James T. Wilson, Superintendent, Dade County
Colin Lindsey, Board Member, Marion County
A. D. Reams, Board Member, Madison County
C. H. Teeter, Board Member, Pinellas County
R. L. Smith, Trustee, Polk County
T. R. Jones, Principal, Madison High School, Madison
R. E. Kipp, Elementary Principal, Sanford

Sponsored by
The Research Committee
of the
Florida Education Association


One of the most strategic and important school posi-
tions in any county is that of County Board Member.
The County Board is elected by the people of the county
to determine the policies which should be followed in
developing the school program. It would be difficult to
conceive of any group that would have a greater responsi-
bility than that of determining policies relating to the
welfare of the children of the county. Decisions or fail-
ure to make decisions regarding policies may mean all
the difference between good and poor schools.
Present law, which constitutes a major improvement
over the laws which existed before 1939, defines quite
fully the duties and responsibilities of the County Board.
It differentiates between duties of the County Board and
those of other groups of school officials. However, laws
cannot possibly cover all matters that may arise in con-
nection with the operation of the school system. It is
possible for a County Board to follow the minimum re-
quirements of law and still make so many unwise decisions
regarding policies that the entire county school program
is handicapped.
This handbook is intended primarily to explain and
supplement the law. It is, of course, impossible for any
handbook to tell County Board Members, or any other
group,.exactly what to do and what not to do under any
and all circumstances. This handbook does point out
many of the best policies and practices that should be
followed but, like any other handbook, it can be of
maximum value only when used by persons of good
judgment and unquestioned integrity who are sincerely
interested in trying to improve the schools.
It is recommended that each County Board Member
keep a copy of this handbook available for convenient
reference at all times. A careful study of the contents
should help all Board Members to be in a better position
to contribute to the proper development of the school
program in their respective counties.
COLIN ENGLISH, State Superintendent
R. P. TERRY,.President
State Association of School Board Members

Chapter Page
PURPOSE ................................................. .................... ix
SCHOOL BOARD MEMBER'S CREED ........................... x
Control of Schools Vested in County Board ................ 1
Broad Responsibilities of the Board ........................... 1
County Board not an Administrative or
Executive Body ....................................... ........... 2
The Place of the County Board ................................... 3
The Individual Board Member ..................................... 4
The Board Member as an Individual ........................... 5
State and Federal Agencies ....................................... 6
Miscellaneous Professional and Other Organizations .... 11
Relationships within the County ................................... 13
The County Superintendent ......................................... 15
Attorney for the Board ............................................ 17
Trustees ................................................ ..................... 17
Professional and Clerical Assistants to the
County Superintendent ............................;................. 19
Relationships to Sources of Information ..................... 19
Qualifications of Members ........................................... 21
Election and Term ........................................... ........ 21
Organization .................................................. .............. 23
M meetings .................................................. ................. 24
Minutes and Records ..................................... .......... 26
Rules and Regulations Relating to the
Organization of the Board ......................................... 28
Importance of Policies .................................... ......... 34
W hat are Policies? ........................................... ........ 35
Good and Bad Policies ..................................... ......... 36
How Policies are Developed .......................................... 37
Policies as Related to the Annual and Long-
Time School Program ............................................ 40
Policies as Related to Rules and Regulations .............. 40
Execution of Policies ....................................... ...... 41
Policies not Final ........................................................ ... 41
Policy Book or Index Essential ..................................... 42
Many Duties Required .................................... .......... 44
General Powers ........................................... .......... .. 45

Chapter Page
Specific Powers and Duties .......................................... 46
Responsibility for Safety ............................................ 48
VI. Specific Duties and Responsibilities: ESTABLISHMENT
Location of Schools and School Centers ...................... 50
Attendance Areas .......................................................... 52
Organization of Schools ..................................... ........ 53
Scope of W ork ............................................ ............ 54
Elimination or Consolidation of Schools ....................... 55
Standardization and Classification of the Schools ........ 57
County or State Line Schools ....................................... 58
Kindergarten and Nursery Schools ............................... 58
Opening and Closing Date .......................................... 59
School Holidays and Vacation Periods ....................... 60
Vocational Schools and Classes and Vocational
Rehabilitation .............................................. ........... 61
VII. Specific Duties and Responsibilities: SCHOOL
Positions and Qualifications ......................................... 62
Leave. of A absence ........................................................ ... 65
Administrative, Supervisory, and Office
Assistants, and Bus Drivers ....................................... 66
Employees in District Schools ..................................... 67
Employees in Schools other than District Schools ........ 68
Salary Schedules ............................................. .......... 69
Contracts and Terms of Service ................................... 69
Continuing Contracts ..................................... .......... 71
Transfer and Promotion .................................... ......... 73
Suspension and Dismissal ................................... ........ 74
Certificates for Teachers ................................... ........ 75
Substitute and Temporary Teachers ............................. 76
Retirement of Teachers ............................................ 76
VIII. Specific Duties and Responsibilities: CHILD WELFARE
School Census ............................................. .............. 77
Admission and Attendance of Children ....................... 77
Compulsory Attendance ............................................. 78
Classification, Promotion, and Graduation of Pupils .... 79
Control of Pupils ............................................ ........... 80
Education of Special Groups ....................................... 81
Health and Sanitation ...................................... ......... 81
IX. Specific Duties and Responsibilities: THE
Improvement of Instruction ......................................... 83

Chapter Page
Improvement of Instructional Materials ..................... 84
Textbooks ................................................. ................ 85
Other Instructional Aids ............................................ 85
School Libraries .......................................................... ... 86
X. Specific Duties and Responsibilities:
Purposes of Transportation ........................................... 88
Equipm ent ................................................................... 89
Bus Routes ............................................. .................. 90
Drivers ................................................. ...................... 92
Operation of Buses ........................................ ........... 93
XI. Specific Duties and Responsibilities: THE SCHOOL
School Building Program ............................................ 94
School Sites ..................................................... .............. 95
Buildings and Equipment ........................................... 96
Maintenance and Upkeep ........................................... 97
Insurance ............................................. .................... 98
Use of School Buildings ................................................ 99
XII. Specific Duties and Responsibilities: SCHOOL
School Program ............................................................... 100
School Budget ................................................................. 101
District Current School Funds ..................................... 102
County Current School Funds ....................................... 103
State School Funds ..................................................... 103
Apportioning State and County School Funds ............. 105
Expenditures ................................................................ 106
Contracts .......................................................................... 109
School Depositories ....................................................... 110
School Bonds .................................................................... 110
Indebtedness ................................................................ 111
XIII. Specific Duties and Responsibilities: SCHOOL
Organization of Districts ............................................... 114
District Elections ........................................................... 115
Trustees .......................................................................... 116
District Budget and Expenditures ............................... 116
Bonds and Interest and Sinking Funds ....................... 117
XIV. Specific Duties and Responsibilities: RECORDS
Forms, Blanks, and Reports ......................................... 119
Reports to State Superintendent ................................. 120

Chapter Page
Significance of a Code of Ethics .................................. 121
Proposed Code of Ethics .............................................. 122
INDEX OF RESPONSIBILITIES .................................... 127

It is the Purpose of this Handbook
1. To define the role of the County Board member.
2. To interpret the general powers of the Board, its
obligations and opportunities.
3. To furnish information in simplified form concern-
ing the essential requirements of the school law as
they apply to the duties, obligations and oppor-
tunities of the Board.
4. To assist in the development of better practices in
county school administration by establishing min-
imum standards for board procedure.
5. To provide suggestions which will assist in the de-
velopment of more effective cooperation among
county, state, and national agencies concerned with
education in and out of school.
6. To suggest procedures which will encourage demo-
cratic participation by professional staff, community
groups, and laymen in the development of policies
and programs.

This handbook is intended to be used by County Board
members, County Superintendents, trustees, teachers, and
others who are interested in schools:
1. To aid in determining responsibilities of the Board
and its individual members.
2. To serve as a ready reference manual for guidance
of Board members in the solution of problems.
3. To promote a better understanding by the profes-
sional staff and the public of the organization of
the school system and of the responsibilities of the
4. To promote better relationships between County
Boards and County Superintendents, and between
County Boards and trustees, by aiding in defining
and differentiating responsibilities.

school Boarb flember's Creeb
I believe in the public schools and in public education
in a Democracy. I am convinced that one of the best
means of improving our civilization and our democratic
form of government is through an adequate system of
education properly adjusted to the demands of modern
civilization. I believe in the democratic development of
an educational program planned to meet the needs of all
and supported by the resources of the entire county,
State, and Nation. I believe in the possibility of attain-
ing these objectives through intelligent, continuing, co-
operative endeavor, and am resolved to dedicate my
efforts to that end.
Asa member of a County Board, established by law to de-
termine best policies for the school program of the county
and to see that these policies are properly carried out so
that the system of schools may be adequate and efficient, I
believe in, subscribe to, and shall observe the following:
Representing the People of the County
I will seek at all times to determine the needs of the chil-
dren and to develop a progressive, forward-looking edu-
cational program which will be adequate to meet these
I will remember that I represent the people of the entire
county, not of just the district from which I was nom-
inated or the community in which I have financial in-
I will consider my position as one of trust and confidence
and will endeavor to make decisions which will promote
the welfare of the schools in the entire county.
I will attempt to keep myself informed regarding all
duties and responsibilities of county board members and
will perform such duties to the best of my ability.
I will avoid using my position for personal gain or political
profit, and will sincerely endeavor to see that the schools
are not at any time involved in or embarrassed by politics.
I will seek to function as the law intends; that is, as a
member of a legislative or policy determining body and
not as an administrative or executive officer.
I will seek to interpret to the schools the attitudes, wishes,
and needs of the people of the county and will endeavor

to interpret to the people the needs, problems, and prog-
ress of the schools.
I will cooperate in developing the county school program
as an integral part of and in proper relationship to the
State program of education.
I will insist that all business transactions of the Board be
open and above board and be on sound ethical and busi-
ness bases.
I will constantly recall the purpose of the County Board
and try to do my part toward giving the people of my
county the highest educational opportunities the county
can afford, under the most wholesome, healthful, and safe
surroundings possible.
I will see that all school funds are economically and effi-
ciently expended in such manner that the children of the
county will receive the maximum benefit possible at all
In Maintaining Desirable Relations with Other
Boards and Other Members of the Board
I will keep in touch with the State Association of School
Board Members and other similar professional organiza-
tions that may be beneficial to me and to the schools, and
will seek to aid in strengthening and promoting such
I will respect and give due credit to the achievements of
my predecessors and colleagues.
I will work as a member of the board and will never try
to be a committee of one to put policies into practice.
I will insist that all board business be transacted in prop-
erly scheduled meetings.
I will express my opinion frankly in meetings of the Board
and will attempt to have all decisions made for the best
interest of the schools. However, after a decision has
once been made; I will accept and abide by the results and
will make no disparaging remarks in or out of the board
meetings about other members of the Board or their
I will make decisions in board meetings only after all
sides of a question have been presented and will vote in
accordance with my best judgment of the proper decision
to make.
In Working with the County Superintendent and His Staff
I will recognize the County Superintendent as the ex-
ecutive officer responsible for administering the schools
efficiently in accordance with law and regulations.

I will participate in determination of Board policies only
after considering the recommendation of the Superinten-
dent and only after he has furnished complete informa-
tion supporting his recommendation.
I will depend upon the superintendent to keep the Board
properly informed at all times through oral and written
I will see that adequate safeguards are provided for the
Superintendent and other personnel and that they have
authority commensurate with their responsibilities so
that they may properly perform the functions of educa-
tion on a professional basis.
I will refer all complaints to the proper administrative
officer or insist that they be presented in writing to the
Board as a whole.
I will present any personal criticism of employees to the
Superintendent, rather than to laymen or to other persons
connected with the schools.
I will speak well of all my associates, board members,
Superintendent, trustees, principals, supervisors, teachers,
and others connected with the schools.
I will never divulge matters pertaining to the welfare of
the schools which, if discussed with others, would be
likely to lead to misunderstanding and harm to the
I will expect the schools to be staffed by the best trained
technical and professional people it is possible to secure
and will appoint only such qualified employees as are
properly recommended by the County Superintendent or



Statements regarding the control of the schools of the
county are found in three places in the school law. Sec-
tion 215 provides:
"The general control of the public schools of the State shall
be vested in the State Board. The immediate control of the
schools of any county shall be vested in the County Board."
Section 403 of Chapter IV outlines the plan for control,
organization, administration, and supervision of the
schools. Sub-section (2) provides that:
"Responsibility for the organization and control of the public
schools of the county shall be vested in the county board as pro-
vided in Article 2 of this chapter of the School Code."
Section 435 makes clear that the schools in each district
are under the control of the County Board. The Section
reads as follows:
"All public schools conducted within school districts for the
support of which school district funds are used shall be under
the direction and control of the county board with the county
superintendent as executive officer and shall be subject to the
same laws, rules and regulations, as are prescribed for the con-
duct of all schools in the county except as hereinafter pre-
These provisions do not mean that the County Board
has entire control of the schools of the county and can
operate them as it sees fit. In fact, Section 403, sub-
section (1) provides specifically that:
"The county school system shall be considered as a part of the
State system of public education. All actions of county school
officials shall be consistent and in harmony with State laws and
with rules and regulations and minimum standards of the State

The fact that the control of the schools of the county is
vested in the County Board would imply broad powers


and responsibilities. One of the basic responsibilities of
the County Board and of each board member, of course, is
to carry out provisions of law. Approximately eighteen
pages of the School Code are devoted to the presentation
of powers, duties, and responsibilities of the Board (Sec-
tions 422 and 423). If a Board member fails to carry out
any of these legal requirements, he is not only violating
the law, but is neglecting one of his basic opportunities
and obligations.
The law further charges the County Board with the
responsibility for providing educational opportunities
prescribed by law which go beyond the minimum require-
ments prescribed for the State. Section 301 provides:
".... The responsibility for the actual operation and ad-
ministration of all schools needed within the counties in con-
formity with regulations and minimum standards prescribed by
the State, and also the responsibility for the provision of any
desirable and practicable opportunities authorized by law be-
yond those required by the State are delegated by law to the
school officials of the respective counties."
However, even with the comprehensive provisions in-
dicated above, the law cannot possibly prescribe all the
responsibilities of the Board. There are responsibilities
for maintaining proper relationships with the school offi-
cials of other counties, for working cooperatively with
the county superintendent and the school personnel of
the county, for working harmoniously with trustees, and
for securing the cooperation and support of the public
which cannot possibly be covered by law. If the County
Board should fail in these phases of its responsibilities,
the failure would be likely to result in untold harm to
the schools even though the Board had carried out to the
letter all basic requirements prescribed by law.

The law specifically provides that the County Board is
to determine policies necessary for the efficient operation
and general improvement of the county school system
and to provide for their proper execution (Section 422
(1).). It is made clear in a number of places in the law
that the County Board is not to be the administrative nor


the executive body for the county. In fact, the county
superintendent is set up as the secretary and executive
officer of the County Board (Section 431) and is to have
the responsibility for the administration of the schools
and for the supervision of instruction in the county (Sec-
tion 403 (3).). It is very important that County Boards
adhere consistently and strictly to this division of au-
thority in order to avoid conflict and confusion. Any
action taken by the Board in an administrative or execu-
tive capacity would be contrary both to the spirit and to
the letter of the law.
The Board is responsible for adopting policies relating
to all phases of the school program and is not, as is some-
times assumed, to be responsible only for the business
management and to leave the instructional program to
the county superintendent.

From the above discussion, the place of the County
Board in the school program of the county should be
clear. The County Board occupies one of the most stra-
tegic positions. As the policy determining body repre-
senting the people of the county, it is in position to de-
cide upon policies which will make possible the develop-
ment of an excellent school program. On the other hand,
it is in position to adopt policies which will make impos-
sible the development of a program adequate to meet the
needs of the children. Of course, the County Board can-
not take the place of an incompetent superintendent or
an inefficient staff. However, it can set the pace for all
school personnel of the county and require such standards
that the selection of a competent superintendent and
capable staff will be the logical outcome.
In many counties in Florida the school program has
traditionally been conducted on a high plane. The coun-
ty superintendent has been held responsible for admin-
istering the schools. Personnel have been selected and
retained on the basis of merit and the entire school pro-
gram has been conducted on an economical and efficient
basis. On the other hand, there are some counties in
which the schools have been in an almost constant state


of turmoil. There apparently have been no clearly de-
fined policies, and decisions seem to have been made on
the basis of expediency. Politics have again and again
entered into the operation of various phases of the school
program and the results have been disastrous.

These marked differences are due largely to the part
played by the County Board and, of course, basically to
the people themselves. If the people have been insist-
ent on selecting for membership on the County Board
only the most capable persons who hold to the highest
standards for conducting the school work, they can ex-
pect to have a Board which will tend to establish sound
policies for the operation of the schools. If, on the other
hand, the people are indifferent or complacent about
what happens, persons may be elected to the Board who
are politically minded or who are interested in using the
schools only for their own benefit. The County Board
is thus in excellent position to help or to handicap the
children of the county.

No County Board is stronger than its individual mem-
bers. If one member on the Board is not interested, is
not familiar with duties of a board member, or if he is
seeking to use the schools for his own advantage or for
the advantage of his own community, the entire Board is
weakened to that extent. If, on a three-member Board,
there are two members of that type, it is obvious that the
entire county school system would be greatly handi-
The individual Board member must hold high stan-
dards for himself and for the entire Board. It is his duty
to observe these standards at all times and to help to see
that they are observed by other members of the Board.
He should familiarize himself with every detail of the
law, with the philosophy or point of view underlying the
law, and should sincerely seek to see that the spirit of the
law and the intent of the Florida Program for the Im-
provement of Schools are carried out in developing the
school program for his own county.


The County Board's responsibility lies in the organiza-
tion and control of the public schools of the county. The
individual member can act most effectively in developing
policies to fulfill this responsibility if he becomes familiar
with the wishes and needs of the community within his
county as they relate to the operation of the schools. He
should bring to the board meeting expressions of majority
and minority groups in order that all sides of questions
may be considered before a decision is reached. How-
ever, it is equally important that the individual member
make no commitments in regard to those expressions
until he is sitting with the Board in regular and special
Action on the county superintendent's recommenda-
tions cannot be taken intelligently except as the indi-
vidual member understands all the implications on which
such actions are based. These implications can only be
developed after constant study of the place of the schools
in society and the wants and needs of the people of the
Legally the County Board must operate as a whole.
Actions pertaining to the operation of the schools by in-
dividual members outside of meetings of the Board are
legally ineffective. Since no action can be taken by mem-
bers as individuals, the role of the board member outside
of board meetings is limited to a study of the school prob-
lems in order that he may act more effectively in the meet-
ings. Action taken outside of these meetings, in the eyes
of the law, is the individual's responsibility and not the
responsibility of the Board.
Each member of the board should be strictly ethical in
all relationships with other board members, with the
county superintendent, and with members of the staff.
If any member of the board seeks to build up a political
machine through his membership on the board, or seeks
to use his position to create sentiment against other mem-
bers of the board or of the school organization, he is not
only being unethical but is taking steps that sooner or
later are likely to harm the entire school program.



The problem of relationships is of great importance to
the County Board. If all relationships can be satisfac-
torily worked out and maintained on a desirable level,
the school program should move along smoothly. The
lack of understanding of proper relationships or unsatis-
factory relationships can quickly nullify practically all
other efforts of the Board.
The Board is responsible for maintaining satisfactory
relationships with many individuals and groups. Some
of those are State or National in scope; others, county-
wide in scope; while still others are directly connected
with the school program in the districts and in the vari-
ous schools of the county.


State Educational Agencies
Public education is recognized by law as a function of
the State. It is, therefore, of the greatest importance
that county school officials maintain a very close and co-
.operative relationship with all State officials connected
with the educational program, and particularly with the
State Board of Education and the State Superintendent
of Public Instruction.
Funds derived from the State constitute a -relatively
large proportion of the school revenues in practically all
counties. In 1939-40 State funds constituted 62.0 per
cent of the revenues available for the support and main-
tenance of schools. It would, therefore, be expected that
the State should take such steps as are needed to see that
State funds are expended economically and advantage-
ously. In fact, it is to the interest of the State to see that


the school program in each county is properly administer-
ed so that all children may have at least a desirable
minimum in the way of educational facilities.

State Board of Education. The functions of the State
Board of Education are State-wide and parallel those of
the County Board in many respects, except that, of course,
the State Board has no direct responsibility for the con-
trol of schools in the various counties since that is vested
in the County Board. The State Board does, however, de-
termine policies and prescribe rules and regulations and
minimum standards for the operation of the schools of the
State. Any rules and regulations of the State Board have
the full force and effect of law, and must be observed in
operating the county school program. (Sec. 306).

The State Superintendent. The State Superintendent is
elected by the people of the State to lead in formulating
and directing a State program of education. It is his
responsibility to recommend policies and regulations to
the State Board, to see that those which are adopted are
carried into effect, and to provide leadership and guid-
ance for the schools. County school officials are expect-
ed to attend conferences called by the State Superintend-
ent and otherwise keep in close touch with the State

State Department of Education. The State Department
of Education is organized by law to assist the State Sup-
erintendent in carrying out his responsibilities. The
State Department is staffed by persons with special train-
ing in the various phases of education. The staff mem-
bers are in position to help the county school systems of
the State to solve their various problems. The Depart-
ment is organized with two major divisions: the division
of Administration and Finance, which is responsible for
providing leadership and assisting with all problems in
fields which do not directly involve the teaching program,
but which must be satisfactorily solved before successful
teaching is possible; and the division of Instruction, which
is responsible for all problems directly involving in-


Best Policies
(1) County Board members should seek to understand
the background and objectives of the State pro-
gram, and should at all times endeavor to work in
close cooperation with State officials.
(2) County Board members should keep fully inform-
ed regarding all State regulations and policies, and
should see that these are observed in the county.
(3) The County Board should see that all minimum
standards and requirements prescribed by the
State are met promptly and efficiently. Neglect or
failure to do this, not only handicaps the school
program in the county, but also detracts from the
State program.
(4) County Board members should join and participate
wholeheartedly in all movements directed toward
the improvement of the State program of educa-
tion. If there is any disagreement on objectives,
these should be fully discussed with State officials
in order to arrive at agreement. County officials
should never go to the public with differences of
opinion which could have been worked out in con-
ference and which will only serve to confuse the
(5) County officials should find out what services are
provided by the State Department and should
always be alert to the possibility of using those ser-
vices advantageously in their county. Surveys,
special advice on school buildings, assistance in
developing salary schedules, and other similar
services can readily be obtained on request.
(6) Services provided through the State Department
should be used to aid in developing a program
which will prevent difficulties instead of waiting
until the difficulties become acute and then trying
to solve the problems.

Other State Agencies and Departments
There are a number of other State agencies and depart-
ments whose functions involve the schools to some extent.
In fact, almost every State agency has some functions
which are relatedto school programs. The State Board


of Health cooperates in developing county health pro-
grams which are of vital concern to the schools and pro-
vides many other services relating to health and sanita-
tion. The State Textbook Purchasing Board contracts
for purchasing books provided for the schools. The State
Treasurer handles the State Teachers Salary Fund and
other State funds. The Attorney General renders opin-
ions relating to school laws on request of the State Sup-
erintendent based on requests from county officials. The
Comptroller supervises the collection of State school
funds. Information regarding elections, organization of
the Board, and other similar information must be filed
with the Secretary of State. The State Auditor's office
is responsible for auditing all school accounts. The
Florida Industrial Commission administers the Child
Labor and Workmen's Compensation Acts. These are
only a few of the functions of State agencies which are
closely related to the school program.
Best Policies
(1) The County Board should follow and should re-
quire the superintendent and his staff to follow the
policy of keeping in touch with different State
agencies, determining services which may be of
benefit to the schools, and utilizing such services.
(2) County school officials should at all times co-
operate fully and wholeheartedly with the vari-
ous State agencies serving in legitimate capacities.
They should, however, guard against State agen-
cies whose functions are not primarily educational
and which may seek to get control of some phase
of the school program or to use the schools merely
for propaganda purposes.

Institutions of Higher Learning
Cooperation with Institutions of Higher Learning will
be helpful in developing a better program of education in
any county. The County Board and Institutions of High-
er Learning can cooperate in sponsoring programs in-
volving adult education, extension and correspondence
courses of various types. Courses for teachers, either dur-
ing the school year or during the summer, sponsored co-


operatively by the State Department of Education, Insti-
tutions of Higher Learning, and the County Board can be
of great value.
Best Policy
The County Board should seek ways and means of
utilizing the services of Institutions of Higher
Learning in improving the training of teachers and
in otherwise improving the school program of the

The Legislature
The Legislature, of course, is responsible for passing
all laws and, therefore, is legally responsible for de-
termining all basic policies relating to the school program
within the limits of the Constitution. If the Legislature
or legislators are critical of the schools, there is usually
some basis for such criticism. It may arise because the
schools in just a few counties with which those legislators
are familiar are not efficiently operated.
The first responsibility of County Boards in dealing
with the Legislature is to see that their school program is
functioning properly. If that is done, there can be no
legitimate basis for criticism. Any misunderstandings can
readily be removed.
County Board members should at all times keep in close
touch with the legislators from their counties and should
help them to understand the school program. Legisla-
tors should be encouraged to promote measures for the
welfare of the schools, but these measures should gen-
erally be State-wide in nature. Board members should
help legislators understand the value of discussing such
proposals with school leaders before trying to get them
adopted by the legislature.
Best Policies
(1) County Board members should seek to under-
stand their legislators and should help them to
understand the schools.
(2) Legislators should be encouraged to support need-
ed State educational legislation, and to withhold


their support from legislation which does not have
the approval of educational leaders. Local legis-
lation pertaining to schools should be considered

(3) Board members should be alert to any criticism of
the schools, should remove the bases for such
criticism, and should be prompt to correct wrong

Federal Agencies
The County Board does not deal directly with many
Federal agencies. There are a number of Federal de-
partments which provide services and information of
value to the schools. The Children's Bureau is concerned
with many problems relating to children, including the
Fair Labor Standards Act as it applies to children. The
U. S. Office of Education collects and makes available in-
formation relating to all phases of education and ad-
ministers funds for vocational education. The Works
Projects Administration cooperates in certain projects
sponsored by the County Board, such as projects for the
construction of school buildings, the improvement of
grounds, etc. The National Youth Administration pro-
vides aid for students.

Best Policies
(1) The County Board should encourage acquaintance
with and use of all beneficial services and in-
formation provided through Federal agencies.
(2) Attempts of Federal agencies to usurp functions
of education which properly belong to the State
should be carefully guarded against, since educa-
tion is the function of the State and not of the
Federal Government.

There are a number of professional and other organiza-
tions with which the County Board should maintain
friendly relationships. Among those are the following:


The State Association of School Board Members
Every board member should belong to this organization
and should help it to become increasingly significant in
improving the school program of the State. Board mem-
bers cannot become acquainted with and solve all prob-
lems merely by studying problems in their own counties.
They must keep in touch with developments elsewhere.
The State Association of School Board Members can
help the schools of the State materially. Its members
should seek to understand the school program and to aid
in its proper development. They should see that the or-
ganization is directed or controlled by individuals who
genuinely have the interest of the public schools at heart
and are not merely seeking their own advancement at
any cost to the schools.

The Continuing Educational Council
The Continuing Educational Council has for a number
of years been very significant in helping to establish
school policies and promoting legislation for improvement
of the schools of the State. It is comprised of representa-
tives of various lay and professional organizations.
Measures sponsored by the Continuing Council should
have the wholehearted support of County Board members.

Florida Education Association
This is a professional organization of school people of
the State. Practically all teachers, principals, and others
belong. Board members can benefit from attending the
meetings of the Association and otherwise keeping in
touch with developments. The State Association of
School Board Members usually holds its annual meeting
just prior to the meeting of the Florida Education As-

Florida Congress of Parents and Teachers
Practically all board members are already fully ac-
quainted with the important contributions of this organ-
ization. It has been a most important organization in


helping to promote the school program and in aiding the
schools to keep out of politics. The County Board should
encourage a strong organization of Parent-Teacher As-
sociations in the county and should work in close coopera-
tion with the county PTA Council.

The County Teachers Organization

Many counties already have an active teachers organ-
ization. Such an organization should be encouraged in
every county as principals, teachers and others need to
meet together from time to time to discuss matters of
professional interest and to aid in developing plans for
improving the county program of education.


The Public

County Board members of each county are elected by
and represent the people of the entire county. The Board
cannot make any more rapid progress with the school
program than the people will support. Usually, the pub-
lic is willing to support progressive measures in proportion
to its understanding of educational goals, problems, and
needs. The Board at all times should be willing to hear
those who wish to be heard, including minority groups,
and should seek to show the entire public that all de-
cisions are for the best interest of the schools. It is the
function of the board to decide upon the best educational
program for the county and to help the public under-
stand and appreciate that program-not to cater to ev-
ery shallow or selfish shift in sentiment.
Best Policies
(1) In its dealing with the public, the Board should be
open and aboveboard. It should not attempt to
mislead the public or conceal pertinent facts.
(2) The Board should sincerely try to understand the
wishes of the people regarding the school program
of the county and evaluate these in the light of real


(3) The public should at all times be kept informed
regarding the school program. It is the responsi-
bility of the Board and school officials to help
the people in the county to understand the school
program so that they may be in position to co-
operate in bringing about needed improvements.
(4) The Board should adopt sound policies and adhere
to them. It should avoid shifting policies at the
least change in public sentiment, but should be
willing to modify a policy when there is a real
(5) The public should be encouraged to discuss its
problems and grievances with the county superin-
tendent rather than with individual Board mem-
bers. If any individuals or minority groups feel
that they are not getting a fair hearing from the
county superintendent, such groups should be in-
vited to come before a Board meeting.
(6) The Board should carefully listen to all criticisms
and use these as a basis for finding and correcting
Other County and City Officials
The County Board cannot work in isolation from other
county and city officials. It must have the cooperation
of the county commissioners, of the county health unit,
or recreational and park boards, and of numerous other
officials and groups before the school program can be
satisfactorily worked out and integrated with the coun-
ty program.

Best Policies
(1) A cooperative working relationship should be
maintained with all county officials.
(2) The needs of the schools should be kept clearly be-
fore the county officials at all times.
(3) The County Board should sponsor cooperative pro-
grams, such as those involving the county health
unit, which are planned for the improvement of
the schools. Cooperative arrangements might well
be worked out for schools to have access to park
and play areas.


Lay Organizations
There are numerous lay organizations in every county
which should be kept informed regarding the school pro-
gram and encouraged to be interested in its proper devel-
opment. The Board should guard against these organ-
izations using the schools for their own advancement.
The organization of a county lay council comprised of
representatives from such groups as the following should
be encouraged: (1) Professional educational groups,
(2) other professional groups, (3) other educational or-
ganizations, (4) welfare associations, (5) civic groups,
(6) federated women's clubs, (7) American Legion,
(8) fraternal organizations, (9) federated labor groups,
(10) church organizations, (11) parent-teacher associa-
tions, (12) newspaper editors, (13) movie exhibitors,
(14) radio stations, and (15) legislative groups. Such a
council, if properly organized, might well become a very
significant force in sponsoring plans for and bringing
about improvements in the school program.

The relationship existing between the County Board
and the county superintendent is so important that the
success or the failure of the school program may be in-
volved. In Florida the county superintendents represent
the people just as do the members of the County Board.
While the county superintendent cannot carry out policies
which have been rejected by the County Board, he can,
if necessary, carry his case to the people just as can the
County Board members. That, however, would be an ex-
treme situation and should never be permitted to occur.
If board members and county superintendents cannot
cooperate as the law requires or cannot resolve their dif-
ferences, there is obviously something wrong. Before
concluding that the superintendent is at fault, the Board
should carefully evaluate its own policies and motives,
and if a difference still exists should seek assistance from
the State Department of Education in bringing about a
better basis for cooperation.


The county superintendent should be expected to serve
as the professional and business leader and executive for
the schools of the county. He not only should have college
training but should have special training in school ad-
ministration and supervision unless he has an unusually
rich background of experience which would enable him
to assume his proper responsibilities as an executive.
Above all, the County Board must not attempt to inter-
fere in the administration of the schools. The county
superintendent should be held responsible for performing
his duties and given every support needed to perform
them satisfactorily. The relationships between the Coun-
ty Boards and county superintendents in specific fields or
areas of service are discussed in other chapters. Atten-
tion here is centered chiefly on the principles that should
be followed in a satisfactory program of relationships.
Best Policies
(1) The County Board should at all times cooperate
fully with the county superintendent as required
by law.
(2) All relationships between the County Board and
county superintendent should be open and above-
board. Any underhanded or secret undermining
of the superintendent will in the long run be dis-
astrous. The County Board should recognize the
county superintendent as its executive officer, and
should hold him responsible for the satisfactory
administration of the schools.
(3) The County Board should insist on the selection of
the most competent staff that can be secured.
(4) The Board should recognize that all assistants are
responsible to the superintendent and through him
to the Board. They should not permit any mem-
ber of the staff to feel that he can evade his re-
sponsibility to the superintendent.
(5) The County Board should look to the county sup-
erintendent for advice and recommendations, both
on professional and business phases of the pro-


(6) The board should not attempt to usurp or take
over the functions of the executive, as that will
only complicate and confuse issues. If the super-
intendent neglects to carry out his responsibili-
ties, steps should be taken to see that he is re-
placed by someone who is competent.

It is not necessary for the Board to employ an attorney,
although legal advice may be necessary from time to time,
and the Board will, of course, have to pay for that advice.
Both the County Board and the county superintendent
should agree on the person or firm best suited to give the
legal advice needed by the Board; that is, on the best
qualified attorney available whose charges will be reas-
onable. Above all, the Board should not expect or per-
mit the attorney to determine policies for the Board. It
should not form the habit of consulting him on trivial
matters which do not involve basic interpretations of the
law. Frequently, on questions of the interpretation of
the law, opinions may be secured from the Attorney Gen-
eral through the State Superintendent. Legal papers in-
volving bond issues, contracts, sale of property, and other
similar matters may need to be passed upon by an attor-
ney. Many Boards, however, spend more than is neces-
sary for attorney's fees. Some Boards have even per-
mitted or encouraged attorneys to carry on correspond-
ence which should have been carried on by the county
superintendent and unnecessary expense thereby avoided.

The Constitution provides that trustees are to have the
supervision of schools in the district. The law is some-
what more specific. Section 436 reads as follows:
"Whenever a school district is created and trustees are elect-
ed, they shall have the general supervision of all public schools
in the district for the support of which school district funds are
used. The powers of the trustees shall not be those of control
but of general supervision only, as hereinafter provided."
Section 403 (3) and Section 433 (7-j) make clear that
the Trustees do not have the responsibility for supervi-
sion of instruction and that this is specifically assigned


to the county superintendent and the principals of the
respective schools.
The County Board should guard against giving the
trustees responsibilities which will tend to destroy the
county as a unit for school administration and which
under the law are not supposed to be given to trustees.
On the other hand, the County Board should recognize the
functions assigned to the trustees and should insist that
they should be properly and promptly performed.
The three main functions assigned to the trustees by
law are:
(1) To nominate teachers and principals after consid-
ering recommendations submitted by the county
superintendent and principals.
(2) To exercise general supervision over the buildings,
grounds, and equipment, and authorize the use of
buildings for other than school purposes under the
regulations of the County Board.
(3) To advise the county superintendent and County
Board regarding the needs and problems of the
schools of the district.
It is very important that a wholesome working relation-
ship be maintained between the trustees and the County
Board. As a means of promoting a better understanding,
at least one meeting a year should be held with the County
Board, trustees, and principals participating and at this
meeting opportunity should be given for discussion of vari-
ous problems involved in working procedures and rela-
tionships. Trustees must understand that the County
Board is not attempting to usurp any responsibilities
which belong to them on one hand, and on the other hand
that the County Board has definite objectives and poli-
cies for the county school program which must be fol-

Best Policies
(1) The County Board should adopt rules and regula-
tions which are necessary to provide needed safe-
guards for the operation of the schools.


(2) The County Board should prescribe minimum
standards and qualifications, such as qualifications
which must be met by teachers nominated by
(3) Rules and regulations should be adopted when
necessary for the guidance of trustees in perform-
ing their functions.
(4) All policies, rules, and regulations, and standards
should be made known to and fully understood by
trustees so they will be in position to cooperate.
(5) The County Board should evaluate fairly and hon-
estly all recommendations by trustees and should
accept or reject such recommendations on the basis
of merit.


The chief relationships relating to personnel are discuss-
ed in the chapter on personnel. The County Board should
take every step practicable to see that only capable per-
sonnel are employed and continued in the schools, and
should make clear that all assistants and other personnel
are responsible directly to the county superintendent and
are to work through him. Individual Board members
should refrain from consulting with individuals or groups
of employees, or otherwise encouraging relationships
which might detract from the general policies which
should be followed by the personnel in carrying out the
county school program.

It is the responsibility of the County Board to keep in-
formed regarding major trends and problems in educa-
tion. This does not mean that each Board member needs
to know all that a trained school administrator knows,
nor that he needs to go into detail regarding the technical
phases of the school program. It does mean, however,
that he should have access to various materials which
will help him to be in better position to determine policies
which should be followed in his county. The following


are some of the important sources of information for
Board members.
State Department of Education. The Department pub-
lishes school laws, sends out copies of opinions from the
Attorney General and regulations of the State Board,
publishes a monthly bulletin, and prepares special in-
structions and suggestions. The County Board should
expect the county superintendent to keep it informed
regarding these and to make available all important
Magazines. The Board members should have access
to such magazines as the American School Board Journal,
School Executive, and the Nation's Schools.
Books and Pamphlets. Numerous organizations issue
pamphlets from time to time which may be of interest to
Board members. For instance, the National Education
Association frequently publishes materials of direct con-
cern to board members. A number of books have been
written which are designed to help board members un-
understand their work. (See Bibliography in back).
Meetings. Board members should keep in touch with
the results of professional meetings, should attend all
district conferences called by the State Superintendent,
and participate in meetings of their own organization.



The basic qualification of a County Board member is
that he be sincerely interested in providing adequate
school facilities for the entire county and that he have the
ability and determination to take and support all steps
necessary to bring about desirable improvements in the
school program.
It is, of course, impossible to prescribe qualifications
that will always assure the election of competent Board
members because the selection is made by the voters from
among those who are willing to be candidates.
The law prescribes the following qualifications:
"..... The members of the County Board shall be qualified
electors of the county in which they serve, shall be persons of
good moral character, of good standing in their respective com-
munities, and shall be known for their integrity, business ability,
public spirit, and interest in the promotion of public education."
(Section 404)
The law further prescribes that each member of the
Board is to represent the entire county:
"The County Board of each county shall represent the en-
tire county. It shall be the duty of each member of the County
Board to serve as the representative of the entire county, rather
than as the representative of any district in the county." (Sec-
tion 411)
The Board in all counties with 80,000 or more popula-
tion according to the 1935 census consists of five mem-
bers. Dade, Duval, Hillsborough, and Polk constitute
the five-member board counties. In all counties with less
than 80,000 population, the Board consists of three mem-
bers. (Section 404)
Nomination. Counties having five members on the
Board are divided into five County Board election districts


having approximately equal population, from each of
which one member from each political party is nominated
in the primary election. Counties having three members
are divided into three election districts from each of which
one member is nominated from each political party. (Sec-
tion 408).

Election. These nominees are placed on the ballot for
the general election of each county. Election is by coun-
ty-wide vote and the person receiving the largest vote is
elected. (Section 410)

Term of Office. The term of office of members of the
County Board is four years. Terms are overlapping so
there cannot be an entirely new Board at any election.
(Sections 405 and 409)
Oath of Office. Before entering upon the duties of of-
fice after being elected or within ten days after receiving
notice of appointment, each member of the Board must
take the prescribed oath of office. (Section 412)
Bond. Prior to assuming office, each Board member
must give bond for faithful performance of his duties.
This bond should be executed by a surety company au-
thorized to do business in Florida. The law prescribes
"The bond shall be in the amount of two thousand dollars
($2,000.00) for all members of the county board except the
chairman, who shall be required to give bond in an amount not
less than two thousand dollars ($2,000.00) in counties in which
the annual receipts are less than one hundred thousand dollars
($100,000.00); five thousand dollars ($5,000.00) in counties in
which the annual receipts are one hundred thousand dollars
($100,000.00) or more but less than five hundred thousand dol-
lars ($500,000.00); and ten thousand dollars ($10,000.00) in
counties in which the annual receipts are five hundred thousand
dollars ($500,000.00) or more." (Section 1089 (2).)
When New Members Take Office. New members of
the Board take office on the first Tuesday after the first
Monday in January following their election and hold
office until their successors have been duly elected or ap-
pointed and qualified. (Section 414)
Vacancies. All vacancies on the County Board are to
be filled by the Governor. (Section 419) Vacancies may


occur as a result of removal from office, removal of resi-
dence, resignation or death of a member.
A Board member who wilfully fails to perform his
duties is required to be removed from office by the Gov-
ernor. (Section 208) When any person removes his resi-
dence from the County Board district from which he was
elected, his office is considered vacant. (Section 419)
Compensation. Compensation of Board members of
the various counties is prescribed by local laws which
vary greatly and are often vague and confusing. For
example, some local laws prescribe compensation which
specifically includes travel, while others prescribe com-
pensation without indicating whether travel is included.
The basic State law provides for compensation at $4.00
per day for each day's service and 10c per mile for each
mile actually traveled in going to and from the county
court house to meetings by the nearest practicable route.
A provision of the law applicable to all counties and re-
lating particularly to travel without the county is as fol-
"Subsistence shall be allowed only for trips without the coun-
ty, 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 em-
ployees of the State. Expenditures for travel within the county
shall be authorized only as prescribed by law." (Section 420)

It is the duty of the Board to organize as a board at the
time the new members assume office in January of each
biennium. The law states that the organization meeting
shall be held on the first Tuesday after the first Monday in
January following each general election. The Board is
organized by electing a chairman. The superintendent is
the secretary. At the organization meeting the superin-
tendent also acts as chairman until the organization is
completed and the chairman of the Board duly elected.
(Section 415)
At this organization meeting the newly elected chair-
man and secretary are required to make and sign a certi-
fied copy of the proceedings of organization including a


schedule for regular meetings and the names and ad-
dresses of all county school officials, and annex their
affidavits that the same is a true and correct copy of the
original. The secretary then files the document within
two weeks with the State Superintendent.

The law provides specifically that the County Board is
not to hold more than one regular meeting each month.
However, it also states that the Board:

"..... shall convene in special sessions when called by the
county superintendent or by the county superintendent on the
request of the chairman of the County Board or on request of a
majority of the members of the County Board; provided that
actions taken at special meetings shall have the same force and
effect as if taken at a regular meeting: and Provided, further,
that in the event the county superintendent should fail to call a
special meeting when requested to do so, as prescribed herein,
such a meeting may be called by the chairman of the County
Board or a majority of the members of the County Board by
giving two days' written notice of the time and purpose of the
meeting to all members and to the county superintendent; in
which event the minutes of the meeting shall set forth the facts
regarding the procedure in calling the meeting, and the reason
therefore, and shall be signed either by the chairman or by a
majority of the members of the County Board." (Section 416)
Place of Meeting. The place of meeting is properly
limited and meetings can be held only at the place which
is designated in advance. The law provides:
"All regular and special meetings of the County Board shall
be held at the county seat and in the office of the County Sup-
erintendent or in a room convenient to that office and regularly
designated as the County Board meeting room." (Section 417)
Time of Meeting. The time or schedule of regular
meetings is to be designated during the organization
meeting of the Board. Boards usually set a certain day,
such as the second Monday in each month, as the time of
the regular meeting. This time should be so set as to
permit the Board to transact with a minimum of delay
the routine business that accumulates during the month.
Frequently regular meetings are scheduled to be held
early in the month, so that payrolls, bills, and other items
that have accumulated for the previous month may be
cleared at that time.


Special Meetings. Special meetings should be called
only when necessary to transact important business or to
decide important policies. Special meetings should never
be substituted as an excuse for failure to center attention
upon policies or to systematize the procedures of the
Board. Ordinarily very few special meetings should be
necessary for any Board. Too many special meetings is
an indication of some weakness or difficulty that has not
been solved.
Quorum. A majority constitutes a quorum for any
meeting of the County Board. No business may be trans-
acted at any meeting unless a quorum is present. (Section
Best Policies
(1) Every member should attend every regular meet-
ing unless there is some very good and legitimate
reason why he cannot attend. (Members who at-
tend irregularly or who remain for only part of a
session or otherwise let business interfere with their
regular school duties soon tend to lose interest in
school affairs. They also tend to lose touch with
developments and when present may make de-
cisions based on partial impressions.)
(2) Special meetings of the Board should be called only
when necessary to transact important business.
(Frequent special meetings are ofttimes an indi-
cation that the Board is delving into needless de-
tails. A special meeting cannot be justified unless
there are important policies to be determined
which could not be handled at a regular meeting
or important business matters to be settled which
could not have been settled at a previous regular
meeting or could not be postponed until the next
regular meeting.)
(3) The Board should always confine its attention to
policies which must be adopted or business matters
which must be settled by the Board. (Unless this
policy is strictly followed, time is likely to be wast-
ed on details again and again.)
(4) All meetings of the Board should be conducted in
accordance with sound business and legislative


procedures. (Slipshod methods of handling Board
responsibilities will quickly result in errors or con-
fusion. Best parliamentary procedure should al-
ways be followed, and there should always be a
formal vote on every question to be decided.)
(5) All meetings should be open to the public except
that those concerning personnel may be held as
executive sessions. (The public has a right to
know what is going on at any meeting.)

Superintendent Keeps Minutes and Records. By law
the county superintendent is required to act as secretary
of the County Board and to keep all minutes and records.
The law provides that the County Board is to require the
county superintendent to keep these records, and clearly
indicates that the records are not to be kept by the County
Board itself (Section 423 (3).)
Section 433 (3) requires the county superintendent:
"To keep minutes of all official actions and proceedings of
the County Board and to keep such other records, including
records of property held or disposed of by the County Board, as
may be necessary to provide complete information regarding the
county school system."
Minutes. The county superintendent and the Board
should realize that the minutes of the Board are the basic
records. They assume first place among all school rec-
ords as the legal basis for administrative action on the
part of the school staff. Unless an action not specifically
prescribed by law is authorized in the minutes, it has no
validity. Unless a contract is authorized in the minutes,
it is not a contract, and does not constitute the basis for
payment of school funds.
At times of litigation, the minute book is necessarily a
most important record. Unless an action of the Board is
clearly shown in the minutes, it probably would not be
sustained in litigation. The fact that the board mem-
bers think they took a certain action is not sufficient evi-
dence when the law requires that all actions be recorded
in the minute book.
It is obvious, therefore, that the greatest care should


be taken in preparing the minutes and arranging for their
permanent safekeeping. It is also important that they
be so arranged and classified as to permit of ready refer-
ence in order that the superintendent and Board may
conveniently and quickly refer to and locate previous
actions or established policies.
The Minute Book. The minute book, as well as other
important records, should always be kept when not in
use in a fireproof safe or vault. The minutes may be kept
in permanent bound books. If this is done, corrections
should be made by crossing out, rewriting, and initialing
such sections as are necessary for the approval of the
minutes by the board. No erasures should be made. This
copy of the minutes should be made at the board meeting
and should record the exact action taken. Corrections
are made at the time of the approval of the minutes.
A second copy of the approved minutes should be typed
in a loose-leaf book which will serve as a reference to all
board actions.
The more common procedure, which is just as satisfac-
tory if properly safeguarded, is for the minutes to be
recorded in a notebook by the County Superintendent or
his secretary. Promptly following each meeting, the
County Superintendent should have these minutes care-
fully copied on the properly numbered pages of the offi-
cial minute book. (The numbers should be printed on
the pages to reduce the possibility of substituting un-
official pages.) The minutes should always be corrected
if necessary and approved by the Board at its next meet-
ing. The corrected and approved minutes of each meet-
ing must be signed by the county superintendent and
chairman of the Board. No changes or corrections can
be made after this has been done except with the specific
approval of the entire Board.
All actions should be classified by subjects or, if this
involves too much work, the minute book should comprise
the typed minutes with marginal headings for ready
reference and with a cumulative index of subjects refer-
ring to the page in the minute book on which the action
is recorded so that the superintendent may be able to
refer quickly to any action of the board.


Policy Book. As explained in Chapter IV, a separate
policy book is highly desirable. This book should include
all policies adopted by the Board classified by subjects
and arranged for ready reference.
Best Policies
(1) The County Board, should hold the county superin-
tendent responsible for keeping all records up-to-
date in neat and readily usable form.
(2) The Board should insist that the minutes be so
organized and arranged as to facilitate ready
(3) The minute book must include all actions of the
Board. This will include policies, contracts, ap-
proval of bills, and miscellaneous items.
(4) The policy book or index should include only poli-
cies adopted by the Board.
(5) The Board and school officials should always use
the minute book for guidance in determining pro-
ceedings and transactions of the Board. Actions
and procedures not authorized in the minutes of
the Board are invalid.

The County Board Will Need Rules and Regulations
in Many Fields. Basic, however, are the rules and regula-
tions relating to the organization of the Board and to the
relationship to the Board to its staff. Without such rules
and regulations for guidance, many uncertainties or con-
troversies are likely to arise which could otherwise be
There have been instances where County Boards have
functioned for years without having a written set of rules
and regulations relating to the organization and pro-
cedures. Such a situation is most unsatisfactory and is
likely to involve the Board in difficulty sooner or later.
Rules and regulations adopted by a Board should be
like any set of laws. They should be continuing and


should regulate the procedure of all subsequent Boards
unless or until they are amended or superseded. New
Boards, therefore, are expected to accept and build on
the foundation established by previous Boards.

Rules and regulations of Boards should always be put
in convenient and durable form for the use of the Board
and professional staff. Copies should be made available
to the school people, the newspapers, and others, so that
the procedures under which the Board operates will be
fully understood.

Below is submitted a proposed set of rules and regula-
tions which may be used by any Board as a basis for de-
veloping its own regulations. Not all of these rules and
regulations will be applicable in every county, yet many
will. Most important is that a County Board prepare a
set of rules and regulations, follow them carefully, and
revise them from time to time as necessary. Such a set
of rules and regulations might be organized and worded
somewhat as follows.

Suggested Rules and Regulations for the
Organization of the Board
Organization Meeting
(1) The County Board of..........................County shall organize
on the first Tuesday after the first Monday in January fol-
lowing general elections in the office of the county superin-
tendent (or in the County Board room if there is one).
(2) The county superintendent shall act as chairman at the or-
ganization meeting until a chairman is elected.
(3) The county superintendent shall inform the State Superin-
tendent on forms furnished by the State Superintendent of
the organization of the Board within two weeks following
the organization meeting of the Board.
Regular and Special Meetings
(1) The Board shall meet on the first Monday in each and every
month, at ............ a. m. (or p. m.) in the county seat at the
office which is designated as the County Board meeting room.
(2) The County Board shall not hold more than one regular
meeting each month.
(3) As many special meetings shall be called as are necessary
to transact the business of the Board.


(4) The superintendent shall call special meetings when he
deems it necessary, or in emergencies such meetings may be
called upon request of the chairman of the Board, or upon
the request of the majority of the Board.
(5) When the chairman of the Board requests a special meeting
and the superintendent fails to call a meeting the chairman
may call a special meeting by giving two days' written notice
stating the time and purpose of the meeting to each Board
member and to the county superintendent.
(6) When the majority of the Board requests the superintendent
to call a special meeting and he fails to call a meeting, it may
call a special meeting by giving two days' written notice to
each board member and to the county superintendent, stating
the time and purpose.

(1) The chairman of the Board shall preside at all meetings. He
shall preserve order, enforce these rules, and perform such
other duties as directed by law and by the Board.
(2) In the absence of the chairman, the other Board members
shall elect one of their number to act as chairman of that
(3) The county superintendent is to act as secretary of the
Board for all regular and special meetings. He shall be
responsible for taking the minutes and making such copies
as are required by the Board and for supplying one copy each
to the members of the Board at least one week prior to the
next regular meeting of the Board. He shall obtain all such
information or data as may be requested of him by any mem-
ber of the Board. He shall keep a file of all reports, reso-
lutions or documents passed by or addressed to the County
(4) A majority of the members shall constitute a quorum at all
meetings. No action taken by members during a session
where only a minority is present will be binding or legal.

(5) Any member may request a roll call vote.

(6) The County Board shall meet promptly at the time specified
and proceed with its business in a business-like manner.

(7) The county Superintendent shall furnish each member of
the Board at the beginning of the board meeting a memo-
randum of the items he has to present at that meeting.

(8) All bills that are to be considered at a board meeting shall be
in the office of the superintendent at least two days previous
to the meeting, in order to give him an opportunity to pre-
pare them for the consideration of the Board.

(9) The order of business shall be as follows:
(a) Chairman calls Board to order.


(b) Roll call (members present and absent noted by sec-
(c) Reading and adoption of the minutes of the previous
regular meeting and of any special meetings held in the
previous month.
(d) Hearing of individuals and groups who have come be-
fore the Board.
(e) Presentation and discussion of petitions.
(f) Report of the county superintendent:
1. Financial
2. Transportation
3. Educational (Instruction)
4. Buildings and grounds
5. Supplies and equipment
6. Health
7. Miscellaneous
(g) Consideration of policies.
(h) Approval of bills and authorization of payment of
(i) Unfinished business.
(j) New business
(k) Adjourn.

(10) All action by the Board shall be taken only when sitting as
a whole.
(11) The County Board shall not have standing committees.
(12) Special committees may be given temporary appointment
from time to time to serve in gathering information for re-
ports on special problems to the Board as a whole. Such
committees are to be dissolved immediately upon presenta-
tion of their report.
(13) All resolutions authorizing expenditures of money or obli-
gating the Board thereto, shall be presented in writing and
shall state the amount to be expended, or where the amount
is not definitely known, an estimate of such amount, or a
limit which it shall not exceed.
(14) All bills shall be read to the Board at a regular meeting be-
fore warrants are ordered drawn for the payment thereof.
(15) All matters proposed to be submitted to the board shall first
be brought before the superintendent so that he may de-
termine whether the board has already adopted a policy
under which the matter may be decided without special
board action.
(16) All delegations appearing before the Board are to present
their problems and proposals as briefly and concisely as pos-
sible. The Board will be guided by its previously adopted
policies in arriving at a decision on matters brought up by
any such delegation.
(17) All proceedings of the Board shall be conducted in accord-
ance with Roberts Rules of Order. A formal vote shall be


taken on any question before the Board and the decision
made on the basis of a majority vote.

Records of the Board
(1) The secretary shall have the custody of the records, books,
and papers of the County Board, and shall transfer them to
his successor in office.
(2) No action of the Board shall be legal until it is written in
the minute book.
(3) The county superintendent or his secretary shall take down
the proceedings of Board meetings. After the Board ad-
journs the superintendent shall have transcripts made of the
proceedings and furnish each Board member with a copy one
week before the next regular meeting. At the next regular
meeting the minutes shall be read in full, corrections made,
if necessary, and the corrected minutes shall be adopted by
the Board. The county superintendent shall have the cor-
rected copy inserted in the permanent minute book. The
chairman of the Board shall sign the corrected minutes as
approved and his signature shall be attested by the superin-

(4) All minutes of special meetings shall be adopted at the next
regular meeting of the Board.
(5) Minutes of special meetings called by the chairman of the
Board or by a majority of the Board members shall state how
the meeting was called and shall be signed by a majority of
the members.
(6) The bound book in which the proceedings of the meetings
are taken, as well as the minute book, shall be preserved as a
permanent record of the Board.
Relations to the Superintendent and His Staff
(1) The County Board is hereby declared to be solely a policy
determining body and the county superintendent shall be the
executive officer of the Board, having all the powers and
authorities usually attached to such position not inconsistent
with the laws of Florida.
(2) The Board pursuant to law will authorize all expenditures,
employ all personnel, approve the annual budget, and de-
termine policies, but will perform these functions only after
recommendations by the superintendent. The decision of
the Board concerning these matters shall regulate the actions
of the county superintendent and his staff.
(3) Authority is vested in the county superintendent to approve
or reject within the limits prescribed by the budget requests
for purchases of school supplies and equipment where the
amount does not exceed $300.
(4) All employees shall be responsible to the Board through the
county superintendent. No other person shall be given au-
thority directly by the Board or be responsible directly to the
Board, except the attorney for the Board.


Attorney for the Board
The attorney for the Board shall be appointed by the Board after
consulting with and, if possible, securing the concurrence of the
county superintendent. Only questions involving interpretation
of law not provided by the Attorney General or covering specific legal
procedures shall be referred to the attorney for his recommendation.
Matters specifically involving policy rather than law will be interpret-
ed by the County Board with the assistance of the county superin-
Rules and regulations may be altered or amended at any time
provided each alteration or amendment shall have been proposed at a
regular meeting of the Board and adopted at the next regular meet-
ing by a vote of a majority of the members of the Board, but any or
all of them may be suspended at any meeting by vote of the entire



The determination of policies is now recognized as the
most important function of County Boards. However,
this has not always been the situation. In the early days
in many sections of the country the Board actually ran
the schools. It served both as the Board and as the
superintendent. It determined and executed policies. In
some of the smaller districts of the country that situation
still exists today.
During recent years it has become increasingly clear
that there are two important and distinct functions, one
of which should be performed by laymen-that is the
Board, representing the people; the other of which can
only be properly performed by a person trained in school
administration and supervision-that is the superinten-
dent. In this respect the organization and operation of
schools is patterned after procedures long recognized
and followed in large business enterprises. The board of
directors of a bank, for example, is the policy determin-
ing agency for the bank, while the president is the ex-
The difference between policy forming and executive
functions is still not clear to many persons, particularly
to laymen. In fact, until just a year ago the school laws
of Florida did not clearly differentiate between these
functions with the result that many boards or board mem-
bers tended to assume executive functions. In a number
of counties, conscientious board members felt that it was
their responsibility to handle much of the detail and to
participate in the administration of the schools. As a
result, the position of Board members required a vast
amount of time and work and Boards in some counties met
almost daily. It was logical that salaries for Board mem-


bers should be voted to be commensurate with the amount
of work required.
The present law enacted in 1939 clearly establishes the
County Board as a policy determining body and gives it
no responsibility whatever for executing policies or ad-
ministering the schools. The county superintendent is
designated as the executive officer of the County Board
and has no responsibility for passing upon policies, al-
though, of course, he is expected to recommend needed
policies and then to execute policies approved by the

Every Board member should recognize the need for in-
tensive study of the problems of policy determination
Good policies are essential for good school administra-
tion. They serve for guidance in stabilizing practices,
save time, and help to avoid the dissatisfaction that is
bound to result if decisions are made only on specific
items. Even Boards that have made most progress in
learning how to establish satisfactory policies can make
still further improvement in the field and should continue
to give the problem intensive study.

The first essential for satisfactory policy making is for a
Board member to learn to distinguish between a policy
and the detail. This is not always easy, and will require
continued study. In taking up any matter for consid-
eration, Board members should constantly raise the ques-
tion, "Does that matter involve a policy which should be
stated and established by the Board?"
A policy is simply a statement of a rule or principle
that can and should be followed in deciding cases or
problems that may arise in a given phase of education.
If the County Board decides that a teacher was right in
punishing a pupil, it is not setting a policy. It is merely
deciding a detail. Similarly, hundreds of details may be
decided, each of which will require considerable time.
If no guiding principle has been established and is follow-
ed, such decisions will represent no progress and may


even result in confusion because some of them are likely
to be conflicting.

Every County Board is thus required to assume a defi-
nite attitude toward each and every problem that arises.
At every Board meeting cases involving a wide range of
subjects are likely to be presented. The various kinds
of problems with which Boards are faced make neces-
sary a definite procedure by which policies may be con-
tinually established and revised.

In the case of the disciplinary problem involving cor-
poral punishment cited above, the Board instead of pass-
ing upon an isolated case should have attempted to ar-
rive at a statement of a principle that could be used in
deciding all similar cases. The following policy might
have been stated and adopted by the Board:
Principals of the various schools may administer cor-
poral punishment to pupils when such punishment is
deemed by them to be necessary, provided the punish-
ment is not degrading or unduly severe. If such a policy
has been adopted, all principals can follow the policy in
cases involving corporal punishment and such cases will
never need to come to the attention of the Board unless
the policy has been violated. Most of them, in fact, will
not need to come to the attention of the county superin-
tendent, and much time will be saved both by the Board
and superintendent for decisions in other important

Policies like any other decisions may be good, bad, or
even partly good and partly bad. A bad policy in any
phase of education may be just as injurious or even more
so than no policy at all. Every County Board should be
interested in adopting the best possible policies for guid-
ance in operating the schools of the county. However, it
is necessary that each Board member have some sound
basis for judging or deciding policies. There should be
some very definite means for determining whether a
policy is likely to be good or not.


A good policy is one which will help to bring about a
better educational situation for the pupils, contribute to
the improvement of the educational program of the en-
tire county, and will not involve excessive cost or effort.
The Board might, for example, adopt as a policy:
Only local teachers are to be employed in any school in
the county. Would such a policy be good or bad? If it
would result in improving the schools, it would undoubt-
edly be good. However, the chances are that it would
handicap instead of improving the schools. It would re-
strict the employment of teachers to such an extent that in
many cases it would be hard to find properly qualified
persons. Therefore, sooner or later such a policy would
result in serious handicaps to the schools and would be a
bad policy. Instead, the Board might state as a policy:
Qualifications necessary for performing satisfactory work
are to be prescribed for the various positions and ap-
pointments for these positions are to be based solely on
merit. How could such a policy, if carefully followed,
fail to result in improving the schools?
It should be clear that any policy based on political
expediency, one intended to give some group the advan-
tage over another, or one established for selfish or parti-
san reasons, is almost certain to be an undesirable and
harmful policy.
Before voting upon any policy proposed for the schools,
each board member should ask himself, "Is this a good
policy? Do I know enough about the situation to de-
cide? Would the policy actually help the schools?"
A good board member is one who can distinguish be-
tween good and bad policies and who will invariably vote
for and support the good policies. A bad Board member
is one who is careless about deciding policies or who is
influenced by personal or partisan reasons to vote against
policies which are desirable for improving the schools.

There is no one formula which can be followed in all
cases in arriving at the best statement of policies. How-
ever, there are certain principles that can and should be


followed as carefully as possible in every instance. These
principles, if followed, will usually provide reasonable
safeguards against the adoption of unwise policies. Some
of the important principles are stated below:

(1) The Board should look to and expect the county
superintendent to recommend in writing all policies to be
considered by the Board. The county superintendent has
been elected to be the professional administrator of the
schools of the county. He should be in contact personally
and professionally with the entire educational system and
should know more about the problems and needs of the
schools than any other individual. He should also be in
better position than anyone else to know how policies will
affect the schools. Moreover, the superintendent should
be in touch with professional literature and developments
throughout the country. He should know what policies
have worked in other situations and which ones have not.
However, this does not mean that board members are to
depend entirely on the county superintendent's judgment
and to rubber stamp anything that he proposes. In fact,
it is definitely the responsibility of board members to
keep themselves informed regarding educational trends
and developments, and to study each situation carefully
in order to arrive at a sound decision.

.(2) The County Board and superintendent should con-
tinuously study problems and situations which arise in the
county and attempt to formulate and state policies which
will serve for guidance in establishing better practices.
In spite of the efforts and intentions of the Board to es-
tablish policies in the various areas, cases are bound to
arise from time to time that have not been covered and
which suggest the need for additional policies. If these
cases are studied, the possibility and desirability of a
statement of policy in the field will sooner or later be-
come evident. The County Board should not, however,
attempt to formulate policies merely for the sake of hav-
ing a statement of policy. It is better to study a situation
antil the proper policy can be determined than to rush
into the formulation of policies which may be harmful
instead of beneficial.


(3) Policies should be adopted only after the Board
has had access to all pertinent facts which can reasonably
be made available, has carefully studied them, and has
determined to its own satisfaction how the policy will
operate and what its effect would be on the school system.
Hasty action is likely to lead to unfortunate or unwise
decisions and should always be avoided. On the other
hand, it may sometimes be necessary to state a policy in
tentative form, recognizing frankly that it may need be
revised after its operation has been further studied.
(4) Policies should always be definitely stated in
writing, but the statement should be broad enough to
cover all problems in a specific phase of the field. There
is always danger that a statement may be so general or
so broad that it is almost meaningless. For example, the
statement qualified teachers should always be recommended
is a good beginning statement. However, it needs to be
more specific because the word "qualified" is subject to
varying interpretations. A more specific statement will
be found necessary for guidance.
On the other hand, policies should not be too detailed
or they may needlessly handicap the school program.
For example, the Board might state as a policy: No first
grade teacher is to be hired unless she has been trained
at . .. College and has had three years of experi-
ence in Florida. Such a statement would exclude many
good teachers and would probably sooner or later result
in the recommendation of teachers not well suited for the
positions. The wording of a policy, therefore, is very
(5) Policies should whenever possible be objectively
stated. The illustration above indicates the desirability
of using terminology which is not subject to varying in-
terpretations. If the statement of policy does not in
itself make clear the intent, it may be necessary for the
policy to be supplemented by rules and regulations, as
explained later.
(6) Policies should be so stated that they tend to set
goals or objectives and do not prevent progress beyond
the suggested minimum. A policy which would make it


impossible for a given school to do better work than that
recognized as a standard, or for teachers to meet quali-
fications that go beyond the minimum prescribed, would
obviously be most unfortunate.
(7) Policies should always be formally voted upon and
accepted or rejected. It is not sufficient for the Board to
discuss an important matter of policy and then to pass on
to something else without arriving at a definite decision
which can be entered objectively into the record.

The school program is something which must be plan-
ned and thought of as a continuing program which has
covered a relatively short period in the past, but which
will extend indefinitely into the future. It is important,
therefore, that any statement of policies be directly re-
lated to and be thought of as a part of the long-time pro-
gram. The school law makes it a definite responsibility
of the County Board to adopt a comprehensive long-time
program for the schools of the county. Unless each
policy fits into and contributes to the development of this
program, it will do more harm than good. (Sec. 423 (5).).
The long-time program must, of course, be related to
what has been happening in the county-that is, to the
progress that the schools have already made. A thor-
ough study of trends and policies previously followed in
the various areas will be necessary as a basis for a state-
ment of policies which will not break too sharply with
the past, yet will point the way to needed improvements
for the future.

As previously indicated, a policy is a statement of a
guiding principle. It is a standard by means of which
practices may be evaluated. They must conform to the
standard set by the policy. However, practices may go
beyond these standards. In many cases it may be de-
sirable for the Board to adopt rules and regulations which
will help to define and regulate procedures to be follow-


ed in arriving at the goal or in observing the principle
established in a statement of policy. Rules and regula-
tions, therefore, are frequently used to supplement poli-
cies. For example, the Board should undoubtedly adopt
and follow the policy of conducting its meetings in an
orderly and business-like manner. However, this does
not tell how the meetings should be conducted, and a
specific set of rules and regulations, as suggested else-
where in this handbook, should be adopted to supplement
the statement of policy.

Policies are for the guidance of the county superinten-
dent and his staff in operating the schools of the county.
It is distinctly not the duty of the County Board or any
member of the Board to carry out policies; instead, it is
their responsibility to see that they are properly carried
out. For example, if the Board has adopted a policy re-
lating to purchasing procedure, the Board does not at-
tempt to carry on correspondence relating to the purchase.
That is left to the superintendent, although if the purchase
involves a large expenditure of funds the Board will un-
questionably want to approve the purchase. If, how-
ever, the expenditure is for a small item, the responsibility
for making the purchase should be delegated to the coun-
ty superintendent or purchasing agent with the limitation
that purchases of all such items must be kept within the
limits of the budget and reported to the Board.
Any interference in the execution of policies is harmful.
No board member should attempt to tell the county sup-
erintendent how to execute policies. If guidance is nec-
essary, the Board should adopt rules and regulations
needed and then should hold the superintendent respon-
sible for following its rules and regulations.

In many cases the Board will find that a policy after a
period of time will need restatement or redefinition.
Conditions change and policies must be changed accord-
ingly, or new conditions arise and policies will need to be
broadened to include the new conditions.


It would be wise for the County Board to require the
superintendent to report from time to time on the opera-
tion of policies in the various fields and to recommend
changes that he deems desirable on the basis of experi-
ence and results during preceding months. Such a pro-
cedure will help the Board to keep its policies properly
revised and up-to-date, and to eliminate policies that are

It frequently happens that policies which have been
adopted by the Board are lost in the minutes. It is easy
for a Board to adopt a policy at one meeting, then six
months later adopt an entirely different policy without
reference to the first policy. Such a tendency merely re-
sults in confusion. There can be no excuse for any such
unbusiness-like procedure except the failure to keep
proper records.
Policies are so important and so basic that the Board
should require a special policy book or index to be kept.
Each policy when adopted and entered in the minutes
should also be entered under the proper heading in a
policy book which is fully indexed, or should be entered
in a visible or indexed file giving the date the policy was
adopted, stating the policy and giving any pertinent com-
ments relating to the interpretation.
Before any new policy is considered, the Board should
be assured that no similar policy has previously been
adopted and forgotten or overlooked. It would be most
unfortunate to have in the Board record statements of
policies which are conflicting.
The keeping of such policy book or index, moreover,
would serve for guidance of the superintendent and his
staff. After a policy has been established in a given field,
he could and should point to that policy as his basis for
arriving at a decision concerning matters that never
should have come to the attention of the Board. If some
group should feel that the policy as stated is not satis-
factory, that group should have the right to take up the
proposed revision with the County Board and the Board


could decide the situation on its merits, that is, should
determine the probable effect of the change on the school
A policy book and index is therefore essential to the
satisfactory operation of any county school system. If
such a list of policies has not already been prepared in
any county, it should at once be prepared and kept up to
date. Outside of the minute book, it is the most import-
ant single record in the county school system.



During recent years the school program has been great-
ly expanded throughout the country. The so-called
"three R's" were the center of attention and constituted
the major part of the school program just a relatively
short time ago. Increased complexities in civilization,
however, have necessitated corresponding changes in the
school program. Entirely new subjects have been added,
the educational program has been extended both down-
ward and upward, and such special services as transpor-
tation have been provided. The County Boards of today,
therefore, face a vastly different and more complex school
program than County Boards have ever faced.
The County Board necessarily is responsible for every
phase of the school program in the county. The duties
and responsibilities of the Board have necessarily been
broadened to meet the needs of the expanding program
and now encompass every phase of that program.
The law requires the County Board to perform many
duties. A Board which neglects any phase of the school
program, therefore, is neglecting responsibilities specific-
ally assigned by law.
Most of the powers and duties of the County Board are
prescribed in Sections 422 and 423 of the school laws.
However, specific provisions relating to the duties of the
Board are encountered in various other sections, as ex-
plained elsewhere in this handbook.
Every county board member should realize that the
proper observance of all school laws is of greatest im-
portance. The Board has no protection whatever unless
it is acting in accordance with the provisions of law. No
matter how strong the local pressure may be for the


Board to take some action, there can be no justification
for taking that action unless it is in accordance with the
provisions of law. Each county board member, there-
fore, should be thoroughly familiar with all provisions of
law and should see that these provisions are fully ob-
served by the entire board.

The law assigns the Board a number of powers which
are classed as general powers. These are general in na-
ture because they are broad and basic powers, but, of
course, in their performance they become specific.
In exercising any of these powers, the County Board is
properly required to consider, but not necessarily to fol-
low, recommendations submitted by the county superin-
tendent. The decision should be determined by what is
for the best interest of the schools. The basic powers of
the Board are listed as follows:

Determine Policies. The County Board is designated
as the policy determining agency, as explained in Chap-
ter IV. Section 422 (1) provides that:

"The County Board shall determine and adopt such policies
as are deemed necessary by it for the efficient operation and gen-
eral improvement of the county school system."
Adopt Rules and Regulations. Policies and rules and
regulations sometimes tend to overlap, but usually rules
and regulations are adopted to prescribe procedures to
be followed in carrying out policies. Sub-section (2)
states that:
"The County Board shall adopt such rules and regulations to
supplement those prescribed by the State Board as in its opinion
will contribute to the more orderly and efficient operation of the
county school system." (Sec. 422 (2).)
Prescribe Minimum Standards. Sometimes rules and
regulations may take the form of minimum standards.
However, minimum standards are a particular type of
rules and regulations. They prescribe levels that are re-
quired and below which no school or employee will be
permitted to function. Sub-section (3) states:


"The County Board shall adopt such minimum standards as are
considered desirable by it for improving the county school
Contract, Sue and Be Sued. The County Board is the
contracting agency and in that capacity can institute suits
or be sued in the name of the County Board. Sub-section
(4) provides:
"The County Board shall constitute the contracting agent for
the county school system. It shall have power, when acting as a
body, to make contracts, also to sue and be sued in the name of
the County Board: Provided that, in any suit, a change in per-
sonnel of the County Board shall not abate the suit, which shall
proceed as if such change had not taken place."
Perform Duties and Exercise Responsibilities. The law
makes clear that the County Board has the power to per-
form all duties assigned to it by law or by regulation of
the State Board and in addition those duties which it may
find necessary to perform for the improvement of the
county school system in carrying out the purposes and
objectives of the School Code. (Sec. 422 (5).)

Many specific powers and duties are prescribed by law
for County Boards. Those having to do with organiza-
tion, meetings, and records of the Board are discussed in
Chapter III. In addition, the following are important:
Control Property. The County Board controls all pro-
erty in the county held in the name of the schools, except
in a few specific instances in the State. A law enacted in
1933 (Chapter 16170) required the title of all school prop-
erty held at that time by trustees to be conveyed to the
County Board and since that time the County Board has
been the only agency authorized to acquire title to proper-
ty for school purposes. (Section 423 (4).)
Adopt School Program. Adopting a school program is
one of the most important responsibilities of the County
Board. Unless there is a definite program which can be
used for guidance, many decisions are likely to be made
in terms of temporary situations. Such decisions may
even point in an entirely different direction from that in
which the school program should be moving. The re-


sponsibility of the County Board in this regard is set forth
as follows:
"To authorize the assembling of all data and the making of
school surveys essential to the development of a school program
for the entire county and to adopt such a program as the basis
for operating the schools-one phase of the program to be a
long-time program and another phase to constitute the annual
program." (Section 423 (5).)
Cooperation with Other Agencies. The school program
in a county cannot be operated without reference to the
other numerous municipal, county, and State agencies
which exist. The law makes it the duty of the County

"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 at-
tendance, child welfare, and other matters relating to educa-
tion." (Section 423 (15).)
Enforcement of Laws, Rules, and Regulations. The
County Board is not only required to conduct the school
program in harmony with laws, rules, and regulations,
but to assume a definite responsibility for seeing that all
laws, rules, and regulations of the State or of the County
Board are properly enforced. (Section 423 (16).)

Cooperation with County Superintendent. Friction be-
tween the Board and county superintendent can quickly
result in much harm to the school program. This is
recognized in a provision of law making it a positive duty
of the County Board to cooperate with the county superin-
tendent and of the county superintendent to cooperate
fully with the County Board "to the end that the county
school system may be improved." (Section 423 (17).)
Other Responsibilities. It is made the duty of the
County Board to assume such other responsibilities and
to exercise such powers and perform such duties as may
be assigned to it by law or as may be required by regula-
tions of the State Board or as in the opinion of the County
Board are necessary to provide for the more efficient
operation of the county school system. (Section 423


Major Fields of Responsibility
There are a number of major fields in which the County
Board is assigned responsibility. Each of these is dis-
cussed in a subsequent chapter. It is made the duty of
the Board to perform the duties assigned in the following
(1) Establishment, organization, and operation of
(2) Personnel
(3) Child welfare
(4) The Instructional Program (Involving courses of
study and other instructional aids)
(5) Transportation of pupils
(6) School plant
(7) School finance
(8) School districts
(9) Records and reports

County Boards should take every step practicable to
assure the safety of pupils and personnel of the county
school system. This responsibility can best be exercised
by prescribing necessary minimum standards and rules
and regulations and by requiring the county superinten-
dent to hold responsible all persons connected with the
school system who should assume responsibility for safety
of pupils.
Section 423 (8) provides that it is the duty of the County
"To provide for the proper accounting of all children of
for proper attention to health, safety, and other matters relating
school age, for the attendance and control of pupils at school,
to the welfare of children....."
The County Board should, at all times, be alert to the
possibility of improving safety through policies adopted
by the Board. Some of the specific responsibilities relat-
ing to safety may be listed as follows:
(1) Select school sites so located that children can go to
and from school with a maximum of safety and
take steps to insure that there are no dangerous


hazards in the immediate vicinity of the school
(2) Provide for maintaining all school plants in a safe
and sanitary condition and, when necessary, take
steps to condemn school property found to be in an
unsafe or insanitary condition. (Section 906).
(3) Have school busses inspected regularly and see
that those which are not in a safe operating con-
dition are withdrawn from service. (Section 809).
(4) See that school bus routes are reasonably free from
serious hazards and take steps to have any existing
hazards corrected when practicable. (Section 812)
(5) See that all state rules and regulations relating to
school bus operation are enforced and adopt any
such other regulations relating to safety as may be
held necessary.
(6) Require employees who should be familiar with
first aid to take sufficient training to be able to
handle properly first aid cases.
(7) See that all employees are alert at all times to dis-
cover and remove actual or potential hazards and
that children and teachers are instructed in ways
and means of avoiding the hazards.
According to the law, unless employees of the County
Board are insured under the Florida Workman's Compen-
sation Act, the Board becomes a self-insurer and is re-
sponsible for any compensation that may be necessitated
as a result of injury to the employee. (Chapter 18,413,
Laws of Florida, Acts of 1937.).


Specific Duties and Responsibilities:



The law charges the County Board with responsibility
for locating and maintaining schools and school centers
in those communities where they are needed to accom-
modate as far as practicable without unnecessary expense
all the youth who should be entitled to the facilities for
such schools. (Section 423 (6-a).) Separate schools are
required for white and negro children. (Section 209)
It is the responsibility of the County Board to see that
adequate educational facilities are provided for all chil-
dren of school age in the county; these facilities to be pro-
vided with due regard to the needs of the children on
the one hand, and to economy on the other. (Section 423
As a basis for determining the location of schools and
school centers, the County Board should arrange for a
survey of the county school system. The findings of this
survey are to be used in arriving at the location of per-
manent school centers for elementary, elementary-junior
high and elementary-junior-senior high school purposes.
(Sections 915 and 917)
In rural areas an elementary school may not be located
within four miles of another elementary school or a high
school within ten miles of another high school for chil-
dren of the same race, except when circumstances are
such as to merit an exception as prescribed by regulations
of the State Board. (Section 423 (6-a).)
Any or all schools in the county for the support of which
no school district funds are used may be designated as


county schools. Schools designated as county schools
are not in any way subject to the supervision of the
trustees. (Section 403 (5).)
Determining the location of schools is an important re-
sponsibility of the Board. If locations are not properly
determined, children will not have adequate facilities or
the program will be unnecessarily expensive. There is
usually a tendency for communities to want to maintain
small schools, particularly high schools, which are likely
to be expensive. If the County Board proceeds properly
to determine the most desirable location for permanent
school centers, it can avoid a lot of worry and trouble
from pressure groups and can keep down the number of
small expensive schools.
The establishment of definite policies such as the fol-
lowing which may be followed consistently by the Board
will aid materially in solving many of these problems.
Best Policies
(1) As soon as practicable, a survey of the county is to
be arranged in order to provide a basis for evalu-
ating all present locations and determining wheth-
er additional school centers are needed.
(2) The following standards are to be used for guid-
ance in determining the location of permanent
school centers:
(a) Elementary school centers will not be estab-
lished or continued unless there are sufficient
pupils for an enrollment of at least 180, ex-
cept in isolated areas.
(b) In general, elementary schools will be kept to
a maximum enrollment of 700 pupils.
(c) High school centers will not be established or
continued unless there are sufficient pupils
available for an enrollment of at least 300
pupils in the upper six grades, except in iso-
lated areas.
(d) No separately organized junior or senior high
school will be recognized unless there are
sufficient pupils for enrollment of at least 300.
(e) In general, high schools will be kept to a
maximum enrollment of 1500 pupils.


(3) The location of all school centers is to be determ-
ined on the basis of the standards given above and
the findings of the survey.
(4) On the basis of the findings of the survey, all pres-
ent school centers will be designated as permanent,
probable, temporary, and centers for abandon-
ment. Permanent improvements will be made
only at centers designated for permanent use.
(5) On the basis of a continuing study, revisions will be
made in the designation of school centers from time
to time as may be made necessary by changes in
population and other trends.
(6) At the regular Board meeting during March of
each year, the county superintendent shall present
to the Board his recommendations for modifica-
tions in the program and shall support his recom-
mendations with maps showing the location of
school centers according to classifications, pupil
locations, and other pertinent information.

An attendance area is the area or territory from which
pupils are expected to attend a given elementary or high
school. The law requires the County Board to designate
the area from which the children are to attend each
school. (Section 423 (6-a).)
The arrangement of these areas is to be based on the
needs of the children and not needlessly limited by school
district boundaries. The law states:
"Insofar as possible, arrangements are to be made for chil-
dren to attend, without tuition charges to such children on ac-
count of district or county lines, those schools offering the fa-
cilities needed by the children which are most readily accessible
and which would involve the least cost, regardless of whether
those schools are located in another district than that in which
the children reside or are located in another county. ....."
(Section 423 (6-b).)
The Attorney General has ruled that the designation of
attendance areas is a responsibility of the County Board
and that this cannot be done by trustees or any other
group. He also held that the provisions of the school
board relating to the designation of attendance areas


"should be so administered as not to destroy the integrity
of school districts. In other words, provisions designat-
ing attendance areas should not be used as a substitute for
provisions authorizing consolidation and elimination of
school districts." (December 28, 1939)
In the same opinion, the Attorney General held that the
County Board might authorize adjustments such that
children from an attendance area for a given school could
attend other convenient schools offering facilities needed
by those children and not available in the attendance
area designated for the school they would otherwise at-
tend. However, again this authority must not be exer-
cised in such a manner as to take the place of consolida-
tion of schools without actually going through the pro-
cedure required for consolidation.
Best Policies
(1) The attendance area for each elementary and high
school center in the county will be designated by
the County Board so as to make it possible for
children to attend those centers which are most
convenient and at which adequate facilities are
(2) At the regular March meeting of the Board each
year, the county superintendent shall present to
the County Board his recommendations for adjust-
ments in attendance areas for the ensuing year.
Any recommendations shall be supported by a map
showing attendance areas, the location of pupils,
and other pertinent information.
(3) Children will be authorized to attend a school cen-
ter other than that designated to serve their at-
tendance area only when school facilities are avail-
able at another center which are not provided at
the center they would logically attend and when
such an exception is economically practicable.
(4) Children will be permitted to attend another school
than that to which they are assigned only when
exceptions are authorized, as indicated above.
Schools may be organized as elementary schools com-
prising grades one through six oi, when authorized by the


State Board and upon decision of the County Board, may
include grades one through eight.
High or secondary schools include junior high schools
with grades seven to nine; senior high schools with grades
ten to twelve; or, junior-senior high schools with grades
seven to twelve; or, upon decision of the County Board
when authorized by regulations of the State Board, may
be organized as four-year high schools comprising grades
nine to twelve, inclusive. (Section 213)
The County Board thus determines the plan of organiza-
tion of the schools. The 6-3-3 or 6-6 plan is recognized
by law as preferable, although the County Board is au-
thorized to establish eight-year elementary schools and
four-year high schools if it desires to do so and is not pre-
vented by regulations of the State Board from doing so.

Best Policies
(1) In so far as practicable, all schools in the county
are to be organized on the 6-3-3 or 6-6 basis.
Where schools are small, the plan of organization
shall comprise six elementary grades and six high
school grades. Separate junior and senior high
schools will be recognized only at large centers.
(2) Variations from this plan of organization will be
authorized only when application for such vari-
ation is made by the principal and supported by
recommendations of the county superintendent.
In general, such variations will be recognized only
when the variation is made necessary because of
the building situation at a given center or when it
would afford no handicap to the county school pro-

The scope of work to be offered at each school center
is determined by the County Board. The law provides
that it shall be the duty of the County Board:
"To adopt plans and regulations for determining those school
centers at which work is to be restricted to the elementary
grades, school centers at which work is to be offered only in the
high school grades, and school centers at which work is to be
offered in any or all grades, and in accordance with such plans


and regulations to determine the grade or grades in which work
is to be offered at each school center." (Section 423 (6-e).)
The Attorney General has held that if elementary
schools are organized to include the first eight grades,
the County Board would not be within its rights in author-
izing the transportation of pupils in the seventh and
eighth grades to a school in another district without the
consent of the trustees. What the County Board should
do in this case would be to recognize the school as a six-
grade elementary school instead of an eight-grade school;
then transportation of the pupils in the seventh and eighth
grades would be proper.
Best Policies
(1) At all school centers designated only for elemen-
tary school work, the work offered will be restrict-
ed to the first six grades. All pupils above the
sixth grade will be assigned to a junior or senior
high school center. In any school which falls be-
low the minimum standards for a permanent school
center, no work will be organized for pupils above
the level for which the standards are met, and
pupils in grades above that level will be trans-
ported where practicable to other permanent cen-
(2) No junior high school will be authorized to offer
work in the tenth or eleventh grades, except when
transportation of those pupils to another center
would not be feasible.

Either the county superintendent or the trustees may
recommend at any time that any school be eliminated or
consolidated. However, when such a recommendation
is made by the county superintendent, the school may
not be actually eliminated or consolidated without the
approval of the trustees, except in the case of smaller
schools as explained in the following paragraph. (Sec-
tion 443 (4).)
It is made the duty of the County Board to provide for
the elimination of school centers within the county and
for the consolidation of schools whenever the needs of


pupils can better and more economically be served at
other school centers than those which they have been
attending. (Section 423 (6-c).)
If an elementary school which had less than thirty pu-
pils in average daily attendance during the previous year,
or a junior, senior, or four-year high school which had
an average daily attendance of less than seventy five
pupils during the previous year, is recommended for elim-
ination or consolidation, the decision of the trustees is not
final as in the case of larger schools. Any such recom-
mendation for consolidation of a smaller school, as indi-
cated above, is to be submitted to the trustees who must
either give their consent or show cause why the recom-
mendation should not be carried out. If the trustees re-
fuse to give their consent, the matter is referred by the
county superintendent to the County Board for decision.
(Section 443 (4).)
This provision of the law relating to small schools is
most important. It definitely limits the power of trustees
over small schools and is justified by the fact that the
State usually provides practically all of the salaries and
the county funds often provide most of the expenses of
such schools. Moreover, it is justified by the principle
that children should be entitled to adequate educational
facilities. When a school is so small that it is very ex-
pensive to maintain and cannot offer facilities needed by
the children, the County Board should seek to eliminate
the school if the children can be more adequately pro-
vided for elsewhere.
Best Policies
(1) At the regular March meeting of the Board each
year, the county superintendent shall submit
recommendations for elimination or consolidation
of small schools which in his opinion should be
consolidated and where more adequate facilities
can more economically be provided elsewhere for
the pupils. He shall recommend the elimination
or consolidation of all schools falling below the
minimum standards prescribed by the Board when
such action seems for the best interest of the chil-
dren and tax payers.


(2) All schools which fall below minimum standards
and are not designated as permanent centers shall
be consolidated when such action seems advan-
tageous, provided the consent of the trustees can
be secured for schools where such consent is re-
(3) When any elementary school falls below thirty in
average daily attendance, or any high school falls
below seventy five, and consolidation is recom-
mended, the trustees shall be notified in writing
and their consent secured if practicable. If they
should object to the consolidation, the County
Board will then decide the matter on its merits in
terms of needs of the children and possible econo-
mies to the tax payers.
(4) No school whose average daily attendance drops
below ten pupils will be continued under any con-
ditions unless the school is isolated and transpor-
tation is impractical; no school whose A. D. A.
drops below twenty pupils will be continued, if
adequate facilities can be provided for the pupils
at another school at any reduction in cost.

The County Board is to approve standards and regula-
tions for classifying and standardizing the various schools
in the county on such bases as to furnish incentive for the
improvement of all schools. (Section 423 (6-e).) Such
standards and regulations, of course, will be supplemen-
tary to any prescribed by the State.
Best Policies
(1) In so far as practicable, provisions will be made
and encouragement given for all schools in the
county to go beyond minimum standards prescrib-
ed by the State. However, no school will be en-
couraged to make this progress at the expense of
other schools. -
(2) It shall be the responsibility of the county super-
intendent and his staff to propose regulations and
procedures which will provide incentive and aid in
improving the various schools of the county.


It is made the responsibility of County Boards to ap-
prove plans for cooperating with County Boards of ad-
joining counties or States for establishment of schools and
attendance areas that will best serve the needs of the
children of their respective counties. The control of any
such school established in this manner is to be vested in
the County Board of the county in which the school is
located unless otherwise agreed upon by the Boards.
(Section 423 (6-d).)
Best Policies
(1) If there are children in the county whose needs
can better and more economically be served by at-
tending a school in another county, such attend-
ance will be authorized whenever the cooperation
of the County Board of the adjoining county can
be secured.
(2) If, whenever there are children in adjoining coun-
ties whose needs can better be served by attending
a school in this county, the County Board will seek
to work out plans for cooperation in the establish-
ment of such school and joint attendance areas.
(3) If more children in this county attend school in any
adjoining county than the number of children from
that county attending school in this county, the
cooperating County Board will be allowed each
year an amount per pupil which is equitable in
terms of the investment in buildings and the cost
of operation. No allowance will be made for trans-
portation or salaries since the adjoining county
receives State funds for those items. Similar ad-
justments will be expected of any other county
when that county has more children attending
school in this county than this county has in the
other county.
(4) The county superintendent shall attempt to work
out agreements with adjoining counties for the
establishment and maintenance of such schools
and attendance areas.

The establishment of kindergarten and nursery schools


is authorized at the discretion of County Boards. Fees
for such schools may be prescribed. (Section 423 (6-b).)
Best Policies
(1) A kindergarten or nursery school will be estab-
lished when the people in any center are sufficient-
ly interested to desire the establishment and when
at least twenty such pupils will be available for
the school.
(2) Until State funds can be made available or county
funds are more adequate, tuition shall be charged
for the pupils attending each such school in an
amount sufficient to pay the salary of the teacher.

In so far as possible, the County Board is to prescribe a
uniform opening and closing date for schools. Schools
are required to open and close on the date prescribed by
the County Board. The opening date must be after the
1st of July and the closing date before the last of June
unless the County Board has secured a special exception
from the State Board. Opening and closing dates are to
be arranged so as to assure as far as practicable uniform
terms for all schools in the county. The County Board is
to adopt regulations for closing schools during emergen-
cies and for paying salaries of teachers on such occasions.
(Section 423 (6-f).)
Best Policies
(1) All schools in the county shall open each year on
the ........ Monday in September (some counties
may prefer to have registration on Thursday or
Friday so work may begin on Monday or may pre-
fer to begin earlier than September). Terms for
elementary and high schools in the county should
be the same, insofar as practicable. Districts
which fail to vote the minimum tax levy recom-
mended by the County Board are to be considered
as penalizing themselves to the extent of the de-
ficiency. Districts which vote a higher millage
levy than that recommended by the County Board
for the minimum term should have opportunity
for longer terms or enriched programs.


(2) When an emergency arises, the county superin-
tendent is authorized to close any and all schools
and report the circumstances to the County Board
at its next meeting; provided that, if the emergency
is for longer than four days, a special meeting of
the County Board shall be called to determine
further action. Salaries of all teachers are to be
paid when schools are closed as the result of any
such emergency.

The County Board approves and designates the school
holidays and vacation periods. The total number of
school holidays may not exceed a total of one day for
each thirty days of the term. So far as practicable, the
holidays and vacation periods are to be uniform for all
schools in the county. (Section 423 (6-g).)
Best Policies
(1) All schools shall be closed on Thanksgiving, which
shall be considered a school holiday, and during
Christmas Week, which is designated as a vacation
(2) All other legal holidays are to be observed in the
schools by appropriate exercises in keeping with
the spirit of the holiday. Schools are not to be
closed for such holidays except when specifically
authorized by the County Board.
(3) The county superintendent is authorized to close
schools not to exceed two days each year so the
teachers may attend meetings of the State Educa-
tion Association with pay. Such days shall be
designated as school holidays.
(4) Not more than one day during the year may be
designated as a school holiday when pupils or
teachers may be free to attend a fair, a play day
program, or other similar event. That date in so
far as practicable will be uniform for all schools
of the county and will be designated by the County
(5) Any school desiring a holiday for any other pur-
pose must submit its request for such holiday to the
Board for approval.


County Boards are authorized to establish and main-
tain vocational schools, classes, or departments, and to
provide for the establishment and maintenance of voca-
tional rehabilitation services for the physically handi-
capped. (Section 423 (6-h).)

Best Policies
(1) In so far as practicable, agricultural departments
will be established in all high schools serving agri-
cultural communities, and home economics depart-
ments will be established in all high schools, except
where the enrollment is too small to justify the ex-
pense. In such situations, provision will be made
for interested pupils.at other schools when practi-
(2) Separate vocational schools will be established in
cities only where large numbers of pupils are avail-
able who are interested specifically in vocational
(3) All vocational work is to be closely related to the
academic work since both vocational and academic
courses constitute proper training for high school
(4) Every effort will be made to make available voca-
tional courses of the various types to all pupils
who should have access to such courses. However,
a broad general education for all is to be consid-
ered basic, and vocational courses are to be de-
veloped along with .a comprehensive guidance
(5) Every effort will be made to locate physically han-
dicapped children and provide them with special
services needed, including vocational rehabilita-


Specific Duties and Responsibilities:


Among the most important decisions that must be made
by the County Boards are those relating to personnel of
the school system. If policies adopted by the County
Board are wise, the school system will be able to develop
a strong staff of principals, teachers, and other person-
nel, and the schools are likely to be well-conducted. If
policies are unwise, the most competent members of the
teaching staff are likely to seek positions elsewhere and
the school program in the county will be weakened to
that extent.

The law requires the County Board:
"To designate positions to be filled, prescribe qualifications
for those positions, and to provide for the appointment, com-
pensation, promotion, suspension, and dismissal of employees
as follows...." (Section 423 (7).)

The law not only authorizes but requires the County
"To act upon recommendations submitted by the County
Superintendent for positions to be filled and for minimum
qualifications for personnel for the various positions." (Section
423 (7-a).)
The number of positions to be filled should always be
designated by the County Board to avoid the possibility
of trustees nominating more persons than can be paid
from available funds. The Attorney General has ruled
that in keeping with this provision of the law, the County
Board has a right to reject any nominations submitted by
trustees in excess of the number of positions authorized.
(Opinion dated May 21, 1938)
Moreover, the County Board should prescribe qualifi-
cations for all positions, otherwise there is no protection.
If no qualifications are prescribed, trustees can nominate


very poorly prepared teachers and such nominations
would almost have to be accepted by the County Board.
The Attorney General on February 27, 1939, ruled that
"Trustees n9ust nominate persons possessing the qualifi-
cations required by regulations of the County Board.....
It is my opinion that (in the event trustees nominate for
appointment persons who do not possess the qualifications
prescribed by the County Board) such nominations may
be rejected by the County Board."
It should be clearly understood, of course, that the act
of prescribing qualifications will not in itself assure that
each person who meets those qualifications is competent.
However, it will tend to safeguard competency because
the mere fact that persons with a small amount of train-
ing are eliminated will mean that there is a better chance
of securing competent employees.

Best Policies
(1) Positions shall be authorized and created only
when the need for such positions is clearly shown.
Positions will be authorized only for the minimum
number of employees needed to render efficiently
the services required.
(2) The County Board will safeguard itself against
pressure to lower standards and create additional
positions by adhering to the policy of maintaining
high standards and keeping the number of posi-
tions to the minimum required.
(3) The county superintendent shall recommend and
the County Board will prescribe minimum qualifi-
cations for all positions in the county requiring
special training and skills. This step will be taken
in Order to protect the interests of pupils and pro-
mote the efficiency of service.
(4) No one will be appointed as an administrative or
supervisory assistant to the county superintendent
unless he has had training equivalent to the mas-
ter. degree with special preparation in the field in
which he is to serve. (For example, no one will
be appointed business manager without at least a
masters degree and special training in school busi-
ness administration. A person to be employed as


school plant supervisor must have had special
training in that field. Such safeguards are abso-
lutely necessary if competent leadership and effi-
cient operation of the schools are to be assured.)
(5) Any principal of a six or more teacher school shall
have training equivalent to a masters degree with
special training in administration and supervision
for the level on which he is to serve; that is, for
elementary or secondary schools, or both. A prin-
cipal of a school having less than six teachers must
have at least a bachelors degree and a certificate
in administration and supervision evidencing spe-
cial training in the field in which he is to serve.
(6) No elementary teacher is to be employed unless he
has at least two years of college work and is cer-
tificated in the field in which he is to serve. No
high school teacher will be employed unless he is
a college graduate and has a certificate to teach in
the field in which he is to serve.
(7) The above requirements apply to new personnel.
Personnel now in service will be given to July 1,
1944, (or some similar reasonable date) to meet
these requirements.
(8) All school employees will be required to hold cer-
tificates based on an annual physical examination
evidencing physical fitness for the work to be per-
(9) No teacher without previous experience may be
nominated to serve in the school which he attended
as a pupil. Such a person must have had previous
successful experience in some other school in the
county or elsewhere before being nominated for a
position in that school.
(10) Nominations of persons from within the county will
be favorably considered provided such persons are
properly qualified and experienced. However, if
there is evidence that other persons are available
who are better qualified, the nomination of the bet-
ter qualified person will be favored.
(11) Married teachers who have had successful experi-
ence and whose home duties do not interfere with
their school work are to be appointed on the basis


of merit. There is to be no discrimination against
married teachers as such.
(12) A reasonable percentage of well-qualified, inex-
perienced teachers is to be selected each year and
assigned to work under careful supervision. (This
is one of the best ways to develop a strong teach-
ing corps. Counties, for many reasons, should not
try to fill all positions with experienced teachers.)
(13) Persons under contract in another school system
may not be nominated and will not be appointed
to a position unless they are voluntarily released
from the contract they hold.

Teachers may secure leave of absence under the follow-
ing classifications: sick leave, illness in line of duty leave,
professional leave, and personal leave. (Section 539)
Sick Leave. Each teacher is entitled to five days' sick
leave for each year of service. Such sick leave may be
accumulated for not to exceed twenty days. Teachers
are entitled to pay for such leave when all requirements
relating to leave are met. No option is left to the County
Board in this matter. (Section 540)
Illness-in-Line-of-Duty-Leave. Any member of the In-
structional staff is entitled to illness-in-line-of-duty leave
for not to exceed ten days during any one year when he
has to be absent because of personal injury or illness con-
tracted in school work. This may be in addition to sick
leave. He is entitled to pay for the time absent for this
reason. (Section 541)
Professional Leave. Professional leave may be granted
under regulations of the County Board, and teachers may
be paid for such leave. (Section 542)
Personal Leave. Personal leave may be granted when
necessary but teachers are not entitled to pay for personal
leave. Absence on account of a religious holiday or for
other personal reasons is construed as personal leave.
(Section 543)
Best Policies
(1) All teachers shall be required to take an annual


physical examination and to provide a certificate
showing that they are in proper physical condition
for the year's work.
(2) Teachers who have to be absent for any reason
are expected to notify the principal and he in turn
to notify the county superintendent in advance of
the absence, if possible. If advance notification is
not possible, notification should be filed in writing
as soon as possible. Any teacher who is absent
and who fails to notify the principal or county
superintendent when it is possible to do so shall be
considered as having violated his contract.

(3) Professional leave with pay shall be granted teach-
ers within the limits prescribed by the regulations
of the County Board on recommendation of the
county superintendent.


The law requires the County Board:
"To act on written recommendations submitted by the County
Superintendent of persons to act as administrative, supervisory,
attendance, or health assistants, his office assistants, and bus
drivers, and to appoint persons to fill such positions." (Section
423 (7-b).)
According to law the county superintendent is respon-
sible to the County Board for the proper administration
of the schools and execution of policies adopted by the
Board. All school personnel are expected to be responsi-
ble to the Board through the county superintendent. It,
therefore, stands to reason that the County Board will not
appoint such persons on its own initiative, but will always
look to the county superintendent for recommendations.
If any recommendation submitted by the county superin-
tendent is not sound, the Board should reject that recom-
mendation and ask for another.

On November 2, 1939, the Attorney General pointed
out that:

"In view of the fact that the county superintendent is re-
quired to make complicated reports to the State Board of Edu-


cation and the State Superintendent of Public Instruction, it is
essential that the County Board employ only competent office
assistants, willing and able to cooperate with and work under the
direction of the county superintendent. It is reasonable to as-
sume that a County Board of Public Instruction will under usual
conditions hesitate to reject recommendations of the county
superintendent with regard to employees in or directly connected
with the office of the county superintendent. If this were not
the case, it would be possible for an intolerable condition to
exist in which the county superintendent would be compelled to
rely on assistants who cduld openly defy and ignore his di-
Best Policies
(1) The County Board will prescribe minimum qualifi-
cations for all such positions and will require the
county superintendent to submit in writing recom-
mendations of persons who meet these minimum
(2) The County Board will reject any such recom-
mendation of the county superintendent only for
good cause, in which case the county superinten-
dent will be called upon to make a second recom-
mendation. If the county superintendent has made
three recommendations, all of which have been
rejected for good cause by the County Board, the
County Board may then proceed to make the ap-
pointment on its own initiative.
The County Board is required to act not later than six
weeks before the close of school during any year on the
nomination by the trustees of district supervising princi-
pals and principals, not later than four weeks before the
close of school on the nomination of other members of the
instructional staff, and by a reasonable date as prescribed
by regulations of the County Board on nominations of
other personnel. The County Board has a right to reject
such nominations only for good cause and in case a second
such nomination is rejected, the Board can appoint on its
own initiative. If the trustees do not submit nominations
within the time limits prescribed, the Board has a right to
its own motion to fill the positions. (423 (7-c and d).)
Best Policies
(1) In all instances the County Board will act on ap-
pointments within the prescribed time limits and


will notify in writing all employees concerning
their reappointment, including both those who are
to be reappointed and those who are not to be re-
(2) When a vacancy occurs after the time designated
for annual reappointments, the trustees will be
given four weeks in which to submit a satisfactory
nomination, provided that, if the vacancy occurs
within four weeks of the opening of the school, the
trustees shall have only ten days in which to sub-
mit a satisfactory nomination.
(3) If the trustees do not submit an acceptable nom-
ination for any position within the time prescribed
for such nominations, the County Board will ask
the county superintendent, after conferring with
the principals involved, if the appointment is for
an employee to serve in a school, to submit his
recommendation and the County Board will then
proceed to act on his recommendation as it would
have acted on the nomination by trustees; pro-
vided that in special cases the County Board may
extend the time within which trustees are to sub-
mit nominations.
(4) The County Board will consider no nomination
submitted by trustees unless that nomination is
submitted in writing signed by at least two of the
trustees and accompanied by the statement that
the trustees in making the nomination have con-
sidered the recommendation of the county superin-
tendent and principal of the school concerned.

The law relating to appointment of employees in
schools other than district schools is similar to the law
relating to appointment of employees in district schools,
except that nominations are to be submitted by the county
superintendent instead of the trustees. (Sec. 423(7-e).)

Best Policy
The County Board will follow the same policies in
considering nominations of employees for schools
other than district schools as are established for
appointment of employees in district schools, ex-


cept that the County Board will look to the super-
intendent and principals for nominations.
The County Board is required to adopt a salary schedule
or schedules as a basis for paying the instructional staff
and other employees. Such a schedule is required to be
arranged to furnish incentive for improvement in training
and for continued efficient service. (Section 423 (7-f).)
Another provision of the law requires that the portion
of the State Teachers Salary Fund allotted for instruc-
tional salaries must be expended in accordance with a
properly adopted salary schedule. (Section 1002 (4).)
Best Policies
(1) A single salary schedule providing the same salary
for elementary and high school teachers with
equivalent training and experience will be fol-
(2) The beginning salary allotted in the salary sched-
ule will be relatively low, since beginning teach-
ers need experience to develop efficiency. In-
creases during succeeding years will be relatively
rapid until a person has taught six years and will
be less rapid thereafter.
(3) Salaries for teachers with limited training will also
be kept low.
(4) No teacher, white or negro, will be paid less than
$600 annual salary.
Written contracts are required for all regular members
of the instructional staff. Such contracts must be in ac-
cordance with the salary schedule adopted by the County
Board and shall be in writing for definite amounts, for
definite terms of services and shall specify the number of
monthly payments to be made. No salary can be paid
unless these provisions are observed. (Section 423 (7-g).)
Each member of the instructional staff is to be provided
with a contract at least one month before school begins
any year if he is employed prior to that time. This re-


quirement must be properly observed if the county is
to participate in the Teachers' Salary Fund. (Section
1002 (3).)
Best Policies
(1) The contract-form for instructional personnel ap-
proved by the State Board of Education will be
used with no modifications that will affect the
spirit of the contract. (For example, County
Boards may not write in the phrase, "Provided
funds are available".)
(2) All steps relating to contracts and salary schedules
will be designed to promote continuity in service
for members of the instructional staff.
(3) For employees who have served satisfactorily for
more than two years, the Board will authorize a
special contract which will be as nearly as possible
a continuing contract, and as soon as permitted by
law will authorize a continuing contract.
(4) Contracts will be made with all principals on a
twelve-months basis with provision for one month
of vacation with pay or for six weeks with pay at
summer school when authorized by the County
Board. Provision will also be made for a reason-
able amount for travel expense for principals of
large schools so they may be in position to serve as
real community leaders.
(5) The decision as to whether teachers are to be paid
on the basis of the school month for the term or by
the calendar month for the entire year will be left
to the teachers. If teachers are to be paid on a
twelve-months basis, a sufficient balance will be
kept on hand the 1st of July to pay July and
August salaries without borrowing.
(6) Teachers approved for reappointment are expect-
ed to notify the County Superintendent in writing
by the close of school whether or not they will ac-
cept the appointment. In special cases, when a
written request for a limited extension of time has
been filed with the County Superintendent, the
Board may approve such an extension.
(7) The county superintendent is authorized to re-
lease from contract any teacher who has an offer


of a better position elsewhere and who has follow-
ed ethical procedures in seeking release, provided
the position can be filled without serious incon-
venience or handicap to the school program.
Unless competent teachers can be given more assurance
regarding their positions than required by present law,
they are likely to become dissatisfied, as would any other
group of employees in a similar position. Movements
for rigid tenure laws usually grow out of inadequate legal
protection which permits abuse.
Many County Boards and even many teachers do not
favor rigid tenure laws. The County Board can and
should take steps that will give competent teachers more
assurance of satisfactory continuity of service and which
may eliminate the demand for rigid tenure laws.
Under present law, continuing contracts are not spe-
cifically authorized. However, the adoption of resolu-
tions similar to those suggested below will give experi-
enced teachers practically the equivalent of continuing
contracts. It seems apparent, however, that the law
should be changed so as to permit, or perhaps even re-
quire, continuing contracts for competent teachers who
have had a certain number of years' experience in a
Resolution of County Board. The County Board should
adopt a resolution similar to the one given below, pro-
vided trustees in the various districts will adopt a resolu-
tion such as the one suggested. These resolutions if prop-
erly adopted and observed will give competent teachers
the assurance they need.

BE IT RESOLVED by the County Board of..........................County,
Florida, that the officially adopted and publicly stated policy of the
County Board of this county relating to employment of instructional
personnel (teachers, principals, etc.) in the county is as follows:
1. All members of the instructional staff who have rendered satis-
factory service in the schools of the county and have made
adequate progress in improving their training during the period


of employment are to be given every possible encouragement
and incentive to continue in service in the county.
2. The County Superintendent and the principals of the schools
are expected to give every possible assistance to members of the
instructional staff to improve in service. Those persons whose
work continues unsatisfactory and those who do not make de-
sirable progress in improving their training within the custom-
ary time limits set by the Board, are to be replaced with ade-
quately prepared and competent teachers.
BE IT FURTHER RESOLVED that, as a means of carrying out this
policy the following procedures shall be strictly observed at all times
and shall be a part of every contract with members of the instruc-
tional staff in all county schools and likewise in all schools in districts
in which Trustees adopt this policy:
1. Each member of the instructional staff who has served satis-
factorily for more than two years in the schools of the county
is to be considered as having an annual and continuing recom-
mendation and nomination for reemployment until the Trustees
of the district in which the teacher is serving or, if the teacher
is in a county school, until the County Superintendent shall file
with the County Board before the time designated by law for
filing annual nominations for reappointment, a recommendation
that such teacher be dismissed for good reason, and shall give in
writing the reasons for the recommendation.
2. When any teacher is recommended for dismissal for good rea-
sons the County Board will make a careful effort to ascertain
the facts in the case and to determine the action which would
result in greatest value to the school and to the pupils involved.
If the Board is convinced that the reasons for dismissal are in-
adequate, an effort will be made to bring about an adjustment
so that the teacher may continue to serve in the county.

Chairman of County Board
Board Member
Board Member

Resolution of Trustees. If teachers are to have the as-
surance they need regarding continuity of service, the
basic step is for trustees in all districts to adopt a resolu-
tion which will read somewhat as follows:

BE IT RESOLVED by the Trustees of special tax school district
No......... of........................County, Florida, that the officially adopted
and publicly stated policy of the Trustees of this tax district relating
to employment of instructional personnel (teachers, principals, etc.)
in the tax district is as follows:
1. All members of the instructional staff who have rendered satis-
factory service in the schools of the district and have made


adequate progress in improving their training during the period
of employment are to be given every possible encouragement
and incentive to continue in service in the district.
2. The County Superintendent and the principals of the schools
are expected to give every possible assistance to members of
the instructional staff to improve in service. Those persons
whose work continues unsatisfactory and those who do not
make desirable progress in improving their training within the
customary time limits set by the Board, are to be replaced with
adequately prepared and competent teachers.
BE IT FURTHER RESOLVED that, as a means of carrying out this
policy the following procedure shall be strictly observed at all times
and, with the concurrence of the County Board, shall be a part of
every contract:
1. Each member of the instructional staff who has served satis-
factorily for more than two years in the schools of the district
is to have an annual and continuing recommendation and
nomination for reappointment as long as his services are satis-
factory, and is to be considered by the County Board as having
been recommended for reappointment, unless the Trustees file
with the Board by the date specified by law a written statement
recommending that the teacher be dismissed and giving the
reasons for such recommendation. No member of the instruc-
tional staff who has served satisfactorily in the schools of the
district for more than two years will be recommended for dis-
missal at the end of any year except for good reasons.
2. The County Board and County Superintendent are expected to
ascertain all the facts in the case when any member of the in-
structional staff has been recommended for dismissal and at any
time the Board is convinced that the reasons given by the
Trustees are not sufficient for the dismissal of the teacher, the
Trustees will voluntarily review their decision and will not
consider the recommendation as final until such review has been
completed and a new decision has been reached or the original
decision has been confirmed.
Chairman of Trustees

The Board is expected to act on recommendations of the
county superintendent regarding transfer and promotion
except that employees cannot be transferred from one
district to another without the consent of the trustees.
(Sections 423 (7-h) and 433 (7-h).)

Best Policy
Recommendations for transfer within the county
will be approved when such transfers should result


in benefit both to teacher and pupils. In general,
transfers within the county which result in promo-
tions will be encouraged as a basis for helping
to continue competent persons in service in the

Suspension and dismissal may be thought of under two
headings: (1) Those suspensions and dismissals which
occur during the term of contract and (2) those which
occur at the end of the year. At the present time, un-
fortunately, there is no specific authorization in law for
contracts which extend beyond a year.
A teacher may be suspended during the year by the
county superintendent for a period of not to exceed ten
days. In case of any such suspension or recommendation
for removal, a teacher must have an opportunity to be
heard at a public hearing after ten days' written notice.
Charges for dismission must be based on immorality, mis-
conduct in office, incompetency, gross insubordination,
wilful neglect of duty, drunkenness, or conviction of any
crime involving moral turpitude. (Section 423 (7-i).)
Best Policies
(1) In case of suspension or dismission during the year,
all actions and decisions of the County Board will
be based on sound ethical principles, and provisions
of the law will be strictly observed.
(2) A teacher who has served satisfactorily for more
than two years will be considered as being entitled
to and as having the equivalent of a continuing
contract. Such a teacher will be dismissed at the
end of any year only for cause, as explained below.
All teachers and principals will be expected to
observe fully the provisions of Section 509 relating
to duties and responsibilities of the instructional
(3) No teacher or other employee will be dismissed at
the end of the year merely by being left off of the
list. Positive action will be taken in the case of
each employee.


(4) Teachers holding the equivalent of continuing con-
tracts who are recommended for dismissal for
good reason will be notified of the reason and
given an opportunity to appear before the Board
in their own defense if they so desire.
(5) The County Board will encourage investigation by
a properly qualified committee representing the
teaching profession of any case involving recom-
mended dismissal for good reason, will defer its
decision for a reasonable time until such findings
are available, and will give the report of the com-
mittee full and complete consideration.
(6) Any teacher under contract who secures another
position without first having secured the approval
of the principal and county superintendent repre-
senting the employing Board shall be considered
as having violated his contract, and the circum-
stances shall be reported to the State Superinten-

The law requires that all teachers must hold certifi-
cates before being employed. No teacher, principal, or
professional assistant can be paid unless he holds a certifi-
cate. (Sections 514 and 515)

The mere fact that a person holds a certificate is not
enough. Regulations of the State Board prescribe that
teachers are to hold certificates for the type of service to
be rendered. This point is important if efficient service
is to be expected.
Best Policies
(1) No teacher will be appointed to a position unless
he holds a certificate showing that he is qualified
to teach subjects in the field in which he is expect-
ed to serve.
(2) All teachers will be expected to hold regular cer-
tificates. No application for an emergency certifi-
cate will be authorized by the County Board unless
there is clearly no possibility of securing a proper-
ly certificated person for that position.


All substitute and temporary teachers are expected to
hold certificates, except that where a teacher is absent
for five days or less in an emergency a person who is not
certificated, but who is competent to carry on the work,
may be employed. The rate of pay for a substitute is to
be determined by regulations of the County Board.
If a substitute is required for more than five days, the
position may be filled by the county superintendent until
the next meeting of the County Board at which time the
position is to be filled in the regularly designated manner.
(Section 547) If the position is temporary rather than a
permanent one, the nomination need not come from the
trustees. (Opinion of Attorney General dated January
30, 1940)
Best Policies
(1) No substitute teacher may be appointed by the
county superintendent to fill a temporary vacancy
of any sort who does not hold a certificate unless a
person holding a certificate cannot be found.
(2) A list of properly certificated persons available for
substitute teaching is to be approved by the County
Board each fall, and insofar as possible, substi-
tutes, as needed, are to be assigned by the County
Superintendent from persons on this list.

Teachers who have reached sixty years of age may be
retired with compensation from the State if they belong
to the State Teachers Retirement System. All teachers
who have reached seventy years of age must be retired.
(Chapter 19014, Acts of 1939)
Best Policies
(1) All teachers should be encouraged to join the
teachers retirement system and comply with its
(2) The county superintendent is expected to cooperate
fully to supply all information needed and other-
wise facilitate the operation of the retirement

Specific Duties and Responsibilities:


The County Board is responsible for arranging for an
accurate school census of the children of the county.
This is to be used as a basis for determining children who
should attend school and for enforcing compulsory at-
tendance laws. (Sec. 423 (8-a).)
The census is to include all persons between the ages of
six and eighteen years and may be kept either on a con-
tinuing basis or taken periodically. If taken periodically,
it must be brought up to date at least twice in each decade.
(Sec. 620)

Best Policies
(1) A continuing census is to be maintained in the
office of the county superintendent. At the time
of each State and Federal census (each five years)
the continuing census records shall be checked and
corrected to assure that they are accurate and
(2) The census shall be used by the county superin-
tendent and principals as a basis for determining
which children of school age are not in school and
for planning steps to assure attendance of all chil-
dren who should be in school.

The County Board is to adopt rules and regulations re-
lating to admission and attendance of children. (Sec.
423 (8-b).)
Children who have reached five years nine months of
age by the opening of school, or within the first calendar
month after the opening of school (Ruling of the Attor-
ney General September 20, 1940) are entitled to admis-


sion to the first grade of schools having annual promo-
tions. If the school has semi-annual promotions, children
must have reached five years eleven months of age at the
beginning of a semester or within the first two weeks
thereafter to be admitted during the semester. All chil-
dren between the ages of seven and sixteen years are re-
quired to attend school regularly for the full term, except
that certain children between fourteen and sixteen years
may obtain employment certificates. (Sec. 601)
Children who have reached three years of age by De-
cember 1 of any year may be admitted to nursery schools
and children who have reached four years by December
1 may be admitted to kindergarten. (Sec. 604 and 605)
Best Policies
(1) No pupil shall be permitted to enroll in the first
grade who has not reached the age prescribed by
law for admission to that grade.
(2) Principals shall regularly check their attendance
records and report on pupils whom they have not
been able to keep in school or who, for any un-
acceptable reason, have not attended regularly.
Regular attendance for the entire school term is com-
pulsory for all children who will have attained the age of
seven years by February 1 of any year and who have not
yet attained the age of sixteen years, except for those
who have certificates of exemption. (Sec. 601)
A child between fourteen and sixteen years of age who
has completed the eighth grade may obtain an employ-
ment certificate when his parents certify that the em-
ployment of the child is necessary and he has a position.
(Sec. 607) A certificate of exemption is authorized in
certain cases on account of physical and mental disability
or distance the child lives from the school or a transporta-
tion route. (Sec. 606) Age certificates are authorized for
children between sixteen and eighteen years of age. (Sec.
608) Parents are held responsible for the attendance of
their children and are subject to fine and imprisonment
if the laws are not observed. (Sec. 609)


The employment of a qualified attendance assistant is
authorized to aid in solving problems relating to attend-
ance. (Sec. 617)
Best Policies
(1) The county superintendent shall grant certificates
of exemption only in cases where the evidence is
clear that such certificates are justified and
(2) Every effort is to be made to keep children in
school as long as possible and to offer facilities in
the schools which will be of real benefit to those
(3) An attendance assistant holding a teaching certifi-
cate and having had at least four years of college
work with special training in social work will be
authorized to assist in solving attendance problems.
(4) Attendance assistants will be expected to work
with parents, teachers, principals, and pupils in
an effort to keep children in school without the
necessity of compulsion except in extreme cases.
The attendance assistant is expected to serve pri-
marily as an instructional and social assistant
rather than as a truant officer.
(5) Every effort will be made to educate parents to the
advantages of regular attendance of pupils at
school. Penalties will be recommended only when
parents wilfully fail to cooperate.

The County Board is expected to adopt necessary regu-
lations to promote uniformity and equity in the progress
of pupils through school. (Sec. 423 (8-b).)
Best Policies
(1) In conformity with the regulations of the County
Board, the Principal of each school will be ex-
pected to develop plans and procedures which
serve the best interest of the pupils in the school.
(2) Responsibility for decisions on all matters relating
to the progress of pupils, in keeping with policies


adopted by the County Board, is to be left to the
principals and the county superintendent. The
County Board will not attempt to determine or de-
cide any individual case but will determine policies
to be observed.
(3) While graduation exercises are to be made im-
pressive, they are to be kept as simple and inex-
pensive as possible, so that no pupil will be em-
barrassed by excessive expense.

Each pupil enrolled in the school is subject to the con-
trol of the school during the time he is being transported
to or from school at public expense, during the time he
is otherwise en route to and from school, during the time
he is attending or presumed to be attending school, and
during the time he is on the school premises. The princi-
pal is responsible for the control of pupils in the school,
but the responsibility for the immediate control may be
delegated to teachers or bus drivers. (Sec. 625 and 626)
Corporal punishment which is not degrading or unduly
severe may be authorized by the principal unless con-
trary to regulations of the County Board. (Sec. 627)
The principal may suspend a pupil for not to exceed
ten days, but a pupil may be expelled only by decision of
the County Board. (Sec. 626) Marriage is not sufficient
grounds for expulsion from school. On March 29, 1937,
the Attorney General ruled: "In regard to the right to
attend school, such a student (married student) occupies
the same status as an unmarried student."

Best Policies
(1) The principal of each school is to be held respon-
sible for observing the law and regulations relat-
ing to the control of pupils, and for exercising ef-
fective control of the pupils in his school.
(2) A pupil will be expelled only when the evidence
indicates that other means of dealing with hini
have failed, and when expulsion seems to be for
the best interest of the school.


The County Board is expected to make such special
provisions as are practicable for the education of back-
ward, defective, truant, or incorrigible children, and for
those of unusual ability; also, to provide needed facilities
for adolescents, illiterates, and Americanization groups.
(Sec. 423 (8-e).)
Best Policies
(1) Needed special facilities are to be provided where
feasible and practicable for children who are
physically handicapped in any way, including
those with defective eyesight, defective hearing,
(2) Every effort will be made to ascertain children who
are deaf and blind, and to secure admission for
them to the State school for deaf and blind.
(3) In so far as practicable, evening, part-time, and
other special classes are to be provided for adoles-
cents and adults who can benefit from such facili-

It is the duty of the County Board to provide for all
children to have periodic dental and physical examina-
tions; and to arrange and cooperate with other organiza-
tions for the treatment of all pupils in need of preventive
and remedial treatment. (Sec. 423 (8-f).)

All too often, proper attention has not been given, either
in the home or in the school, to the health of children and
as a result many persons have gone through life with
handicaps that might have been avoided. In fact, the
provision of proper school health facilities should be con-
sidered basic to any educational program.
Best Policies
(1) Every effort will be made to determine and solve
health problems in the schools so that as many
children as possible may be maintained in good
health or may have treatment necessary for good


(2) If there is not a county health unit in the county,
every effort will be made to arrange for the estab-
lishment of such a unit so that the services may be
available for the pupils.
(3) The school personnel are expected to cooperate
fully with the county health unit at all times.
(4) Every effort is to be made to see that children in
need of treatment are treated promptly. (This is
considered a basic responsibility of the schools,
even though school funds may not be expended
directly for that purpose.)
(5) When there are epidemics or threats of epidemics,
the advice of health authorities will be sought and
followed with reference to the schools. Schools
will be closed only when such action is recom-
mended by the health authorities.
(6) School premises are to be kept clean and sanitary
at all times and are to constitute as nearly as pos-
sible a model for the community.

Specific Duties and Responsibilities:


All policies of the County Board should be designed to
contribute to the success of the instructional program.
Unless a county has a good instructional program, it will
not be accomplishing the purposes recognized for the
schools. Unless the policies of the County Board are such
as to promote the appointment and improvement in ser-
vice of capable personnel, the development of a satisfac-
tory instructional program will hardly be possible.

The County Board is responsible for determining poli-
cies relating to the improvement of instruction, but it
should not attempt to interfere with or prescribe the
details of the instructional program. By law the re-
sponsibility for the supervision of instruction in the Coun-
ty is left to the county superintendent and the principals
of the various schools. (Sec. 433 (7-j) and Sec. 403 (6).)
Best Policies
(1) Every effort will be made to secure a competent
instructional staff and then to give members of the
staff every encouragement to continue and to im-
prove in service.
(2) The county superintendent and his staff will be
responsible for the supervision and improvement
of instruction in the various schools of the county.
(3) The County Board recognizes that the county sup-
erintendent and the principals cannot be expected
to carry out all steps with reference to the improve-
ment of instructions without assistance. At least
one supervisor is to be appointed who will have
responsibility for promoting and integrating the
improvement of instruction in the elementary
schools. This supervisor shall have at least a mas-


ters degree with special training in the field of
elementary supervision.
(4) The steps taken by the county superintendent and
his staff in carrying out the policies approved by
the County Board relating to the improvement of
instruction will be given the full support of the
County Board.
(5) Every effort will be made to develop the instruc-
tional program on a broad basis and to establish a
well-balanced program.
The State is expected to provide and does provide many
of the basic instructional materials. However, the Coun-
ty Board has the responsibility of providing any instruc-
tional materials needed to supplement those provided by
the State. (Sec. 423 (9-a).)

Best Policies
(1) The County Board recognizes that satisfactory in-
structional materials cannot be made available nor
improved from time to time as needed without a
competent staff to work out the details.
(2) The County Board recognizes that the preparation
of instructional materials is a technical responsi-
bility which cannot be prescribed in any detail by
the Board.
(3) The County Superintendent and the principals of
the various schools are to be responsible for de-
termining, within the limits of the budget, the
books, magazines and other materials which should
be available in the school libraries. The Board
will not attempt to determine or prescribe specific
materials which should or should not be provided.
(4) No library books, encyclopedias, maps, or other
instructional materials are to be selected or pur-
chased for any school except on recommendation
of the principal and county superintendent or of
a committee of teachers appointed for that pur-
pose. Such purchases will not be made at any
time merely on the recommendation of trustees or
on the initiative of the Board.


All basic textbooks, as well as many readers classed as
"supplementary" are provided by the State. In fact,
State law even makes possible the provision of books for
school libraries. (Sec. 734)
It is the duty of the County Board "to provide for
proper requisitioning, distributing, accounting, storage,
care, and use of all textbooks and other books furnished
by the State and to furnish other textbooks and library
books as may be needed". (Sec. 423 (9-b).)
Best Policies
(1) In view of the fact that textbooks provided by the
State must be purchased out of funds provided by
the tax payers, the county superintendent and his
staff are expected to take every step practicable to
see that the entire textbook program is efficiently
administered and that all books are properly
cared for by the pupils.
(2) The county superintendent and his staff are ex-
pected to see that all books are distributed and
placed in the hands of pupils and that any which
are not to be used are exchanged if practicable so
that pupils may receive the maximum benefit from
the textbook program.
(3) The county superintendent and his staff shall keep
an accurate and complete account of all books and
shall make a report to the County Board in Sep-
tember and again in June, giving the status and
(4) The county superintendent and his staff will make
adequate provision for safe storage of books dur-
ing the summer months in clean, dry, weather-
proof rooms either in schools or in the central book
It is the duty of the County Board to provide such other
teaching accessories and aids as are needed to carry out
the program. (Sec. 423 (9-c).)
County Board members must recognize that it is im-
possible to conduct a satisfactory school program with


teachers, classrooms, and pupils and little else. Teach-
ers and pupils must have needed materials to work with
if the program is to be successful. A satisfactory pro-
gram will require an ample supply of instructional ma-
terials, but this fact, of course, does not justify extrava-
gant or wasteful requisitioning and use.

Best Policies
(1) Sufficient funds will be set aside in the budget each
year to provide instructional materials needed for
a well rounded school program. Standard lists
of supplies and materials are to be used, insofar as
practicable, as a basis for supplying the needs of
the schools. The County Superintendent and prin-
cipals are to be responsible for developing equit-
able plans for determining and making available
the materials needed by the various schools.
(2) All teachers, principals, and others are expected
to be as economical as possible consistent with
good instruction in requisitioning and using instruc-
tional materials.
(3) Since education must proceed through numerous
channels, the county superintendent and his staff
are encouraged to requisition such visual aids and
other similar equipment as can be used wisely for
improving the school program.

At one time it was considered sufficient if a child had
one textbook for each subject. It is now recognized,
however, that the more widely a child reads in many
fields the better opportunity he has to progress satisfac-
torily in his education. School libraries, therefore, are of
great importance. The County Board is expected:
"To establish and maintain school libraries or school libraries
open to the public and, in addition thereto, such traveling or cir-
culating libraries as may be needed for the proper operation of
the county school system." (Sec. 423 (9-d).)
The County Board may take such steps as are necessary
to provide adequate school libraries, may establish co-
operative community libraries when desirable, and is au-
thorized to prescribe rules and regulations and expend

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