School boards matter

School boards are responsible for the local governance of education and operation of local schools. They are elected by and accountable to the communities they serve, not just to the parents of students enrolled in school.

School boards provide direction and make important decisions related to the operation of local schools.

What school boards do

  • Establish goals and priorities and set the overall direction for the school jurisdiction
  • Advocate for public education and the local school jurisdiction
  • Develop, acquire or offer courses, programs and/or instructional materials
  • Adopt an annual budget and allocate funds provided by the provincial government
  • Maintain and operate school buildings, buses and other board property
  • Provide for parental and community involvement in schools
  • Communicate with stakeholders (staff, students, parents or guardians, the public, Alberta Education) about
    school jurisdiction plans and results
  • Select a superintendent of schools and oversee their administrative work
  • Establish policies and rules on the provision of educational services and programs. These include policies and rules related to
    • student trips
    • student safety
    • school activities
    • school fees
    • student conduct and discipline
    • student assessment
    • student attendance
    • transportation and busing

Collectively, school boards manage over $6 billion in public funds dedicated to public education. Alberta’s largest school board, Calgary School District, has an annual budget of over $1 billion and provides educational services for over 100,000 students, making it the third largest local government in Alberta!