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Petaluma City Schools |  BB  9200  Board Bylaws


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Limits of Board Members Authority

The Board of Education is the unit of authority over the district. It has broad but clearly limited powers. The exercise of its authority is restricted to the functions required or permitted by law, and then only when it acts in a legally constituted meeting.

(cf. 9000 - Role of the Board)

The Board member has no individual authority. Individually, the Board member may not commit the district to any policy, act or expenditure. The Board member cannot do business with the district served, nor should the Board member have an interest in any contract with the school district. The Board member represents and acts for the community as a whole and does not represent any factional segment of the community.

(cf. 9270 - Conflict of Interest)

Individual Board members do not have the authority to resolve complaints. Any Board member approached directly by a person with a complaint should refer the complainant to the Superintendent or designee so that the problem may receive proper consideration and be handled through the appropriate district process.

(cf. 1312.1 - Complaints Concerning District Employees)

(cf. 1312.2 - Complaints Concerning Instructional Materials)

(cf. 1312.3 - Uniform Complaint Procedures)

(cf. 1312.4 - Williams Uniform Complaint Procedures)

(cf. 3320 - Claims and Actions Against the District)

(cf. 4031 - Complaints Concerning Discrimination in Employment)

(cf. 6159.1 - Procedural Safeguards and Complaints for Special Education)

Individual members of the Board, by virtue of holding office, shall not exercise any administrative responsibility with respect to the schools or command the services of any school employee. Individual Board members shall submit requests for information to the Superintendent. At his/her discretion, the Superintendent may refer the request to the entire Board for consideration. If approved, the Superintendent or designee shall perform any necessary research associated with the request and report to the Board at a future meeting.

(cf. 1340 - Access to District Records)

(cf. 9011 - Disclosure of Confidential/Privileged Information)

Obligations of Board Members

Board members should hold the education of children and youth above any partisan principle, group interest, or personal interest.

Board members should understand their role and the programs offered by the district. They should study all agenda materials before the meeting, participate in the discussion of items which come before the Board, vote on motions and resolutions, and abstain only for compelling reasons.

(cf. 9240 - Board Development)

(cf. 9271 - Code of Ethics)

(cf. 9320 - Meetings and Notices)

Board members shall refer Board-related correspondence to the Superintendent or designee for forwarding to the Board or for placement on the Board's agenda.

(cf. 9322 - Agenda/Meeting Materials)

Board members and persons elected to the Board are responsible for complying with the requirements of the state's open meeting laws.

The Superintendent or designee shall provide a copy of the Brown Act to each Board member and to anyone who is elected to the Board.

Legal Reference:


200-262.4 Prohibition of discrimination

7054 Use of district property

35010 Control of district; prescription and enforcement of rules

35100-35351 Governing boards, especially:

35160-35184 Powers and duties

35291 Rules

35292 Visits to schools (Board members)

51101 Rights of parents/guardians


54950-54962 The Ralph M. Brown Act, especially:

54952.1 Member of a legislative body of a local agency

54952.7 Copies of chapter to members of legislative body

Management Resources:


CSBA Professional Governance Standards, 2000

Maximizing School Board Leadership: Boardsmanship, 1996




adopted: June 25, 2002 Petaluma, California

revised: March 27, 2007