". . . the powers not delegated to
the United States by the Constitution . . . are reserved to the
States . . . or to the people." *
On the basis of the preceding quotation, the responsibility to
educate the citizens of our country falls upon the individual
In West Virginia, the 12th article of the state's
constitution calls for ". . . a thorough and efficient system
of free schools." This responsibility was passed down to the
55 counties and to their local boards of education with each county
being obligated to provide a proportion of the means to establish
and maintain proper schools.
One of the most important functions of the each board
of education is to set policies to serve as guidelines for its superintendent
of schools. Board policies establish those goals that the board
believes will bring about a sound educational system and relate
to fiscal, educational, and administrative procedures. The superintendent
is employed by the board and is answerable to it.
A unique feature of boards of
education is that while elected by the voters in their counties
and partially supported by the local taxpayers, the members are
agents of the state, or more specifically, of the West Virginia
State Department of Education.
While free to establish its
own policies and by-laws, the local boards are obligated to carry
out all applicable federal laws, state statutes, and directives
from the state board of education.
The 10th Amendment of the U.S. Constitution.
In short, it
is the responsibility of the Board of Education to do the
Provide the physical
plant where education can take place,
Oversee the proper management of the schools,
Establish effective educational programs,
Maintain open lines of communication between the board
on the one hand and members of the school staff and the community
on the other.
Visit the State School Boards Association
for more information: www.wvsba.org