Education Model Policy Manual

Published March 3, 2010

School board policies that are found in a policy manual provide the parameters for the administration to manage the district based on the beliefs and philosophy of each board of education. The importance of policies cannot be overemphasized because in addition to establishing the guidelines for the administration, they also should serve to prevent the loss, abuse or misuse of school human, physical and financial resources thereby maximizing available resources. However, the reality is that most policy manuals are very similar because the policies are generally developed by state associations of boards of education and the management requirements are similar for just about all school districts.

The critical problem with policies is that too often they are not substantive enough and, just as important, seldom have monitoring provisions to determine if the policies have been implemented successfully and consistently. Policies need to be action oriented and designed to delineate what must be done to manage the district efficiently, effectively and economically. In the final analysis, a policy manual should clearly reflect a culture of accountability and transparency.