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Superintendent’s Blog - March 21, 2023

QUESTION: Who runs the district, the superintendent or the Board of Education?

ANSWER: That is an excellent question. In simple terms, the Board of Education sets the vision and direction for the district, and the superintendent is responsible for implementing that vision and direction.  

The Board of Education of Salt Lake City School District is made up of seven elected members. They have responsibilities that are outlined in state law. Some of those responsibilities include

  • Select and appoint the superintendent of schools and the business administrator;
  • Continuously appraise the educational and administrative management of the school system, through the evaluation of the superintendent and business administrator;
  • Develop, adopt, and interpret policies;
  • Adopt operating and capital budgets;
  • Approve curriculum guides and courses of study; and 
  • Establish school boundaries.

The Board of Education has other responsibilities as well. These are outlined and available for review in policies and handbooks available on the district’s website. 

Board members do not have authority as individuals, under the law, authority comes when board members make decisions in public board meetings by voting. Those voted on decisions become the guidance given to the superintendent to implement and administer by leading the district and all the district employees. The Board relies on the superintendent’s expertise in matters of district administration and educational best practice. The Board holds the superintendent responsible for administering its policies, implementing Board direction, supervising the schools, operating central office support for schools and programs, and implementing the Board’s strategic plan for student achievement. The superintendent consults with and informs the Board about school operations and problems in a timely, accurate, and appropriate manner.

The Board of Education relies on the business administrator for advice and expertise on financial matters affecting the operation of the schools. The Board holds the business administrator responsible for ensuring the accuracy, integrity, and timely communication of such information to the board and superintendent.