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Training Law

School Board Governance Improvement Act

The purpose of the School Board Governance Improvement Act of 2012 is to support school board effectiveness. This webpage provides resources to help school board members understand the requirements of and comply with the Governance Act.

Governance Act Forms & Resources

  • Governance Act Resources - Gain access to the act, certificate of affirmation, model code of conduct, state superintendent of education memos, etc.
  • Waiver Request - If unable to meet training mandates for an eligible reason. 
  • Facilitator/Provider Application (download as a Microsoft Word document) - Organizations and individuals wishing to provide training to school boards under the School Board Governance  Improvement Act must submit this application for approval at least 60 days prior to the proposed training.
  • External Credit and all other forms can be found here. (Please complete required fields and attach any required documents or the form may not submit properly. If you do not receive a confirmation email, please contact us.)

School Board Member Orientation Requirement

School board members who have taken office after Jan. 1, 2013, must complete an orientation.

Orientation Topics

  • Roles and Responsibilities
  • Finance
  • Ethics
  • Board Meetings
  • Student and School Performance
  • The Governance Act
  • Legal and Personnel
  • Working with the Board Attorney and Superintendent
  • Advocacy
  • Community Engagement

All orientation courses must be taken once. If the orientation has already been taken, it does not have to be retaken. If you have never had it, you only must take it if you are re-elected or re-appointed for a new term. You must complete it within one year of the July 1 after you take office.

Continuing Education Requirement

During the first year of the Governance Act's implementation, school board members had to take three hours of training between Jan. 1, 2013, and June 30, 2013. But as of July 1, 2013, and going forward, all school board members must take six hours annually. Hours must be earned annually and will not carry over from year to year.

Whole Board Training

Two hours of the required six hours of annual training must be earned as "whole board, interactive training."

  • What It Is - "Whole board, interactive training" is defined as a training session attended by at least the majority of the members of a school board during which the trainer or facilitator interacts directly with the board and during which members discuss an issue or issues specifically as they pertain to the board or system.
  • What It Is Not - Please note that routine work sessions and other activities such as receiving reports on system initiatives that are part of the board's normal duty are not "training," nor is a session in which the board merely receives and/or discusses information such as school system data.
  • Who Does the Training - For the whole board training, you must use a facilitator or outside provider. Generally, superintendents will not be approved to provide the whole board training. This training is distinct from other good governance practices and/or routine business in which the superintendent, as CEO, facilitates and leads board discussion of local issues and concerns.
  • Learning as a Team - Research indicates governance teams that effectively provide leadership for student achievement spend time studying and learning together as a team. The full board training component is intended to involve the board and superintendent actively in learning, reviewing research and discussing options related to specific local issues, goals or plans. As a member of the team, the superintendent should be involved in selecting the training topics. As board secretary, the superintendent sets up the training, and as CEO, the superintendent provides insight to the trainer or facilitator as to the issues or needs that should be addressed.
Taking Office in June?

Appointed city school board members who take office in June will not be expected to complete the annual training requirement in their first month in office. Any training accrued prior to June 30 of the year they take office will count toward the following year's training requirement.

Advocacy Training

Advocacy training that addresses relevant legislative topics, such as current education issues and effective communication with legislators and congressmen, does qualify for training credit. As of July 1, 2014, school board members can receive 2 training hours per year for participating in the Alabama Association of School Boards Advocacy Day.

Please note: The training credit reflects time spent in training, not in advocacy activities.

National Training Hours

If you attend the Consortium of State School Boards Associations' (COSSBA) annual conference you can receive up to a total of three hours of training credit.  

How to Become a Training Facilitator/Provider

Any facilitator/provider not provided by AASB must submit a provider application (download as a Microsoft Word document) to AASB at least 60 days prior to the planned training session. (Read the Provider Application Guidelines.) The application focuses on the course content and the provider's qualifications to deliver it. A panel comprised of representatives from the state Department of Education, AASB and School Superintendents of Alabama will review the applications and notify the provider regarding approval within 30 days.

Please note: Outside facilitators must submit a list of attendees to AASB, as the recordkeeping agency, in order for participants to receive credit hours. The list must be submitted within 30 days of the training.

For training forms, go here.

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