Test your Board of Education Knowledge
Board of Education True or False
1. Board of Education (BOE) trustees are paid for their positions.
False. Board of Education trustees are elected to serve the taxpayers and children of the North Merrick school district. This is an unpaid position. They either run or are appointed in the event a position becomes vacant during a term. Trustees serve for three years. They must run every three years if they wish to be re-elected.
2. The BOE hires teachers, principals, and all other faculty for the North Merrick School District.
False. The Superintendent is responsible for interviewing, vetting, and hiring our teachers, principals, and other faculty for the North Merrick School District. With respect to teachers, once a candidate is selected, the Superintendent will make a recommendation to the Board to hire that particular teacher. The BOE does not interview teachers or support staff and in majority cases acts on the Superintendent's recommendation. With respect to principals and central and administration, the Superintendent is once again responsible for vetting and selecting. The Superintendent will then forward names of the several candidates to a committee who will interview and determine 3 top candidates. The Board then interviews the three top candidates and advises the Superintendent of their choice. If the superintendent agrees with the Board, the Superintendent will then recommend that individual to be hired as Principal. The BOE does not recommend or participate in the initial interviewing and vetting process.
3. The BOE hires the Superintendent.
True. The BOE interviews and vets all potential Superintendent candidates. The Superintendent works for the BOE, and since the BOE is the extension of the North Merrick taxpayer, the Superintendent works for us. The latter helps maintain a “checks and balances” system to ensure the BOE is acting in the best interest of the North Merrick residents and their families.
4. The BOE can fire teachers and principals.
False. Only the Superintendent can hire and fire teachers, principals, and all other faculty members. The BOE cannot, on their own, make any personnel changes. Should the BOE receive a complaint from the residents relating to a district employee, they would need to immediately involve the Superintendent; who would decide the appropriate course of action.
5. The BOE can move teachers and principals between the different schools.
False. Only the Superintendent can move a teacher and/or principal between the three North Merrick elementary schools. The BOE trustees have no input, nor, can they interfere or influence the decision of the Superintendent.
6. The BOE determines the budget for each school year.
Kinda. Tom McDaid, our Assistant Superintendent of Business, determines the budget. The Board approves the proposed budget and the public votes on passing it May 15th of that year.
7. The BOE participates in negotiating the teacher and faculty contracts.
Kinda. While the contract is negotiated between the lawyers for the BOE and North Merrick Faculty Association, the trustees are not present during those negotiations. However, the trustees do have the final say on whether to approve negotiations by the North Merrick Faculty Association and/or counter with their own proposal.
8. The BOE sets and determines classroom procedure, curriculum, and rules.
False. Classroom procedures and curriculum are set by the Superintendent and the Assistant Superintendent for Curriculum.
9. The BOE can raise the tax cap.
True. The BOE, by a majority vote, can put a proposition for consideration by the voters of North Merrick, to raise the tax cap for the upcoming school year. During that BOE election, if 60% plus one of the voters who show up to vote approve raising the tax cap, all our taxes will increase accordingly.
10. The North Merrick Faculty Association is a constituent of the BOE
False. The BOE was created to represent and advocate for the North Merrick taxpayers and only the North Merrick taxpayers. It has a fiduciary duty to ensure that their actions benefit “we the people and our children." The North Merrick Faculty Association has the backing of its union to represent them and their rights. The BOE trustees are required to put the interests of the North Merrick residents at the forefront.
11. Once my children graduate out of the school district, the BOE’s actions no longer affect my family.
False. The fact that your child has graduated out of the district does not act to insulate you and your household from the acts of the BOE. The actions of the BOE have a direct impact on all North Merrick residents, whether or not you have children in the district. More importantly, two trustees from the BOE serve on the BOE for the Central High School District. If you don’t vote, you are not informed as to who is on your board, what they stand, and what they are doing with your taxes. Not participating in BOE elections is essentially allowing the BOE to act without any accountability.
12. The BOE can determine ore affect classroom size
False. The BOE has no say or input regarding classroom size. Classroom size is determined by the Superintendent and District and based on the budget that is passed.