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Running for School Board in Kentucky

You may contact KSBA Attorney John Powell if you have any questions regarding school board election and campaign requirements in Kentucky. (800) 372-2962 
IMPORTANT: With school board election season underway, KSBA has compiled “Frequently Asked Questions” pertaining to school board campaigns. We encourage new and incumbent school board candidates, current school board members and district employees to use this document as guidance between now and election day on November 3. View the FAQ’s below along with a variety of other resources for board member elections. 
Downloads below are best viewed on a desktop computer. Views from a mobile device may not accurately display the information. 
In Kentucky, school board members work as a team to govern the activities of their school district by setting policy and providing resources to help every student learn. The focus of every decision or action of the board should reflect commitment to improving student achievement in the district.  

Leadership – Schools and the Community
  • Local boards of education represent their community in overseeing local schools as part of the state system of public elementary and secondary education.
  • Local boards of education are governmental bodies and subject to both federal and state constitutions, laws and regulations.

Kentucky School Board Structure

  • In general, boards of education in Kentucky consist of five members.
  • Members are elected on a nonpartisan ballot in even-numbered years.
  • Members serve four-year terms - staggered so that the terms of not more than three members of a local board expire at the same time. 
  • Independent school districts elect board members at large; county school districts elect board members from divisions.

Job Profile of a School Board Member – Knowledge, Skills, Traits

A Kentucky school board member should:

  • Be knowledgeable or willing to learn more about public education, the local district, student achievement, and board member roles and responsibilities.
  • Have the skills to analyze, collaborate, communicate and think critically.
  • Understand how to deal with the media and be willing to work with them.
  • Know how to work as a team: how to listen, agreeably disagree, manage change and solve problems.
  • Be creative, dependable, honest, humble, respectful, supportive, understanding and visionary.

See a more detailed description of the job of a Kentucky school board member and the tasks involved.  

Leadership Roles of the School Board

  • Set clear expectations
  • Provide support for the work
  • Hold the system accountable
  • Engage the community
  • Learn as a team

Visit the Legal Services page HERE and learn how our staff attorneys serve as resources  to KSBA members. 

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