The Arkansas School Boards Association (ASBA) is a private, 501(c)(4) nonprofit, membership organization that provides leadership, training, advocacy and specialized services to school boards throughout Arkansas.
ASBA is an affiliate of the National School Boards Association, a federation of state school boards associations. Membership is open to school district boards, charter schools and educational service co-operatives. Businesses may apply as commercial affiliates.
The daily operations of ASBA are carried out by an Executive Director, who is hired by the Board of Directors, and the ASBA staff.
Specialized services include:
The Arkansas School Boards Association emerged in 1955 as an outgrowth of the activities of the Southwest Cooperative Program in Educational Administration. This program was designed to improve local public school administration in the Southwest Region of the United States.
Through this program a number of clinics for school board members were conducted in Arkansas during 1952, 1953 and 1954. The interest stimulated by the clinics resulted in the organization of the Arkansas School Boards Association by a small group of board members who met in DeWitt to discuss the formation of an association.
Key moments in ASBA’s history:
ASBA Building at the corner of 6th and Ringo Streets
From Interstate 40: take Interstate 30 westbound toward Little Rock; then go west on Interstate 630 to the Chester exit; turn left (north) on Chester; turn left onto 6th Street; go one block; ASBA parking lot entrance is on right on 6th; you may also turn right on Ringo and enter the ASBA parking lot.
From Interstate 30: go toward downtown Little Rock and take the Interstate 630 exit; go west on Interstate 630 to the Chester exit; turn left (north) on Chester; turn left onto 6th Street; go one block; ASBA parking lot entrance is on right on 6th; you may also turn right on Ringo and enter the ASBA parking lot.
The Arkansas School Boards Association (ASBA) follows a set of Bylaws, most recently revised in December 2017. Click here for a PDF of the entire document.
The ASBA Board of Directors provides leadership of the organization. Members in each of ASBA’s 14 regions elect a director during the fall Regional Meetings to represent their respective regions. Directors serve staggered three-year terms. Click here to see which districts fall into each region.
School board members who wish to serve as a Regional Director shall submit a Regional Director Nomination Form from their local school boards. The form shall be provided to the ASBA President, with a copy to the Executive Director, at least 14 days before the Regional Meeting at which the election will be held. Read ASBA Bylaws, Article IV, Section 5, regarding criteria and nomination information.
ASBA officers are elected at the Delegate Assembly, which is held during the annual ASBA Conference in December. A person who wishes to serve as President-elect, Vice President or Secretary-Treasurer of the ASBA Board of Directors shall submit an ASBA Officer Declaration of Intent Form to the ASBA President, with a copy to the Executive Director, at least 30 days before the annual meeting of the Delegate Assembly.
Each year at the annual ASBA Conference the Delegate Assembly considers and votes on a set of Beliefs and Resolutions. On Wednesday, December 11, 2019, the Delegates approved the 2019 Beliefs and Resolutions. The proposed 2020 Beliefs and Resolutions will be considered at the Annual Conference on December 9, 2020.
A completed and signed copy of the Form to Submit a Change to the ASBA Beliefs and Resolutions must reach the ASBA President at least ten (10) working days prior to the Delegate Assembly to propose a change to the ASBA Beliefs and Resolutions.
The ASBA Board of Directors provides leadership of the organization. Members in each of ASBA’s 14 regions elect a director during the fall Regional Meetings to represent their respective regions. Directors serve staggered three-year terms. ASBA officers are elected at the Delegate Assembly, which is held during the annual ASBA Conference in December.
Dr. Julea Garner
Carl (Buddy) Puckett
The school board sets the direction of the district, ensures that it is properly administered, establishes policy and represents the education interests of the community. The superintendent is the district’s chief executive officer (CEO) who carries out policy and day-to-day administration of the schools.
No individual board member has any power or authority and must never attempt to act as an administrator of the school system. Board members can act only as a group. No single board member has the right to make any decision for the rest of the board. The only time board members may transact any business is when they meet in a legally convened session.
Arkansas school boards are authorized to:
More specifically, a board of education is obligated to:
In 2009, the Legislature revised the statute outlining the powers and duties of school board members. Click here for § 6-13-620 which describes what board members may do in their elected roles. In 2011, the Legislature passed a requirement that school board members receive training in how to read and interpret an audit. That law, now Act 1213, is linked here. The law that addresses board training and reimbursement is § 6-13-629, which is linked here.
The public expects high standards of its elected officials, and school board service is no exception. Arkansas school board members are expected to act in the best interests of students, parents, staff and other community residents. They should be aware of and follow the laws that address nepotism and conflict of interest, and they must file financial disclosure forms.
To aid Arkansas school board members, we have linked related documents for easy reference.
Code of Ethics
Read the School Board Member Code of Ethics.
Statement of Financial Interest
School board members annually must file by January 31 a Statement of Financial Interest, and candidates must file it as well; see “Statement of Financial Interest” under “School Board Candidate ” at the Arkansas Ethics Commission website (http://www.arkansasethics.com/).
Arkansas Department of Education Rules and Regulations Governing Ethical Guidelines and Prohibitions for Educational Administrators, Employees, Board Members and Other Parties (November 2011)
The guidelines set forth prohibitions for board members regarding doing business with the school district on which they serve on the board; discussing or voting on matters in which the board member has a direct or indirect interest; and family members of board members having business interests with the school district.
Arkansas Department of Education Rules Governing the Code of Ethics for Arkansas Educators (September 2010)
These rules define standards of professional conduct and outline procedures for investigations and enforcement of the Code of Ethics.
The first question a school board candidate should ask is “why am I really running for school board?” It may be hard to imagine, but some people run for school board to “get rid of someone” or because they have a personal agenda they wish to fulfill. These are not good intentions when running for the school board.
Serving on an Arkansas school board is serious business. In fact, tougher state accountability laws and rules can result in removal from office of entire school boards. School boards in Arkansas are expected to fulfill the roles and responsibilities outlined in 6-13-620. Click here to view ASBA's Candidate Guide for more information.
To be eligible to run for a school board position, you must be a qualified voter residing in the school district, and in the respective zone if members are elected from zones. You may not be an employee of the district (a family member employed by the district does not disqualify you from running for office).
School board candidate qualifications:
The School Board Elections tab contains additional information on candidate requirements and timelines.
To run for school board, visit your county clerk’s office to request a packet of material about running for office.
For elections held during odd years:
For elections held during even years concurrent with the presidential election:
For elections held during even years concurrent with Arkansas governor election:
For elections held during odd and even years:
The Board Candidates tab contains specific information on qualifications.
ASBA helps board members acquire the knowledge and skills they need to better serve their school communities. This training is done through workshops, seminars, conferences, online courses, and webinars for both veteran and new board members.
Training focuses on leadership development, school law, finance, audit, personnel matters, student hearings, and more. Specialized training can be developed to meet a board’s specific needs, including strengthening the board- superintendent leadership relationship.
Most districts do not have the resources to monitor every education law change that occurs. For this reason, ASBA developed its Model Policy Service. Subscribers to the service receive policy updates that are extensively researched and include legal citations.
Every school district must keep its policies current. Our Model Policy Service is a cost-effective way to ensure that the district complies with state and federal laws.
Often board members and administrators encounter issues regarding personnel, students or policy and need help to ensure they make sound decisions. ASBA’s staff attorney can assist by phone and guide you through district legal situations. We also provide board and staff training on school law.
Legal consultation is confidential and tailored to your specific need. ASBA can provide templates or custom letters to assist with the personnel discipline process. Many districts find that the availability of legal consultation alone exceeds the value of their membership investment.
Property, vehicle and board legal liability insurance – all are necessary to reduce a district’s potential financial risk. ASBA offers these, along with workers’ compensation insurance, to its member districts. Through its loss control program and training, ASBA helps districts lessen the chance of an accident or injury.
Schools are our sole clients, so our insurance and loss control programs specifically address your needs. We make sure that you are covered fully so that you don’t get hit with surprises, like unexpected coverage limitations when you file a claim. As a non-profit, self-insurance pool, we work hard to keep premiums as low as possible and never include commissions in our rates.
School boards are our primary focus, and all Arkansas school boards belong to ASBA. While every board deals with similar issues, our programs and services exist to meet the specific needs of boards in districts both large and small, rural and urban.
No other organization solely focuses its efforts on helping board members do a good job in their elected roles. The ASBA Board of Directors is made up of school board members in their own communities. They direct the activities of ASBA through the Executive Director and staff.
ASBA is a respected voice for school boards and public education. ASBA speaks out on the issues important to all school board members and the students they serve.
The ASBA legislative team works to pass important legislation. The team also works with legislators to improve bills by suggesting changes or explaining why the draft bill is not good for children.
The 2021 General Session will be challenging with changes at all levels of state government and within the Division of Elementary and Secondary Education (DESE). ASBA will formulate new legislation to provide more flexibility at the local level, monitor proposed legislation, and work to stop any that would limit local control school boards and communities need to best serve Arkansas students.
Each district’s annual ASBA membership fee is based on the district’s actual annual revenues published by the Arkansas Division of Elementary and Secondary Education:
|District Revenue||Membership Fee|
|$0 to $1 million||$ 1,000|
|$1 million to $3.499,999||$ 1,350|
|$3.5 million to $7,499,999||$ 1,550|
|$7.5 million to $11,499,999||$ 1,800|
|$11.5 million to $15.999,999||$ 2,050|
|$16 million to $99,999,999||$ 2,300|
|$100 million and above||$ 2,400|
*An invoice for a district’s annual membership fee is mailed to each superintendent in July.
The Arkansas School Boards Association’s mission is to promote student focused leadership in public education through training, advocacy and services for local school boards. One of the key questions we ask ourselves in executing our mission is, “Is it good for kids?”
We embrace the idea that a quality education should be available to all Arkansas children. With financial resources dwindling, local school boards are looking for ways to make every dollar count in their communities.
ASBA values partnerships with businesses interested in supporting public education in Arkansas. Education decision makers want to do business with businesses they can trust. They want to do business with companies that are good neighbors. In joining the ASBA Commercial Affiliate program, you not only demonstrate that you believe in a quality education for all students, you also have the opportunity to meet face-to-face with decision makers in the public education market in Arkansas.
ASBA Usage of Fees Collected from Commercial Affiliates and Vendors: Commercial Affiliate revenue received from vendors will be used by ASBA to pay operational expenses such as professional development, advocacy services, attorney services or other operational expenditures.
As a 2018 Commercial Affiliate, you may choose one of three partnerships with ASBA. Below is an outline of benefits available with each partnership.
ASBA offers the opportunity to sponsor special events to Commercial Affiliate Partners. We are a private, not-for-profit organization and we rely on the support of organizations like yours to help us in our mission of “promoting student focused leadership in public education through training, advocacy and services for local school boards.”
Commercial Affiliates play a vital role in supporting Arkansas public schools—helping to support the programs and activities we provide to strengthen and improve public school governance in our state. In doing that you also enhance your visibility among the state’s locally elected school boards and their superintendents. These decision-makers approve the purchase of products and services for their school districts.
Become a member today! Download, print, and submit the 2020-2021 Commercial Affiliate Membership Form and Contract; or, register online to save time and postage, and expedite your membership renewal.
You may choose to be invoiced for payment or pay online by credit card. Note: Commercial affiliate fees and sponsorships are not deductible as charitable contributions.
If you have any questions, please contact Angela Ellis at 501-372-1415.
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1701 Centerview Drive, Suite 110
Little Rock, AR 72211
American Fidelity provides employer cost-savings solutions and supplemental insurance benefits to the education community. Acting as an extension of your human resources department, we educate, enroll, and support the development of robust, competitive insurance packages—all while ensuring seamless administration and employee satisfaction.
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1 Medical Drive, Suite 200
Paragould, AR 72450
ESS specializes in placing qualified staff in daily, long-term, and permanent K-12 school district positions including substitute teachers, paraprofessionals, and other school support staff. Over the last 19 years, we have innovated education staffing to provide dynamic solutions to school districts and professional opportunities to passionate educators.
The Arkansas School Boards Association established an Educational Foundation, a 501(c)(3) tax-exempt entity, to support public education in Arkansas. The foundation established a scholarship program in 1992, and the first scholarships were awarded in 1994.
The Arkansas School Boards Association Educational Foundation Scholarship Program benefits the children of ASBA-affiliated Arkansas school board members. Recipients must attend two-year or four-year Arkansas institutions of higher education.
Five scholarships are awarded annually, one from each of the state’s four congressional districts and one at-large named the J.K. Williams Memorial Scholarship in honor of a longtime educator and former ASBA Executive Director. A committee assigned by the ASBA Board of Directors reviews scholarship applications and determine awardees. Awards are made before the fall school term.
Click here to view the Educational Foundation brochure, which includes a donation card.
Since 1994 the ASBA Educational Foundation has awarded college scholarships to children of Arkansas school board members. The awards are based on a student’s academic record and leadership potential. Each one-time Freshman Scholarship is $650 and will be and offered to entering freshmen at Arkansas two-year or four-year institutions of higher education. One award is made in each of the four congressional districts.
A one-time $650 scholarship, the J.K. Williams Memorial Scholarship named in honor of former ASBA Executive Director J.K. Williams, is awarded to the son/daughter/legal ward of an ASBA-affiliated Arkansas school board member who is pursuing an advanced degree in the field of education.
An applicant must be the child of a publicly elected Arkansas school board member, and the applicant’s parent/legal guardian must serve on his/her local school board at some time during the school year in which the scholarship is awarded. The scholarship selection committee will evaluate applications based on:
Application submissions must include:
The scholarship application deadline is MARCH 1 of the year in which the student will enter college. Click here for a Freshman scholarship application in fillable PDF format. For the J.K. Williams scholarship application in fillable PDF format, click here.
Dr. Tony Prothro
Dr. Anne Butcher
Board Development Director
Governmental Relations Director
Communications & Technology Director
Policy Services Director
Commercial Affiliates/Board Liaison Manager
TIPS/TAPS Project Manager
General Counsel (on retainer)
Risk Management Program Director
Risk Management Specialist
Loss Control Consultant
Workers’ Comp Claims Supervisor
Risk Management Analyst
Workers’ Comp Claims Adjuster
Workers’ Comp Claims Adjuster
Workers’ Comp Claims Adjuster
Workers’ Comp Specialist
Workers’ Comp Claims Assistant