Board Member Training

Boost Knowledge

School board members make decisions that have significant and long-term consequences for their students, schools and communities. To equip school board members with the necessary knowledge to fulfill their responsibilities, the Arkansas General Assembly requires board members to receive and report annual training.

The complex challenges of education require policymakers and administrators to address problems from multiple perspectives and across disciplines. As a result, school board members benefit from instruction in the following areas:

  • School laws and regulations

  • Improving student achievement

  • School finance

  • Community relations

  • School operations

  • Effective governance

ASBA develops seminars, conference sessions, and customized training programs that provide information on these and other topics.

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. In 2019, Act 1029 (linked here) was passed by the Arkansas Legislature. It requires that board members must receive training in school safety and student discipline. Act 182 of 2021, linked here, required that the training on school safety and student discipline be included in the initial nine (9) hours of training board members receive.

Required Training

A.C.A. § 6-13-629 requires annual professional development for Arkansas school board members:

Recognizing the important role the school board has in maintaining the school district’s fiscal status, the Arkansas General Assembly requires that the initial nine (9) hours of training a board member receives include training related to how to read and interpret a school audit. Act 182 of 2021 also requires that all board members receive training in student safety and student discipline during their initial nine (9) hours of training.

A.C.A. §6-13-629(a)((2)(A)(i) requires each superintendent to present a report of the training hours each individual school board member has received at the board's regular January meeting. The report must be in a table format with a row for each individual board member that is followed by individual columns containing the following information:

  1. The number of training hours the school board member received between January 1 and December 31 of the previous year;

  2. The number of training hours carried forward that were eligible to be counted towards the previous year (DESE Rules prohibit hours from carrying forward for more than three years after they were received);

  3. The sum of the number of training hours in numbers 1 and 2; and

  4. The total number of training hours the board member is required to receive.

ASBA has prepared a Board Training Hours Report template that can be used for this report. The report shall not include any hours received after December 31 of the previous calendar year even if those hours are being counted towards curing deficient hours the board member did not receive during the previous year.

ASBA hosts numerous conferences and seminars every year which provide board members with approved training credit to meet the state requirement. Please visit the Conference & Workshop Opportunities page for a wide range of professional development opportunities or the Upcoming Events page.