School board members, before taking their seats on the board, are required to take an official oath

Although most school boards traditionally marked the seating of new members with some form of ceremony, there was no official oath of office required for school board members until 2006. Additional language was added in 2018 (Public Act 100-1055 effective January 1, 2019). This law requires that school board members, before taking their seats on the board, take an official oath that is in substantially the form presented below.

"I, (name of member or successful candidate), do solemnly swear (or affirm) that I will faithfully discharge the duties of the office of member of the Board of Education (or Board of School Directors) of (name of school district), in accordance with the Constitution of the United States, the Constitution of the State of Illinois, and the laws of the State of Illinois, to the best of my ability.

"I further swear (or affirm) that:

"I shall respect taxpayer interests by serving as a faithful protector of the school district's assets;

"I shall encourage and respect the free expression of opinion by my fellow board members and others who seek a hearing before the board, while respecting the privacy of students and employees;

"I shall recognize that a board member has no legal authority as an individual and that decisions can be made only by a majority vote at a public board meeting;

"I shall abide by majority decisions of the board, while retaining the right to seek changes in such decisions through ethical and constructive channels;

“As part of the Board of Education (or Board of School Directors, as the case may be), I shall accept the responsibility for my role in the equitable and quality education of every student in the school district;

“I shall foster with the board extensive participation of the community, formulate goals, define outcomes, and set the course for (name of school district);

“I shall assist in establishing a structure and an environment designed to ensure all students have the opportunity to attain their maximum potential through a sound organizational framework;

“I shall strive to ensure a continuous assessment of student achievement and all conditions affecting the education of our children, in compliance with State law;

“I shall serve as education's key advocate on behalf of students and our community's school (or schools) to advance the vision for (name of school district); and

“I shall strive to work together with the district superintendent to lead the school district toward fulfilling the vision the board has created, fostering excellence for every student in the areas of academic skills, knowledge, citizenship, and personal development.”

(105 ILCS 5/10-16.5)

Oath of Office Certificate

For districts that choose to formally observe this occasion, IASB has created an Oath of Office certificate. Signature lines are designated for the person administering the oath and the person taking the oath.

Please note: this is not required nor does it constitute any additional responsibility on behalf of the person taking the oath or the school board. The purpose of the certificate is to create a document for new school board members to frame or file.