Boards Can Use Sample Policies to Ensure Transparency When Attending Conference

  • Date Posted
    August 18, 2021
  • Category
School boards planning to send members to the 2021 Joint Annual Conference are encouraged to be proactive with documentation of their professional development activities. One avenue in which boards can do this is by adopting policies that ensure transparency for district professional development and related expenses.
IASB’s Policy Reference Education Subscription Service (PRESS) has sample policies that do just that. One such policy addresses mandatory professional development for board members and permits and encourages other ongoing leadership training opportunities. Sample Policy, 2:120, Board Member Development, provides sample text regarding issues related to setting considerations for board member training.
Boards can use the sample to set parameters on governance concerns (ensuring that board members learn, understand, and practice effective governance principles and other best practices). Boards can also use the policy to set guidelines on three types of state-mandated training: Professional Development Leadership Training (PDLT); the Performance Evaluation Reform Act (PERA); and the Open Meetings Act (OMA) training.
The Joint Annual Conference is covered under this sample policy as it provides both mandatory and governance-related training options for school board members and administrators. Opportunities to fulfill state-required training are provided through a full-day Pre-Conference PDLT/PERA Workshop, while other presentations and exhibits will be available on topics ranging from school finance and student learning to school law and health and safety, as well as current education issues and best practices.
It is also important for boards of education to be as transparent as possible with regard to Conference expenses. Two additional sample policies are available through PRESS on this topic. Sample Policy, 2:125, Board Member Compensation; Expenses (for board member expenses), and sample Policy 5:60, Expenses (employee expenses).
The content of both these policies is stipulated in state law (105 ILCS 5/10-9, 5/10-10, and 5/22-1 (no compensation allowed, conflicts of interest prohibited); 105 ILCS 5/10-22.32 (expense advancements); and the Local Government Travel Expense Control Act (ECA) 50 ILCS 150/10 (regulation of travel expenses). The purpose of these policies is to ensure legal compliance of Illinois statutes.
Prior to attending Conference, school boards should consider reviewing their existing policies or adopting a policy to confirm they are in line with the necessary laws. It is also advisable to communicate these policies to the community and district residents with the goal of ensuring transparency of district expenses and attendance at professional development activities.
The 2021 Joint Annual Conference will be held November 19-21 in Chicago. Additional information can be found on the Conference webpage or by following along on social media using #ILjac21.