Texas public school board actions as a function of community type

Monica Reyes, University of Texas at El Paso


The main purpose of this study was to examine the actions of Texas school boards, based on the minutes of their board meetings, to determine the extent to which they are fulfilling their statutory roles and responsibilities. A secondary purpose of this study was to identify similarities and dissimilarities in school board actions as a function of the community type of the school district. This researcher analyzed the minutes of board meetings of 21 school districts for the period of September 1, 1999 through August 31, 2000 using a rubric of categorical variables. An analysis of the quantitative and qualitative data was extracted from the board minutes through the use of the rubric. Some general findings were presented related to the number of board members, the frequency of the various types of board meetings, and the length of those meetings. This researcher found that the top five topics/issues acted upon at both regular and special meetings are generally the same. Pearson chi-square statistical procedures were conducted to determine the relationship of community type (i.e., urban, suburban, and rural) to the topics/issues voted upon by school boards. Statistically significant differences were found regarding topics acted upon during regular and special meetings. Based on an examination of the board minutes of the districts under study, it appears that the boards discussed only those topics/issues permitted by Texas law during executive session. A statistically significant difference was found in the effect of community type on the topics/issues discussed by boards of trustees during executive session. Three topics discussed by school boards in executive session were statistically significant. Recommendations were made for further research regarding the role of the superintendent versus the role of school boards, the extent to which board action reflects the views of the community the board serves, and the criteria established for school board membership. Research should also be conducted to include interviews with school board members and superintendents to determine what actually takes place during executive sessions and the extent to which they comply to Texas law. Suggestions were made for further research concerning the training programs and their effectiveness, the adequacy of regulations concerning the format and content of board minutes, the extent of school boards engagement in the self-assessment evaluative activities. Finally, a recommendation was made to investigate the amount of time and degree of commitment required by school board members.

Subject Area

School administration

Recommended Citation

Reyes, Monica, "Texas public school board actions as a function of community type" (2002). ETD Collection for University of Texas, El Paso. AAI3080482.