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Charter Board Partners

Building a More Effective Board

July 08, 2018 | by David Connerty-Marin

“We think we have a pretty good board,” says Jack Metz, a member of the school board at LLT Academy charter school in Hillsborough County, Florida. “But we can do some things better. For example, we don’t break down into committees, we tend to do everything as a full board. But the board could devote more structured time to the administration if we would create committees.”

Jack Metz

That’s one of the things that Jack learned at a recent training led by Charter Board Partners in Tampa, in collaboration with the county’s charter school authorizer, Hillsborough County Public Schools. 

Jack joined the board of LLT Academy, which serves student in grades K-8, in 2007, shortly after he retired from a corporate job. Jack’s grandson was a student at the school at the time. His primary role as a board member is to work with the school’s chief financial officer to review, analyze, and approve the budget, in addition to monitoring school finances during the year.

The training, presented by Debbie Lister, CBP’s Chief Governance and Program Operations Officer, was a welcome addition, says Jack, giving him a deeper dive into best practices than he has received in other trainings. 

The county launched the program in fall 2017, when the Florida Department of Education decided to use some of its federal Charter School Program funds to support and strengthen governance, starting with a pilot in Hillsborough County. CBP is training board members and recruiting new ones to strengthen boards and give them the tools to effectively hold their schools accountable and improve quality. The project also allows participants to connect with board members from other nearby schools. 

“We just received the Blue Ribbon Lighthouse School Award; it’s quite an award,” Jack says. “A Lighthouse School deserves a Lighthouse board. These resources and support from CBP  should help us become a more effective and better board.”

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