Governance Defined

Governance, in the charter school context, refers to the organization’s oversight structure, which ensures that the institution fulfills the promise of its legal mandate, as articulated in the charter document from the authorizer. This institutional governance is provided by a board of trustees.

A charter school board is an organized group of volunteers who, collectively, are legally and morally accountable to the community for the health, vitality, and effectiveness of the organization. As representatives of the public, the board of trustees is the primary force pressing the organization to the realization of its opportunities for service and the fulfillment of its obligations to all its constituencies.

The general term used to describe the role of the board of trustees is “governance.”  The governance function encompasses legal responsibilities, general oversight, planning and policy-making, and fiduciary requirements.

The board only has authority as a group.  By its very nature, a board is a collective, and its authority is a group function. No single individual within the board has authority for the board itself.