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Pecos-Barstow-Toyah ISD School Board


2020 School Board Candidate Election Packet 

 
The School Board meets the first and third Thursday of every month at 1301 S. Eddy at 6:00 p.m.

 

Name  Position  Term Expires
Gail Box Secretary May 2022
Matt Elliott Member May 2021
Robin Land Member May 2022
Sam Contreras President  May 2020
Victor Tarin Vice President May 2021
Sam Lujan Member May 2020
Becky Gonzales Board Member May 2022
 
  • How are school board members elected?
  • School district trustees are elected by popular vote. Whether an election is by majority or plurality vote is a matter of local policy. In a majority voting system, a candidate must receive more than 50 percent of the vote to win. This may require more than one election. In a plurality voting system, the candidate with the highest number of votes wins.
  • When are school board members elected?
    • School board elections may only be held on the first Saturday in May or the first Tuesday after the first Monday in November. Special elections to fill vacancies that occur between elections may be held as appropriate.
  • Once elected, are trustees required to undergo any training?
    • School board members in Texas are required to participate in numerous types of continuing education.Get more information on Texas School Board Member Continuing Education (pdf).  
    • Board members determine needs with their board annually by reviewing Framework for School Board Development on the TEA website—a document that outlines the tasks an effective board performs in its governing capacity. Continuing education courses that address these needs are available through a variety of sources.
  • Who is responsible for public education in Texas?
    • The commissioner of education, State Board of Education (SBOE), and Texas Education Agency (TEA) guide and monitor public education in Texas. SBOE provides leadership and state-level administration as prescribed by law, and the commissioner and TEA staff implement state education policy. Texas has delegated much of the responsibility for education to the local school board. Locally elected school boards are political subdivisions carrying out a state function. Despite increasingly prescriptive state and federal laws and SBOE and commissioner’s rules, local school districts have significant latitude in governing the schools.
  • Why are local school boards needed?
    • The U.S. Supreme Court has said education is perhaps the most important function of state and local governments. Our system of local school districts and boards of education epitomizes participatory government— citizens elected from their community making decisions about educational programs based on community needs, values, and expectations. School boards are entrusted by the public to translate the needs of students into policies, plans, and goals that will be supported by the community.
  • What is the primary function of the board and its members?
    • Governing the school district is the primary role of a school board. School board members are guardians of the public trust and, through the policies they make, are ultimately responsible for the success or failure of local public education. These policies dictate the standards and philosophy by which schools are run and the criteria used to judge whether they are being run well. The board serves as the advocate for educational excellence for the community’s youth and puts those interests first. This responsibility often entails difficult choices, self-sacrifice, and exposure to public criticism. However, it also brings a great deal of personal satisfaction in sharing with parents, staff, and students their academic successes. This crucial responsibility and the closeness of trustees to the voters make the local school board the purest example of democracy our society presents.
  • What are some of the key roles and responsibilities of a school board?
    • In 2017, Senate Bill 1566 emphasized the school board’s role for overseeing student achievement. Research suggests that school boards can support student achievement when they focus their energy and attention on a few critical activities: • Set clear expectations by creating a vision and goals for the district that are focused on student learning. • Monitor progress toward the goals and hold the system accountable for that progress. • Create conditions for district success. This includes hiring a superintendent to serve as the chief executive officer of the district, adopting policies to inform district actions, and approving an annual budget consistent with the district’s vision. • Create the public will to succeed by engaging the community and communicating the district’s vision and successes. • Learn as a board-superintendent team. Research suggests that good governance is not intuitive, so a governance team that continually learns together will lead better together as well.
  • How do school boards make decisions?
    • A school board is a local governmental body that can take action only by a majority vote at a legally called public meeting. The individual board member’s major responsibility is to study issues facing the district, evaluate needs and resources, and, after due consideration, vote in the best interest of all students at such a meeting. A trustee who attempts—without board authorization—to speak for the whole board, direct school staff members, or make other individual decisions is exceeding his or her authority.
  • Who is eligible to serve as a school board member?
    • There are a number of requirements to be eligible for election. Among them, a local school board candidate must be (1) a qualified/registered voter, (2) a resident of the district he or she desires to represent for six months before the filing deadline, and (3) a resident of the state for 12 months before the deadline.
  • Is there special training involved in being a school trustee?
    • Trustees are required by Texas law and SBOE rules to participate in four types of continuing education: (1) orientation to local district policy and to the laws affecting public education in Texas, (2) an annual team-building activity completed as a full board-superintendent team, (3) a specified number of hours each year in areas of special need, and (4) training every two years on evaluating student academic performance.

The mission of the Pecos-Barstow-Toyah ISD is to provide excellence in education. The district is committed to high standards of achievement, which fosters a positive, creative atmosphere that empowers students with critical thinking, problem solving and decision making skills.

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