Three Questions Every Charter School Board Member Should Know How to Answer

These are the three most basic questions that all charter school board members should be able to answer:
  1. Who do you serve?
  2. Where do you stand?
  3. What are you working on?
Here are examples of how a well-informed board member might answer those three questions.

Question: Who do you serve?

Sample Answer: For fifteen years since our inception, our school has served a student population that is 75% African-American and the balance Hispanic.  This composition reflects the neighborhoods we typically draw from.  Our enrollment has a higher percentage of economically disadvantaged students than our local district, but we lag slightly behind in students with disabilities and substantially behind the district in English language learners.

Question: Where do you stand?

Sample Answer: Our performance on state exams has historically been higher than our local district but we are still a long way from the state average.  We feel our leadership is quite strong but we suffer from one of the highest teacher turnover rates in the sector. This is largely due to limits in compensation packages caused mainly by our private facility costs.

Question: What are you working on?

Sample Answer: Our Board acknowledges that restructuring our upcoming facility lease renewal will allow for badly needed funds to support stronger compensation packages.  We are unsustainable without it.  Per our teacher survey, competitive pay is our faculty’s number one reason for seeking positions in other schools.  Once we do this, our principal should see a return on our investment, and she will not have to keep starting over every year with mainly first-year teachers.