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School Board Decision Making

On all matters dealing with the decision-making process, boards will have their own rules of order. This order should be standardised and followed at each meeting. At all meetings, common sense and courtesy is a good rule of thumb.

A note on Board Decision Making from NZSTA

All matters to be decided by the board will be done by way of a vote. This is usually done on “the voices”. However, if that is challenged, the chair will call for a show of hands.
Under some circumstances, for instance, a decision involving contentious issues where strong personalities are involved, it may be appropriate to hold a secret ballot in order that trustees may vote freely.

Some guidelines about decision making set out by the NZSTA

  • A board's primary means of decision-making is through motions, which are moved, seconded, debated, and put to the vote.
  • The chair or members may ask the mover to write down the motion before it is acted upon. The chair may assist the mover with wording for clarity.
  • Each motion deals with only one matter or issue. Debate must be limited to the issue at hand. Speakers who stray from the issue or attempt to introduce new matters should be ruled out of order.
  • Each speaker should be allowed to speak once on a subject under debate. The chair may refuse to allow a trustee to speak again until everyone has had a chance to speak.
  • A member may raise a point of order at any time. After the point has been stated, the chair issues a ruling. The chair's ruling is final unless challenged at the time.
  • Only one motion at a time will be considered by the board. That motion may be amended. Votes on amendments must be taken before the motion is further considered.
  • If the amendment is agreed to it becomes part of the motion.
  • Further amendments may be made to the motion but only one at a time can be proposed, discussed, and decided upon.
  • After motions have been passed or rejected, no further discussion on the same issue should be allowed at the same meeting, other than a motion to reconsider.

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