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Board Member Expectations and Conduct

Section 2-19

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  1. Generally. This Rule establishes the expectations and conduct of Board Members while serving on the Board.
  2. Purpose. Board Members are public facing leaders of the District who are entrusted with the success of students across the city. This Rule was developed to ensure that community members understand what is expected of Board Members and for all Board Members to know what to expect from one another as they perform their duties and responsibilities. Having these expectations clearly delineated will help build trust among the Board Members and between the Board and stakeholders within the District.
  3. Oath of Office.
    1. Prior to taking a seat on the Board of Education, Board Members shall take the Chicago Board of Education Oath of Office that provides the following:

      I, (name of Board Member), do solemnly swear that I will faithfully discharge the duties of the office of member of the Board of Education of the City of Chicago, in accordance with the Constitution of the United States, the Constitution of the State of Illinois, and all applicable federal and state laws, to the best of my ability.

      I further swear that:

      I shall respect taxpayer interests by serving as a faithful protector of the school district's assets;

      I shall encourage and respect the free expression of opinion by my fellow Board Members and others who seek a hearing before the Board, while respecting the privacy of students and employees;

      I shall recognize that a Board Member has no legal authority as an individual and that decisions can be made only by a vote at a public board meeting;

      I shall abide by decisions of the Board, while retaining the right to seek changes in such decisions through ethical and constructive channels;

      I shall abide by the Board of Education Operating Procedures Manual and Board Rules and Policies;

      I shall avoid any conflict of interest or the appearance of impropriety which could result from my position, and will not use my Board membership for personal gain or publicity;

      I shall foster with the Board extensive participation of the community, formulate goals, define outcomes, and set the course for Chicago Public Schools;

      I shall assist in establishing a structure and an environment designed to ensure all students have the opportunity to attain their maximum potential through a sound organizational framework;

      I shall strive to ensure a continuous assessment of student achievement and all conditions affecting the education of our children, in compliance with State law;

      I shall serve as a key advocate on behalf of students and our community's schools to advance the vision for Chicago Public Schools; and

      I shall strive to work together with the Chief Executive Officer (CEO) to lead the school district toward fulfilling the vision the Board has created, fostering excellence for every student in the areas of student learning and well-being, as well as healthy, safe, engaging, and academically challenging school experiences, that prepare each student for college, career, and civic life.

    2. Administration of the Oath of Office:
      1. Each Board Member must sign and submit the Oath of Office to the Board Secretary by the first day of the term to which the Board Member is appointed or elected.
      2. Each Board Member who is taking office shall either read the Oath during an open meeting and swear or affirm to follow it as indicated in the Oath, or a group of Board Members or entire Board may take the Oath simultaneously.
      3. The Oath shall be administered at an open meeting by the Board President, Secretary of the Board, or a designee.
  4. Board Operating Procedures Manual.
    1. The Board shall develop a Board Operating Procedures Manual that outlines for Board Members both the work of the Board and how to carry out that work.
    2. The Board Operating Procedures Manual will be reviewed and updated by the Board on an annual basis and within thirty (30) calendar days of the annual Board Self-Evaluation pursuant to Board Rule 2-18.
    3. Board Members will review the Board Operating Procedures Manual during orientation, and will acknowledge in writing that they have been trained on and will agree to abide by the Manual during their tenure.
  5. Monitoring and Oversight. The Board shall maintain on the Board website each Board Member’s signed and submitted Oath of Office.

Rule References

Cross References Board Rule 2-19 was adopted as a new Section at the April 26, 2023 Board Meeting [Board Report 23-0426-RU1].
Public Comment Pursuant to Board Rule 2-6 this Rule [2-19] was subject to Public Comment from 3/17/23-4/17/23 and adopted at the April 26, 2023 Board Meeting [Board Report 23-0426-RU1].

Chicago Board of Education

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