Why were School Councils Established?
Georgia’s A+ Education Reform Act of 2000 required that school councils be established at every public school by October 1, 2003. School councils are policy-level advisory bodies to the Principal, Superintendent, and local board of education. They may advise and make recommendations on any matter related to school improvement and student achievement. The purpose of school councils is to “bring communities and schools closer together in a spirit of cooperation to solve difficult education problems, improve academic achievement, provide support for teachers and administrators, and bring parents into the school-based decision-making process.”
Who Serves on a School Council?
The 2007 General Assembly made changes to the school council law that requires parents to be the majority members. It still, however, allows flexibility in the membership of a school council. At a minimum, a School Council is composed of seven members:
- The Principal
- Two certificated teachers elected by the teachers
- Four parents (or guardians) elected by the parents; two of the parents must be businesspersons
- Two businesspersons, selected according to the school council’s bylaws
The school council may, within its bylaws, increase the number of members as long as the parents remain the majority. Staff members, students, and members of school-related organizations such as the PTA/PTO may also be members and are selected according to the school council’s bylaws. Other businesspersons from the community may serve on the council as specified in the bylaws. The school council shall select the businesspersons to serve.
What are the Roles and Responsibilities of Council Members?
All members of the School Council must:
- Maintain a school-wide perspective on issues,
- Regularly participate in council meetings,
- Participate in information and training programs,
- Act as a link between the school council and the community,
- Encourage the participation of parents and others within the school community, and
- Work to improve student achievement and performance.
For more detailed information, please visit the Georgia School Council Institute’s website at