Governance corner
Practical tips from our MIG faculty
Continuing education benefits all board members
adults sit at attention in a classroom setting
Theoretical physicist Albert Einstein said, “Education is what remains after one has forgotten what one has learned in school.” Boards of education that prioritize training make an important investment in its leadership, which directly affects the board’s effectiveness. Continual governance training makes an average or good board a great board. But many boards benefit from encouraging trustees to avail themselves of continuing education as they strive to serve students better.

Proponents of continuing education include not just big names such as Warren Buffett and Oprah Winfrey but also CSBA’s leadership, having found — from years of providing quality board member training — that ongoing professional development makes for better board members, higher-performing school district and county office of education boards and, ultimately, provides better conditions for student achievement.

While some professions require continuing education with various certification protocols in place, California’s local educational agency governance team members have no such requirements. Newly elected trustees often jump into training to help get up to speed.Continuing education for experienced or more seasoned board members provides similar opportunities to advance and refine their skills and understanding of governance practices and standards. No matter how long someone has been serving on the board, there are always new things to learn, new laws being enacted, challenges to address and problems to solve.

“Board leadership responsibilities, like life, bring both challenges and opportunities,” said CSBA Governance Consultant Steven Ladd. “Your investment in ongoing professional development helps prepare you to make the best of both.”

Questions experienced board members may ask to evaluate the benefits of continuing education include:

  • What gaps in my understanding of school governance might be filled?
  • How will the experience add to my exposure to current trends and issues in education?
  • What new skills or higher-level governance expertise will result?
  • How will participating in the opportunity enhance engagement and community connection in the school system?

Opportunities for continuing education are detailed on, including ongoing programs such as the Masters in Governance® suite of training modules and a new pre-conference session geared to the experienced board member on Nov. 29 at CSBA’s Annual Education Conference and Tradeshow in San Francisco, Nov. 30–Dec. 2.