GovernanceCorner Practical tips from our MIG faculty
Keeping up with training and professional development

A commitment to board training and professional development can enhance a governing board’s ability to effectively carry out its roles and responsibilities. Professional development can strengthen a board’s good governance practices and refocus its attention on strategies that support positive student outcomes.

When meeting, board members may ask these questions of themselves to calendar their professional development:

  • Are we committed to participating in the annual practice of board self-evaluation? What are our board’s strengths and areas of growth as identified in the self-evaluation? What training opportunities are available that would address our growth areas? (For more on board self-evaluation, see article on page 5, Board self-evaluation and the Brown Act.)
  • How will we use training and professional development to better support student achievement within our district or county office of education?
  • How can we prioritize professional development in our budget? Have adequate funds been set aside for this purpose?
  • What upcoming trainings align with the goals of our Local Control and Accountability Plan?
  • What trainings are our board members and student board member attending? How will they share what they have learned with the other board members?
  • Are we up to date on the latest trends in education? What are the strategies within these trends that would support our efforts to increase student achievement?
  • How could training on equity help us to better support the historically underserved students in our district or county office?
  • What resources can we leverage to offset the cost of board training and professional development?
  • How will we measure the benefit and impact of participation in training and professional development?
  • How have we communicated the importance of professional development to our local community using our policies, and bylaws and budget cycle?

Continuous professional development supports the board’s ability to set strategic direction for the district and COE and to serve as leaders on issues that affect public education. Boards may reference Board Bylaw 9005 — Governance Standards and Board Bylaw 9240 — Board Training for additional guidance.

CSBA offers resources that support board development. Visit our website at to read a variety of publications on the topic, including The School Board Role in Creating the Conditions for Student Achievement, and access a board self-evaluation tool that allows your board to identify its strengths and areas where it can improve.

In addition, visit the Training and Events section of the CSBA website for information on Masters in Governance courses, the Annual Education Conference and other training opportunities.