Friday, September 9, 2011

Government School Hierarchy

This is the third time I've run into this in a very short period of time, from government school employees themselves, so I thought I'd offer a little clarification.

"Public School" is a nice, neat, less-fueled term for "Government School".

If there is a problem in your local public/government school, then please take into consideration that it's run by the government.

This is where I lose government school teachers.  "It's not the government, it's run by the district!"

Let's consider the general chain of command here.  Of course it's different for every state.  Some states (like AZ) do have a few odd-ball powers that be in between a few steps, but for the most part, you're looking at . . .

the school

who reports to

the district

who reports to

a local governing board
(which is headed up by ELECTED officials serving 4 year terms
to do things like direct policy, hire the superintendent,
manage the budget for district)

who reports to

the State Department of Education
(superintended by another ELECTED position)

who reports to the

US Department of Education
(oh look, more ELECTED positions).

The US Department of Education oversees the State Department of Education who oversees the local governing board, who oversees the district, who oversees the schools.

3 of the 5 steps listed here are run by ELECTED officials.

Now remember that the whole thing, top to bottom, is funded with TAX MONEY.

"Government schools" and "public schools" are the same thing.

No, a teacher's (or any other school employee's) paycheck is not usually cut by the U.S. Department of Education.

Yes, it's cut by the district.

But to whom is the district reporting?

Ahh yes . . . the government.

A special thanks to my new friend "C" from our State Department of Education who helped me get the order of go correct!


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