Date of Graduation
This study examined the policy-making procedure of local boards of education in West Virginia in 1983-84 to determine to what extent the board or superintendent dominated in governance and the influence structure as the board made decisions in various areas of policy making. The study also focused on the board members' perception of control and constraints on local board policy making at the present time in West Virginia. The research in the study consisted of individual interviews with the five board of education members and the county school superintendent serving in one selected school system in each of the eight Regional Education Service Agency geographic areas on the state. Differences in frequency response were analyzed by use of Chi Square. Descriptive information given the researcher during the structured interviews in the study was summarized by policy issue. The study investigated board member identified perceived voting influence on a hypothetical policy issue. There was a significant difference in voting perception for geographic area, occupation, educational level, experience on the board and tenure of the superintendent. A variance in policy identifiers, drafters, board member communication and contacts for the different policy areas investigated in the study was found but there was little or no variance in policy-making procedure as evidenced in superintendent recommendation and voting patterns for the different policy areas investigated. It was determined that board members in West Virginia had a strong perception of loss of board control of policy making at the time of the study. Conclusions of the study were: Superintendents dominated local boards of education in policy making. Board members acted as legitimizers and ratifiers in policy making rather than initiating legislative action. Board members were the more frequent identifiers of policy needs in personnel policy making. Policy-making procedure was found to be basically the same for the three policy areas in the study--students, personnel and curriculum. Steps in policy-making procedure were need identification, proposal development, placement on the agenda, executive recommendation, review by the board and discussion, voting at a second meeting and implementation. West Virginia board members perceived that they were community influenced in voting but reported limited contact or communication from a wide variety of the public on a variety of issues.
SERAFIN, LOIS ANN, "WEST VIRGINIA BOARDS OF EDUCATION: POLICY MAKERS OR POLICY LEGITIMIZERS? (PROCEDURE)." (1985). Graduate Theses, Dissertations, and Problem Reports. 9739.