School Based Decision Making

Adopted March 2003 – Reviewed and deemed relevant May 2020 – Education Commission

California State PTA supports the concept of school based management in the decision-making process. While the legal responsibility for school governance rests with local Boards of Education, PTA believes that the decentralization of decision making to school sites where service delivery occurs results in greater responsiveness to student and societal needs and improves the quality of educational opportunity.

PTA believes school based management decision making should give constituents – parents, teachers, administrators, students and other community members – meaningful control over what happens in schools in order to enhance school performance and the quality of education provided to all students.

PTA believes that there is a vast potential to close the achievement gap by improving learning, instruction, school governance, operations, and outcomes when representative stakeholder groups receive meaningful training, and resources that enables them to participate in educational decision making.

Schools implementing effective school based management should:

  • Have an active vision focused on teaching and learning that is coordinated with district and state standards for student performance.
  • Develop knowledge and skills in an ongoing process oriented toward building school-wide capacity for improvement, creating a professional learning community and developing a shared knowledge base.
  • Understand that with decision making comes accountability for the results of those decisions.
  • Enlist and empower meaningful participation by all stakeholders in the decision-making process and share leadership responsibilities among all school employees.
  • Have multiple mechanisms for collecting information related to school priorities and for communicating school-related information to all constituents and members of the school community.
  • Use various incentives and acknowledge individual and group progress toward school goals, and
  • Cultivate outside resources through involvement in the community and professional networks.

PTA recognizes that school based management decision making must be given time to succeed. School and district leaders must be supportive of the School Based Management process, ensure that communication channels are kept open and provide all stakeholders with a clear understanding of their roles, responsibilities and accountability.

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