In some instances, a school board member will fail to meet the duties assigned to him. If members of the district recognize this failure, then they may try to remove the board member from the school board. This option can be effective at rejuvenating a school when a board member's incompetence or unethical practices prevent the board as a whole from moving forward in support of students. Every state follows basically the same procedure for removing school board members.
Request copies of public documents and media, such as television interviews, that may support your assertion that the board member qualifies for removal. The specific documents you may need to request may differ based on the circumstances, but good places to start are the school board meeting minutes and the board member's term contract. Any public document must be provided to you under the Freedom of Information Act.
Make a formal list of complaints against the board member you wish to remove. Be as specific as you can. Cite clauses from the documents and media, as well as information such as dates of violations and the names of any other people involved.
Draw up a formal petition stating your reasons for recalling the board member.
Contact the Board of Elections for your county. Ask them for a list of names and addresses for members of the school district in which the board member serves. Inquire as to the percentage of signatures needed in your specific district to put a recall on a ballot. The percentage is determined by the population of registered voters within the district.
Travel through the school district and gather signatures on the petition.
Compose a notice of intent to recall. This is a letter that tells the board member you're supporting a recall vote so they have a chance to respond to your allegations. Serve the notice to the board member in person.
Publish the notice of intent to recall in any public newspaper for the school district in which the board member serves. File copies of the published notice (or a proof of publication affidavit) and copies of the petition at the county clerk's office. You will have 40 to 160 days to file after publication based on the district's population of registered voters. The board member will have one week to respond to your filing.
Wait for election officials to review your filing. If the officials find your petition and notice meet standards for recall, they will offer you a Certificate of Sufficiency and issue an order to place your recall on a special or general election ballot. If the election officials find that your documents do not meet standards for recall, they will offer a Certificate of Insufficiency and keep your petition on file.
Remind district members of the date, time and location of the recall vote.
Wanda Thibodeaux is a freelance writer and editor based in Eagan, Minn. She has been published in both print and Web publications and has written on everything from fly fishing to parenting. She currently works through her business website, Takingdictation.com, which functions globally and welcomes new clients.