The NC State Board of Education holds the constitutional authority to lead and uphold the system of public education in North Carolina. It is responsible for “supervising and administering the free public school system and the educational funds provided for its support” (see N.C. Const. art. IX §5). Board members include the Lieutenant Governor, the State Treasurer, and eleven other members appointed by the Governor and confirmed by the Legislature in joint session. Currently, the chairman of the Board is Bill Cobey. Eight of the Board members represent each of the state’s eight education districts, and three are at-large appointees. The eleven appointees serve eight-year terms; the two ex-officio members’ terms coincide with the term of their respective offices. The policies developed by the Board of Education guide the Department of Public Instruction and local public school organization and operations.
Seven advisors (non-voting) serve the Board as specified in the North Carolina General Statutes. The advisors include a local superintendent appointed by the Governor, the North Carolina Principal of the Year, the Raleigh Dingman award winner (local board member), two North Carolina Teachers of the Year (each serving a two-year term), and two high school students (a high school junior and a high school senior, each serving a two-year term beginning in the junior year). The Board meets on a monthly basis.
Editor’s Note: EdNC will be posting leadership profiles on the policymakers influencing education in North Carolina. Recently, I met with a member of our General Assembly. He noted that upon becoming a legislator people started treating him like an object. I come from a family that values public service, period. You know our policymakers as politicians. I hope our profiles help you know them better as people. EdNC wants you to be comfortable walking into the legislature, interacting with the legislators, and participating in state government – it is your government after all.