The Richland 2 School Board is supposed to have seven members, who are called Trustees. They are elected for four-year terms, which are staggered. Four were elected in November 2018. Three will be elected in November 2020.
At the last meeting of the School Year, which ends June 30th, the Board elects its Officers for the following school year. They serve from July 1 to June 30.
Board Policy BBAA - Board Member Authority and Responsibilities clearly specifies what individual members of the Board can and cannot do. The Board Chair is a member of the Board, and his authority is limited by Policy BBAA.
Paragraph 2 of BBAA begins with, "Board members acting as individuals have no authority over personnel or school affairs except when such authority is specifically delegated to a member by the board. Such authority will be given to an individual board member, including the chair, by a majority of the board."
Recently an issue came up with a letter that was sent by Board member James Shadd in his position as Board Chair. The point made at a board meeting was that the board had never authorized him to send such a letter. He could have sent it as an individual without mentioning Richland 2, but it was apparently sent on behalf of the District.
The Board Chair is one of seven.
Now we all know that, if Shadd wants the Board's permission to do something, he has plenty of followers on the board who will approve. But he should have asked. Votes on anything he wants will be 6-1 or 5-2. In a rare circumstance where he might have to recuse himself, the vote will still be 5-1 or 4-2.
That's the Board that voters and taxpayers have to live with until the tide changes in Richland 2.