The Board shall provide for the operation, improvement and evaluation of a parish public School System and shall establish general policies in keeping with the needs of the communities of the parish and applicable state laws.
The Board possesses only delegated powers defined by the Louisiana Statutes and members are not free to act as individuals and cannot act beyond the special powers delegated to them. Specifically, the responsibility of the St. Tammany Parish School Board shall include, but not be limited to:
- Select and appoint a Superintendent and support him in the discharge of his duties (LA-R.S. 17:81, 17:84).
- Consider and act on policies from school staffing and operations as inaugurated by the Superintendent, the professional staff, members of the Board, or the general public.
- Establish general policies for a planned program of education as initiated by the Superintendent, his staff, the Board and others.
- Receive, evaluate and act upon the recommendations and reports of the Superintendent.
- Adopt an annual budget and control expenditures accordingly; review periodic financial reports and modify the budget if and when necessary; submit budget, after approval, to the State Superintendent of Public Education for approval (LA-R.S. 17:88).
- Select a fiscal agent and deposit with reasonable promptness and without payment of service charges, all funds which are in the name of the St. Tammany Parish School Board and secured by proper collateral deposited by the fiscal agent for the account of the Board (LA-R.S. 39:1211 et seq.).
- Select, by public advertisement and bid, a newspaper in which the official minutes of School Board meetings are to be published. Submit all official minutes to this paper for publication (LA-R.S. 39:1211 et seq.).
- Adopt a resolution levying annually all taxes authorized by the Constitution, the laws of the State of Louisiana, and the voters of the parish, including taxes to meet the principal and interest on outstanding bonds; forward such resolution to the assessor of St. Tammany Parish.
- Request legal opinions from the District Attorney and the Attorney General of the State of Louisiana as needed (LA-R.S.16:2, 17:3713, 42:263, and 265).
- Call special tax elections to vote bond issues to provide adequate school facilities and equipment after approval of the State Bond and Tax Board (Constitution of the State of Louisiana Art. 6, Sec. 33, LA-R.S. 17:1373, 39:569).
- Call special tax elections to vote on renewal of existing taxes as well as for additional tax millage for school purposes as provided by the laws of the State of Louisiana.
- Secure approval of the State Board of Health, State Fire Marshal, and the State Department of Education of plans of all new buildings and/or additions to existing buildings.
- Advertise for bids for (a) public work to be done, exceeding the sum of $100,000 per project, including both labor and materials, and (b) all purchases of materials or supplies exceeding the sum of $15,000. Let contracts to the lowest responsible bidder who has bid according to contract plans and specifications, as advertised (LA-R.S. 38:2211 et seq.).
- Expropriate property according to law for school purposes when necessary.
- Provide personnel and facilities to maintain proper student census records.
- Provide support for teachers’ institutes and meetings for the benefit and professional improvement of teachers and other employees (LA-R.S. 17:7, 3821 et seq., 3825 et seq., 3831 et seq., 3871 et seq.).
- Provide transportation to any school of suitable grade approved by the State Department of Education for children living more that one mile therefrom (LA-R.S. 17:158).
- Establish attendance areas and school boundaries (LA-R.S. 17:81 and 81.1).
- Require lunchroom employees to produce health certificates showing that they are free from communicable diseases.
- Prescribe rules and regulations governing the handling of all funds and employees entrusted with such funds. Require proper bond as stipulated by the laws of the State of Louisiana of all persons who handle large sums of money (LA-R.S. 17:95, 17:97).
- Sue and/or defend itself in suits at law (LA-R.S. 17:51).
- Consider, revise and adopt recommendations of the Superintendent and members of his staff for providing adequate buildings and equipment for the entire public School System of the Parish of St. Tammany (LA-R.S. 17:81).
- Appoint architects and/or engineers, as needed, to design new schools and/or renovations of existing buildings.
- Inform the public concerning the progress and needs of the schools, the instructional program and the financial status of the School Systems, accurately accounting for all receipts and expenditures.
- Observe and enforce all applicable provisions of the Constitution and the Statutes of the State of Louisiana and all rules, regulations, and directives of the State Board of Education and of the State Superintendent of Education.
In common with other governing bodies, parish School Boards may make "reasonable" rules and regulations to accomplish the purposes for which they have been created. In this connection, one paragraph from the section of the General School Law which deals with the general powers of the School Boards reads as follows:
"Each School Board is authorized to make such rules and regulations for its own government, not inconsistent with law or with the regulations of the Louisiana State Board of Education, as it may deem proper."
School Boards thus have considerable leeway to make rules and to establish policies relative to schools, students, teachers and other school employees.