7.4 School Site Councils
School site budgets are generally small. They exclude salaries and benefits, and frequently also exclude anything that is negotiated and planned across multiple schools. These small budgets are key resources for principals to address the specific needs and opportunities for their school. Site budgets are subject in many places to review by a site council. Site councils, where they exist, usually consist of teachers and parents, sometimes with student participation.
The powers of site councils vary considerably. There is no consensus about whether these organizations are effective.
At their best, site councils encourage fiduciary rigor and provide a framework for parents, teachers and school leaders to work together toward a shared mission. At worst, they consume morale and waste time and energy. Most often, they simply don’t do very much.