|Separation of Duties|
Separation of Duties Recognizes Distinct and Independent Educational and Municipal Needs
Title 10, Chapter 163 of the Connecticut General Statutes (CGS), Sections 10 – 4 and 10 - 4a outline the State of Connecticut’s responsibility to supervise and control the educational interests of the students in Connecticut. CGS Section 10- 220 outlines the duties of boards of education and charges that the local board
“SHALL maintain good public elementary and secondary schools, implement the educational interests of the state,” and “shall provide an appropriate learning environment for its students which includes (1) adequate instructional books, supplies, materials, equipment, staffing, facilities and technology, (2) equitable allocation of resources among its schools, and (3) a safe school setting; shall have charge of the schools of its respective school district; shall make a continuing study of the need for school facilities and of a long-term school building program and from time to time make recommendations based on such study to the town; shall report annually to the Commissioner of Education on the condition of its facilities and the action taken to implement its long-term school building program, which report the commissioner shall use to prepare an annual report that said commissioner shall submit in accordance with section 11-4a to the joint standing committee of the General Assembly having cognizance of matters relating to education; shall advise the Commissioner of Education of the relationship between any individual school building project pursuant to chapter 173 and such long-term school building program; shall have the care, maintenance and operation of buildings, lands, apparatus and other property used for school purposes and at all times shall insure all such buildings and all capital equipment contained therein against loss in an amount not less than eighty per cent of replacement cost;” This supports the Connecticut constitution that requires free public elementary and secondary schools.
These statutes create a legal separation between management of town resource and management of school resources. The Board of Education is a quasi-state agency created by law to implement the statewide interests to provide an adequate, equitable educational opportunity for all children of the state. CGS Section 10-222 states that, “the money appropriated by any municipality for the maintenance of public schools shall be expended by and in the discretion of the board of education.” The Board has full discretion to transfer funds to any item of its budget. The law determines that the operation of the schools resides with the board of education. The town’s responsibility is to provide the funds for that educational activity. CGS Section 10-4b provides penalties to towns not providing adequate financial support in meeting the state’s educational interests.
This separation recognizes that the nature of the responsibilities of town/city government and Boards of Education require different skill sets, experience and focus for the administrative personnel in each office.