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K-12 Governance: Online Database

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Postsecondary Governance Structures Database

Welcome to the ECS 50-State K-12 Governance Structures Database

This database contains information about the K-12 governance structures in each state, which are broken into three levels: State, Regional and School District. The state level has information about governors, legislatures, chief state school officers and state boards of education. The regional level has information about regional boards and regional superintendents. The school district level has information about local school boards, local superintendents, schools and collective bargaining agreements.

From this database, you can generate profiles of individual state K-12 governance structures, and 50-state reports on state K-12 governance structures.

Please contact us with questions or comments about the database.

State Profiles

50-State Reports



   This 50-State Analysis will answer these questions:

  1. Are chief state school officers (CSSOs) elected or appointed?
    • Appointed: 38 states (76%)
      • State boards appoint in 23 states (61%)
      • Governor appoints in 15 states (39%)
    • Elected: 12 states (24%).
  2. Are members of the state board of education elected or appointed?
    • Appointed: 33 states (70%)
    • Elected: 7 states (15%)
    • Mix of appointed and elected: 7 states (15%).
  3. What is the level of the governor’s influence?
    • In 24 states (48%), the governor appoints all of the voting members of the state board
    • In 15 states (30%), the governor appoints some, but not all, of the state board of education members
      • In 9 of the 15 states, the governor appoints 75%-89% of the state board of education members
      • In 6 of the 15 states, the governor appoints 5%-57% of the state board members
      • In 11 states (22%), the governor does not appoint any of the voting members of the state board.
  4. Is there an executive-level secretary of education in addition to the chief state school officer?
    • In 5 states (10%): Kentucky, Massachusetts, Oklahoma, Oregon, and Virginia
    • 46 states (90%) do not have such a position.

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