Effective schools meet the needs of communities they serve. Population diversity, the economic and ethnic background of the students, special service requirements, the adequacy of facilities, staffing resources, and the instructional priorities of the community all help to shape the unique organization of each school.
State law requires a site-based model for decision-making in Texas school districts. The Texas Education Code specifies many requirements for site-based decision-making (SBDM), including the following:
- A district improvement plan and campus improvement plans must be developed, reviewed, and revised annually.
- District and campus performance objectives that, at minimum, support state goals and objectives must be approved annually.
- Administrative procedures or policies must clearly define the respective roles and responsibilities of the superintendent, central office staff, principals, teachers, and district-level committee members in the areas of planning, budgeting, curriculum, staffing patterns, staff development, and school organization.
- District and school-based decision-making committees must be actively involved in establishing administrative procedures.
- Systematic communications measures must be put in place to obtain broad-based community, parental, and staff input and to provide information to those persons about the recommendations of the district-level committee.
- Administrators must regularly consult with the district-level committee on the planning, operations, supervision, and evaluation of the district's educational program.
SBDM provides a mechanism for teachers, parents, and community members to assist central and campus administrators in improving student performance. Schools must have adequate resources and the flexibility to develop programs tailored to meet the unique needs of the students they serve.