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Candidate Eligibility Requirements

Texas School Boards

Texas school districts and charters are overseen by school boards. The boards of independent school districts are elected by the citizens of their communities, while the boards of charter schools are appointed.

In each instance, the school board oversees the management of the district or charter school and ensures that the superintendent implements and monitors district operations.  The board and the superintendent work together as a team to bring about the best education possible for the boys and girls they serve.

To make sure they carry their job out appropriately, school trustees are required to receive training in the laws and rules of the state education system.

Should the management of a district or charter fail to carry out its duty, the commissioner of education has the authority to impose a sanction by installing a monitor, conservator or board of managers. At any given time, only about a dozen of the more than 1,200 school districts and charters receive this type of school governance intervention.

Eligibility Requirements  (Tex. Elec. Code § 141.001)

An individual is eligible to be a candidate for, or elected or appointed to, a Texas school board if the individual:

  1. is a United States citizen;
  2. is 18 years of age or older on the first day of the term to be filled at the election or on the date of appointment, as applicable;
  3. has not been determined by a final judgment of a court exercising probate jurisdiction to be totally mentally incapacitated or partially mentally incapacitated without the right to vote;
  4. has not been finally convicted of a felony from which the individual has not been pardoned or otherwise released from the resulting disabilities;
  5. has resided continuously in the state for 12 months and in the territory from which the office is elected for six months immediately preceding the following date:
    1. for an independent candidate, the date of the regular filing deadline for a candidate’s application for a place on the ballot; 
    2. for a write-in candidate,the date of the election at which the candidate’s name is written in; or 
    3. for an appointee to an office, the date the appointment is made;
  6. is registered to vote in the territory from which the office is elected on the date described above; and
  7. satisfies any other eligibility requirements prescribed by law for the office

Resources for Board Candidates

Frequently Asked Questions about Running for School Board (Texas Association of School Boards)

Become a Board Member (Texas Association of School Boards)

Training Video for School Board Candidates (Texas Association of School Boards)

First Steps for Candidates Running for School Board Trustee  (Texas Ethics Commission) Click on School Board Candidate

Texas Secretary of State - Elections Division / Candidate Information



Ethical Campaigning

Once you have made a decision to run for the school board, follow these general practices to ensure you conduct your campaign ethically

  • Focus attention on issues and avoid attacking or finding fault in individuals—either opponents or district employees.
  • Prepare for campaigning by becoming familiar with the issues in your district.
  • Be sure the facts used in your campaign are accurate.
  • Keep your focus on what you would like to see happen in your district.
  • Avoid making promises that you as an individual cannot keep without board support.

These practices will not only demonstrate your leadership to the community but will also help you establish a positive foundation for working with other school board members and administrators if you do get elected to serve. After all, since school board members have authority only as a corporate body, not as individuals, this cooperation is essential to accomplish any positive results for your district.