The Role of a PSA Board Member and FAQs

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As a board member your role is to set policy, maintain the school’s vision and/or mission, promote educational excellence through advocacy, visionary leadership and high-quality services to your public school, as well as to ensure that the school complies with its charter and applicable laws.

Public School Academy Board Members are Public Officials
PSA board members are public officials appointed by the Board of Trustees of a public college in Michigan which acts as the authorizer of the school. Central Michigan and Grand Valley State have authorized the bulk of the schools in the Detroit area.

Potential board members are required to complete an application as part of the appointment process. Additionally, a personal background check will be required of all potential board members.  The appointment is for two years and is renewable.  The average board has 5 to 7 members and they meet about 10 times a year.

Demand for Public School Academy Board Members
An estimated 40 new board member seats become available each school year. Additionally, new schools develop each year in the Detroit region that need qualified board members to fill seats.

See below for answers to the most frequently asked Board Leadership questions.

What is a public school academy (PSA)?
A PSA is a state-supported public school. According to Section 380.504(4) of the Revised School Code, “A public school academy may include any grade up to grade 12 or any configuration of those grades, including kindergarten and early childhood education, as specified in its contract.”

Who may apply for a charter to create a PSA?
Any parent, group or entity may apply for a public school academy charter, which are governed by publicly appointed boards.

May a PSA be selective in their admissions policy?
A PSA may not be selective. It may not screen out students based on disability, race, religion, sex, test scores, etc. It may predetermine the ages, grades, and number of students it will serve.  A random selection process must be used if the number of applicants exceeds the school’s enrollment capacity.

Does a PSA have to use certified teachers?
Certification requirements for PSA teachers are identical to those of local school district teachers. Special exceptions are made for a PSA that is operated by a state university or community college that may wish to use collegiate staff to teach PSA students (refer to Section 380.505).

May a PSA be religiously affiliated?
No. A PSA must maintain the separation between church and state. If a PSA is utilizing a building that has religious symbols present, they must be removed or covered.

Who can be a PSA school board member?
PSA board members are public officials and volunteers. They are appointed by an authorizing body for the school and required to complete a rigorous application process.

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