Nebraska Revised Statute 79-318

Chapter 79


State Board of Education; powers; duties.

The State Board of Education shall:

(1) Appoint and fix the compensation of the Commissioner of Education;

(2) Remove the commissioner from office at any time for conviction of any crime involving moral turpitude or felonious act, for inefficiency, or for willful and continuous disregard of his or her duties as commissioner or of the directives of the board;

(3) Upon recommendation of the commissioner, appoint and fix the compensation of all new professional positions in the department, including any deputy commissioners;

(4) Organize the State Department of Education into such divisions, branches, or sections as may be necessary or desirable to perform all its proper functions and to render maximum service to the board and to the state school system;

(5) Provide, through the commissioner and his or her professional staff, enlightened professional leadership, guidance, and supervision of the state school system, including educational service units. In order that the commissioner and his or her staff may carry out their duties, the board shall, through the commissioner: (a) Provide supervisory and consultation services to the schools of the state; (b) issue materials helpful in the development, maintenance, and improvement of educational facilities and programs; (c) establish rules and regulations which govern standards and procedures for the approval and legal operation of all schools in the state and for the accreditation of all schools requesting state accreditation. All public, private, denominational, or parochial schools shall either comply with the accreditation or approval requirements prescribed in this section and section 79-703 or, for those schools which elect not to meet accreditation or approval requirements, the requirements prescribed in subsections (2) through (6) of section 79-1601. Standards and procedures for approval and accreditation shall be based upon the program of studies, guidance services, the number and preparation of teachers in relation to the curriculum and enrollment, instructional materials and equipment, science facilities and equipment, library facilities and materials, and health and safety factors in buildings and grounds. Rules and regulations which govern standards and procedures for private, denominational, and parochial schools which elect, pursuant to the procedures prescribed in subsections (2) through (6) of section 79-1601, not to meet state accreditation or approval requirements shall be as described in such section; (d) institute a statewide system of testing to determine the degree of achievement and accomplishment of all the students within the state's school systems if it determines such testing would be advisable; (e) prescribe a uniform system of records and accounting for keeping adequate educational and financial records, for gathering and reporting necessary educational data, and for evaluating educational progress; (f) cause to be published laws, rules, and regulations governing the schools and the school lands and funds with explanatory notes for the guidance of those charged with the administration of the schools of the state; (g) approve teacher education programs conducted in Nebraska postsecondary educational institutions designed for the purpose of certificating teachers and administrators, except that such approval shall not require a statewide examination as an entrance requirement related to basic skills competency; (h) approve certificated-employee evaluation policies and procedures developed by school districts and educational service units; and (i) approve general plans and adopt educational policies, standards, rules, and regulations for carrying out the board's responsibilities and those assigned to the State Department of Education by the Legislature;

(6) Adopt and promulgate rules and regulations for the guidance, supervision, accreditation, and coordination of educational service units. Such rules and regulations for accreditation shall include, but not be limited to, (a) a requirement that programs and services offered to school districts by each educational service unit shall be evaluated on a regular basis, but not less than every seven years, to assure that educational service units remain responsive to school district needs and (b) guidelines for the use and management of funds generated from the property tax levy and from other sources of revenue as may be available to the educational service units, to assure that public funds are used to accomplish the purposes and goals assigned to the educational service units by section 79-1204. The State Board of Education shall establish procedures to encourage the coordination of activities among educational service units and to encourage effective and efficient educational service delivery on a statewide basis;

(7) Prepare and distribute reports designed to acquaint school district officers, teachers, and patrons of the schools with the conditions and needs of the schools;

(8) Provide for consultation with professional educators and lay leaders for the purpose of securing advice deemed necessary in the formulation of policies and in the effectual discharge of its duties;

(9) Make studies, investigations, and reports and assemble information as necessary for the formulation of policies, for making plans, for evaluating the state school program, and for making essential and adequate reports;

(10) Submit to the Governor and the Legislature a budget necessary to finance the state school program under its jurisdiction, including the internal operation and maintenance of the State Department of Education;

(11) Interpret its own policies, standards, rules, and regulations and, upon reasonable request, hear complaints and disputes arising therefrom;

(12) With the advice of the Department of Motor Vehicles, adopt and promulgate rules and regulations containing reasonable standards, not inconsistent with existing statutes, governing: (a) The general design, equipment, color, operation, and maintenance of any vehicle with a manufacturer's rated seating capacity of eleven or more passengers used for the transportation of public, private, denominational, or parochial school students; and (b) the equipment, operation, and maintenance of any vehicle with a capacity of ten or less passengers used for the transportation of public, private, denominational, or parochial school students, when such vehicles are owned, operated, or owned and operated by any public, private, denominational, or parochial school or privately owned or operated under contract with any such school in this state, except for vehicles owned by individuals operating a school which elects pursuant to section 79-1601 not to meet accreditation or approval requirements. Similar rules and regulations shall be adopted and promulgated for operators of such vehicles as provided in section 79-607;

(13) Accept, on behalf of the Nebraska Center for the Education of Children who are Blind or Visually Impaired, devises of real property or donations or bequests of other property, or both, if in its judgment any such devise, donation, or bequest is for the best interest of the center or the students receiving services from the center, or both, and irrigate or otherwise improve any such real estate when in the board's judgment it would be advisable to do so; and

(14) Upon acceptance of any devise, donation, or bequest as provided in this section, administer and carry out such devise, donation, or bequest in accordance with the terms and conditions thereof. If not prohibited by the terms and conditions of any such devise, donation, or bequest, the board may sell, convey, exchange, or lease property so devised, donated, or bequeathed upon such terms and conditions as it deems best and remit all money derived from any such sale or lease to the State Treasurer for credit to the State Department of Education Trust Fund.

None of the duties prescribed in this section shall prevent the board from exercising such other duties as in its judgment may be necessary for the proper and legal exercise of its obligations.


Cross References

  • Gifts, devises, and bequests, loans to needy students, see section 79-2,106.
  • Private, denominational, or parochial schools, election not to meet approval or accreditation requirements, see section 79-1601 et seq.


  • The state, having a high responsibility for the education of its citizens, has the power to impose reasonable regulations for the control and duration of basic education. Parents have a right to send their children to private schools but do not have the right to be completely unfettered by reasonable government regulations as to the quality of the education furnished and the maintenance of minimum standards. State ex rel. Douglas v. Faith Baptist Church of Louisville, 207 Neb. 802, 301 N.W.2d 571 (1981).

  • Adequate standards are provided by this section to authorize transfer of land from a nonaccredited to an accredited high school district. De Jonge v. School Dist. of Bloomington, 179 Neb. 539, 139 N.W.2d 296 (1966).

  • Matters to be considered in promulgating rules and regulations are specified. School Dist. No. 8 of Sherman County v. State Board of Education, 176 Neb. 722, 127 N.W.2d 458 (1964).

  • Standards were not effective until filed with Secretary of State. School Dist. No. 228 of Holt County v. State Board of Education, 164 Neb. 148, 82 N.W.2d 8 (1957).

  • This section was not applicable to supply standards in cases arising before its enactment. School Dist. No. 39 of Washington County v. Decker, 159 Neb. 693, 68 N.W.2d 354 (1955).