School boards hire superintendents and other high-level administrators to make the ultimate decisions about what happens in the school. These leaders are charged with ensuring all decisions, including those related to appropriate design and proper configuration of IT systems are reasonable. Reasonableness is defined by:
- Budgets—All decisions must fall within the available budgets and the anticipated budgets into the future.
- Human resources expectations—Master contracts and employment laws in the regions where the school is located affect what is allowed in schools.
- Adopted policies—Other regulations and laws are usually reflected in the policies that are adopted by the school board.
When school administrators make decisions about what is reasonable, they may override all the other decisions made by teachers or IT professionals, and it may be uncomfortable for the leaders to communicate those decisions, but making the decisions is relatively easy. They have the money, or they don’t; this is confirmed by the business manager. The procedures violate policy, or they don’t; this is confirmed by the school’s legal advisers.
The more difficult decisions about reasonable implantation can arise when there is conflict between the appropriate designs and the proper configurations. How these conflicts can be reasonably negotiated and resolved is the focus of the next sections. In those case, we see the political factors that affect many decisions in schools. Most IT professionals do not have direct interaction with those elected to govern local schools, but the policies and procedures they define and even the discussions that have affect the culture in which school employees work and priorities that affect school leaders’ decisions.