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The Carver Governance Model

The Carver Policy Governance Model and the Jeffco Schools Board of Education


The Carver Policy Governance Model is the accepted form of governing by the Jeffco Schools Board of Education.   It implies the Board (an assembly of elected members, who do not receive any compensation by the district or taxpayers, with no required education or governing credentials) has one employee, the CEO or Superintendent. 


“There is no confusion about who is responsible to the board or for what board expectations they are responsible. Double delegation (for example, to a board committee as well as to the CEO) is eliminated. Furthermore, boards that decide to utilize a CEO function are able to hold this one position exclusively accountable.”  (from


The model is intended to “enable the board to focus on the larger issues, to delegate with clarity, to control management’s job without meddling, to rigorously evaluate the accomplishment of the organization; to truly lead its organization”.


As prescribed in the Jeffco School Board District Policies – Jefferson County School District R-1 SectionC. General School Administration Title Administrative Organization Number CC Status Active Legal Adopted June 26, 1997:


“The Board’s legal authority shall be transmitted through the superintendent along specific paths from person to person as shown on the district organizational chart. 
The district’s organizational chart reflects the formal lines of authority and responsibility developed by the superintendent. Personnel are expected to follow the appropriate lines of authority in referring matters which require management decisions.”


The Jeffco School Board, however, having hired its own legal counsel (Brad Miller), and by virtue of its letter of engagement with Brad A. Miller seems to have taken liberties with the Carver model.


Engagement letter dated December 13, 2013 to the Jeffco School Board of Education from the Law Office of Brad A. Miller states the “Scope of Representation”…” to serve primarily as counsel to the Board, which will include but not be limited to the following:  provide legal advice to the board, attend board meetings and assist at same; assist with setting board agendas; preparation of certain Board packet materials; conduct board trainings; review board, subcommittee, and DAC bylaws and policies and propose updates and improvements; meet with individual Board members, District staff, and third-parties to assist Board in its efforts and initiatives; assist with development and implementation of  initiatives; review materials for work product and privilege when CORA requests are made, assist the Board with legislative and political issues (any lobbying would be done through contracted lobbyists); assist the Board with staffing matters; assist the Board with budget matters; assist the Board with communications; and perform other tasks as directed by the Board as a whole or by the Board President.”  Much of this work is considered staff duties, currently performed either by the Superintendent or the Superintendent’s staff, as directed by the Superintendent.  


So this raises the question, does the Jeffco School Board plan to operate with two employees or employ the newly hired Board Legal Counsel as a superintendent?