The San Diego County Board of Education consists of five members. Each represents a different trustee area and is selected by voters there. The four-year terms are staggered to allow for continuity.
The board operates under the authority of the California Constitution, the State Legislature, California Education Code and the California State Board of Education. The trustees are responsible for adopting the annual County Office of Education Local Control and Accountability Plan and budget; adopting policies governing the operation of the board; acting as the appeals board for student expulsions, inter district transfers, and charter school petitions; hiring and evaluating the county superintendent and establishing the rate of compensation; and serving as the landlord and owner of property.
District 4, which Paulette Donnellon represents, includes a large portion of the county stretching from Vista to the eastern county line and from Lakeside to the northern boundary.