The Board of Public Education was created by the Montana Constitution of 1972 to exercise general supervision over the elementary and secondary schools of the state. The Board consists of seven members appointed by the Governor and confirmed by the Senate to staggered seven-year terms. By statute, the Governor must appoint members to the Board so that not more than four may be from one of the two commission districts and not more than four may be affiliated with the same political party. The Governor, the Superintendent of Public Instruction, and the Commissioner of Higher Education are ex-officio, non-voting members of the Board. In 1978 the Board added a student representative who is elected by the executive committee of the Montana Association of Student Councils to a one year term. The Board maintains offices in Helena with a staff of four people headed by an executive secretary.