STAKEHOLDER'S PARTICIPATION IN THE SCHOOL BOARD MEETINGS
A stakeholder is any concerned citizen from Elmore County wishing to address the board. A stakeholder may contribute to the board meetings by emailing their District Representative or the Superintendent or his secretary. To address the board meeting a request to address the board should be made prior to the agenda being sent to the board members or by signing up for one of the 5 slots that are available 15 minutes prior to the start of the board meeting.
No one is allowed to personally attack a board employee or student in this open forum.
SCHOOL BOARD'S LEGAL STATUS
The Constitution of Alabama places the responsibility for establishing and maintaining an efficient system of public schools on the State Legislature. The Legislature has created the Board as the body charged with establishment, maintenance, development, and operation of an efficient public school program within the School System. The Alabama Supreme Court has held that the Board is vested with a broad range of administrative and supervisory authority commensurate with the above prescribed educational responsibilities.
Members of the Board are officers of the State. The Board is the agency through which the County acts in regard to school matters. Board members have authority only when functioning as a body or group in a legally called regular or special meeting. The powers of the Board are delegated only to the Board as a body. No authority is granted to members acting as individuals.
Under State law, the Board is immune from action in tort. However, local governing bodies, including boards of education, may be sued directly under 42 U.S.C. s1983 for monetary, declaratory, and injunctive relief for civil rights violations resulting from the implementation or execution of an unconstitutional policy statement, ordinance, regulation, decision or custom. Moreover, liability may be equally applicable, not just from policies, regulations, or decisions officially adopted by the Board, but also from a custom or standard practice, even though the custom or practice has not received formal Board approval.
The Board is cognizant that all actions must be taken in good faith, with reasonable prudence, sincerity, and based on the belief that such actions are correct and in the best interests of the School System in accordance with statutes and pertinent judicial precedents.
SCHOOL BOARD'S AUTHORITY
The Board is a legal body created by the statutes of the State of Alabama. Its members are state officials receiving their responsibilities and powers through State Law.
Board members have no authority over school affairs as individuals. They have complete authority within State Law, over school affairs when they serve as a legal body.
The Board is, in practice, primarily a policy-making body. Although legally authorized to administer policy, the Board delegates this function to an officer of the Board, the Superintendent.
Delegating the administrative function makes the Board responsible for evaluating the effectiveness of the execution of Board policies. Evaluation by the Board requires continuous appraisal of the results of its educational policies as well as the effectiveness of the general administration.
The Code of Alabama, Title 16, Chapter 8, specifically grants county boards of education all powers necessary and proper for the administration and management of the free public schools within such county.
POWERS AND DUTIES OF THE BOARD
The Board shall act as the general agent of the State of Alabama in carrying out the will of the people of County in matters of public education.
The Board shall be responsible for carrying out mandatory laws pertaining to education and shall consider and accept or reject the provisions of the permissive laws. In all cases where the State laws do not provide or prohibit, the Board shall consider itself the agent responsible for establishing and appraising the educational activities under its jurisdiction.
In general, the Board shall be responsible for policy making upon the advice of the Superintendent, and for evaluation of the following areas:
•1. To determine, on recommendation of the Superintendent, and subject to Constitutional requirements and Alabama Law, the educational policies of the School System.
•2. To require of the administrative staff the necessary reports and information which are essential for the Board to make appropriate decisions involving the education of the students and the general welfare of the community.
•3. To cause to be taken, under the direction of the Superintendent, a decennial census of children between the ages of six (6) and twenty-one (21) years.
•4. To consider, upon the written recommendation of the Superintendent, the appointment of all employees and their salaries.
•5. To suspend or dismiss employees, upon the written recommendation of the Superintendent, as provided by law.
•6. To approve the purchase or sale of all school lands.
•7. To approve all building contracts.
•8. To approve all purchases over the amount specified in the state bid law unless such purchases are approved under the school budget.
•9. To approve the annual budget.
•10. To publish annually in the month of October, in a newspaper published in the County, a full and complete statement of the receipts by source and disbursements by functions of the School System for the twelve months' period ending September 30.
•11. To publish annually in newspaper published in the County, in the month of October, a statement of the outstanding indebtedness of the School System on last September 30.
•12. To make all reports required by the State Board of Education.
•13. To appoint a custodian of public school funds.
•14. To hold in trust all property, real, personal, and mixed, now held or hereafter acquired by the School System.
•15. To serve as a judicial body to hear complaints and appeals of administrative decisions from employees, students, and/or patrons.
•16. To see that every school building in the School System whose title is vested in the state, county, or School System is insured for its insurable value.
•17. To adopt the Annual School Calendar, to include the dates set for the opening and closing of the schools of the School System.
•18. To work with the administrative staff to handle other duties required by law or situations.
QUALIFICATIONS FOR SCHOOL BOARD MEMBERS
A person is legally qualified to become a member of the Board provided the following criteria are met:
•1. The person is a resident of the County and approved school board district he/she represents.
•2. The person is not an employee of the Board.
•3. The person is of good character with at least a fair elementary education, of good standing in his/her respective community, and known for his/her honesty, business ability, public spirit, and interest in the good of public education.
•4. The person has no financial or contractual interest in Board business matters.
It is desirable that members of the Board have a genuine interest in and devotion to public education, a willingness to give time and effort to the work, a capacity for understanding people, and the ability to work cooperatively with others.