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Section 1: Board Governance and Operations

Section 1 of the ASBA contains policies, regulations, and exhibits on the school board – how it is appointed or elected; how I is organized; how it conducts meetings, and how the board operates. This section includes by laws and policies establishing the board’s internal operating procedures.

1.1: Legal Status of the Board of Directors

By the authority of Article 14 of the Arkansas Constitution, the General Assembly has provided that locally elected school boards will be responsible for the lawful operation and maintenance of its local schools.

While the Board has a broad range of powers and duties, its individual members only have authority when exercising their responsibilities in a legally convened meeting acting as a whole. The sole exception is when an individual member has been delegated authority to represent the Board for a specific, defined purpose. In matters such as personnel discipline, expulsions, and student suspensions initiated by the superintendent, the Board serves as a finder of fact, not unlike a jury. For this reason, the board should not be involved in or, to the extent practicable, informed of the facts or allegations of such matters prior to a board hearing on those disciplinary matters in which the Board could become involved.

It is the policy of the Pulaski County Special School District School Board that its actions will be taken with due regard for its legal responsibilities and in the belief that its actions shall be in the best interests of its students and the District as a whole.

Legal Reference: A.C.A. § 6-13-620
Adopted: 3/8/66
Revised:

  • 9/11/79
  • 7/13/82
  • 8/9/88

Last Revised: 11/14/17

1.2: Board Organization and Vacancies

Election of Officers

The Board of the Pulaski County Special School District consists of seven (7) members elected from the zones in which they reside by the qualified voters of that zone. Each member is elected for a term of five (5) years. The Board shall elect a president, vice president, secretary, and legislative liaison at the first regular meeting following the later of: the certification of the results of the annual school election; or if there is a runoff election, at the first regular meeting following the certification of the results of a run-off election. Officers shall serve one-year terms and perform those duties as prescribed by policy of the Board. The Board shall also elect through a resolution passed by a majority vote one of its members to be the primary board disbursing officer and may designate one or more additional board members as alternate board disbursing officers. A copy of the resolution will be sent to the county treasurer and to the director of the Department of Finance and Administration.

When the position of an officer of the board becomes vacant, the officer’s position shall be filled for the remainder of the year in the same manner as for the annual election of officers after the annual school election. Election of Board officers shall not occur except on a once per year basis or to fill an officer vacancy.

Vacancies

A vacancy shall exist on the Board if a board member:

  1. Moves his or her bona fide permanent residence outside the boundaries of the school district;
  2. Fails to physically attend three (3) consecutive regular meetings of the school district board of directors;
  3. Fails to physically attend six (6) regularly scheduled board meetings of the school board of directors in a calendar year;
  4. Fails to receive the mandatory hours of training within the statutory time period;
  5. Is convicted of a felony;
  6. Is called to active military duty;
  7. Has served a full-length term as a holdover and has not subsequently been elected to another term;
  8. Resigned from the school board of directors; or
  9. Dies.

If credible evidence of a vacancy existing due to numbers 1 through 4 is presented to the president, vice president, or secretary of a school district board of directors, a majority of the members of the school district board of directors shall:

  • Vote on whether to appoint an independent investigator to investigate the credible evidence presented; and
  • Hold a hearing on the existence of a vacancy.

A vacancy does not exist for numbers 2, 3, and 4 if the reason for the member’s absences or failure to receive training is either:

  1. Military service of the board member; or
  2. Illness of the board member that is verified by a written sworn statement of the board member’s attending physician.

If a vacancy occurs on the board of directors, provided at least a quorum of the Board remains, the Board has thirty (30) days in which to appoint a successor to a vacated position on the Board. The successor must be registered to vote in the District and, if applicable, resides in the zone of the vacant position. If less than a quorum of the Board remains or the Board fails to fill the vacancy within thirty (30) days of the vacancy, the position shall be filled by the county quorum court.

When a vacancy on the Board resulted from a board member’s failure to receive the required training within the statutory time period, the board shall not appoint the individual who failed to receive the required training to fill the vacancy.

Except for a temporary vacancy due to military service, an individual appointed to fill a vacancy shall serve until the annual school election following the appointment. An individual appointed to fill a temporary vacancy due to military service shall serve until either the Board member who has been called to active military service returns and notifies the Board secretary of his/her desire to resume service on the Board or the Board member's term expires. If a Board member's term expires while the board member is on active military duty, the board member may run for re-election; if re-elected, the re-elected Board member's temporary vacancy shall be filled again in the manner prescribed in this policy.

The secretary of the school district board of directors shall notify the county clerk of an appointment to the school district board of directors within five (5) days of the appointment being made. The notice shall include the name of the appointed board member and the expiration date of his or her term.

An individual appointed to fill a vacancy must submit proof of having received the oath of office to the county clerk before the individual may assume any duties.

Cross References:

  • 1.3—Duties of the President
  • 1.4—Duties of the Vice-President
  • 1.5—Duties of the Secretary
  • 1.16 —Duties of Board Disbursing Officer
  • 1.19—Board Member Length of Term and Holdovers
  • 1.20—Duties of the Legislative Liaison

Legal References:

  • A.C.A. § 6-13-611
  • A.C.A. § 6-13-612
  • A.C.A. § 6-13-613
  • A.C.A. § 6-13-616
  • A.C.A. § 6-13-618
  • A.C.A. § 6-13-629

Adopted: 10/10/72
Last Revised: 2/1/18

1.3: Duties of the President

The duties of the president of the Board of Education shall include, but shall not be limited to:

  1. Presiding at all meetings of the Board;
  2. Calling special meetings of the Board;
  3. Working with the Superintendent to develop Board meeting agendas;
  4. Signing all official documents that require the signature of the chief officer of the Board of Education;
  5. Appointing all committees of the Board and serving as ex-officio member of such committees; and
  6. Performing such other duties as may be prescribed by law or action of the Board.

The president shall have the same right as other members to offer resolutions, make or second motions, discuss questions, and to vote.

Legal Reference: A.C.A. § 6-13-619 (a) (1)
Adopted: 3/8/66
Revised:

  • 10/10/72
  • 7/13/82

Last Revised: 11/14/17

1.4: Duties of the Vice-President

The duties of the Vice President of the Board shall include:

  1. Serving as presiding officer at all school board meetings from which the president is absent; and
  2. Performing such other duties as may be prescribed by action of the Board.

Adopted: 3/8/66

Revised:

  • 10/10/72
  • 7/13/82

Last Revised: 11/14/17

1.5: Duties of the Secretary

The duties of the Secretary of the Board shall include:

  1. Serving as presiding officer in the absence of the President and the Vice President;
  2. Being responsible for official correspondence of the Board;
  3. Signing all official documents that require the signature of the Secretary of the Board of Education;
  4. Calling special meetings of the Board; and
  5. Performing such other duties as may be prescribed by the Board.

Legal Reference: A.C.A. § 6-13-619 (a)(1)(b)
Adopted: 3/8/66
Revised:

  • 10/10/72
  • 7/13/82

Last Revised: 11/14/17

1.6: Board Member Voting

Establishment of a Quorum

A quorum of the Board is a majority of the membership of the Board. No vote or other board action may be taken unless there is a quorum present. A Board member must be physically present at a meeting to be counted toward establishing a quorum or to be eligible to vote. A majority of the quorum voting affirmatively is necessary for the passage of any motion. A quorum must be physically present for a board to enter executive session.

Voting and failure to vote

All Board members, including the President, shall vote on each motion, following a second and discussion of that motion.

Only those votes taken by the Board in open session are legally binding. No motion made or vote taken in executive session is legally binding, although a non-binding, unofficial and non-recorded vote may be taken in executive session to establish consensus or further discussion.

Abstentions from Voting

In order for a Board member to abstain from voting, he must declare a conflict and remove himself from the meeting room during the vote. A Board member who removes himself/herself from a meeting during a vote due to a conflict of interest shall not be considered present at the meeting for the purpose of establishing a quorum until the member returns to the meeting after the vote.

Legal Reference: A.C.A. § 6-13-619
Date Adopted: 7/13/82
Revised: 9/11/84
Last Revised: 11/14/17

1.7P: Powers and Duties of the Board

The Arkansas Board of Education, operating in accordance with state and federal laws, assumes its responsibilities for the operation of Pulaski County Special School District Public Schools. The Board shall concern itself primarily with the broad questions of policy as it exercises its legislative and judicial duties. The administrative functions of the District are delegated to the Superintendent who shall be responsible for the effective administration and supervision of the District.

Some of the duties of the Board include:

  1. Developing and adopting policies to effect the vision, mission, and direction of the District;
  2. Understanding and abiding by the proper role of the Board of Directors through study and by obtaining the necessary training professional development;
  3. Electing and employing a Superintendent and giving him/her the support needed to be able to effectively implement the Board’s policies;
  4. Conducting formal and informal evaluations of the Superintendent annually or no less often than prior to any contract extension;
  5. Employing, upon recommendation of the administrative staff and by written contract, the staff necessary for the proper conduct of the schools;
  6. Approving the selection of curriculum and seeing that all courses for study and educational content prescribed by the State Board or by law for all grades of schools are offered and taught;
  7. Reviewing, adopting, and publishing the District’s budget for the ensuing year;
  8. Being responsible for providing sufficient facilities, grounds, and property and ensuring they are managed and maintained for the benefit of the district;
  9. Monitoring District finances and receiving, reviewing, and approving each annual financial audit;
  10. Understanding and overseeing District finances to ensure alignment with the District’s academic and facility needs and goals;
  11. Visiting schools and classrooms when students are present no less than annually;
  12. Setting an annual salary schedule;
  13. Being fiscally responsible to the District’s patrons and maintaining the millage rate necessary to support the District’s budget;
  14. Involving the members of the community in the District’s decisions to the fullest extent practicable; and
  15. Striving to assure that all students are challenged and are given an equitable educational opportunity.
  16. Refrain as an individual from requesting the services of any school employee
  17. The Board will maintain accurate records of the action taken at regular and special meetings.
  18. Perform specific duties imposed upon the Board by statutes.

Legal References: A.C.A. § 6-13-620, 622
Date Adopted: 10/10/72
Revised: 7/13/82
Last Revised: 11/14/17

1.8: Governance by Policy

The district shall operate within the legal frameworks of the State and Federal Constitutions, and appropriate statutes, regulations, and court decisions. The legal frameworks governing the district shall be augmented by policies adopted by the board of directors which shall serve to further define the operations of the district.

When necessitated by unforeseen circumstances, the Superintendent shall have the power to decide and take appropriate action for an area not covered by the legal frameworks or a policy of the Board. The Superintendent shall inform the members of the Board of such action. The Board shall then consider whether it is necessary to formulate and adopt a policy to cover such circumstances.

The official copy of the policy manual for the District shall be kept in the Superintendent’s office. Copies of the manual within the District shall be kept current, but if a discrepancy occurs between manuals, the Superintendent’s version shall be regarded as authoritative.

Administrative regulations shall be formulated to implement the intentions of the policies of the Board. Regulations may be highly specific. The Board shall review administrative regulations prior to their implementation.

Date Adopted: 10/13/72
Revised: 7/13/82
Last Revised: 11/14/17

1.9: Policy Formulation

The Board affirms through its policies and its policy adoption process, its belief that:

  1. The schools belong to the people who create them by consent and support them by taxation;
  2. The schools are only as strong as an informed citizenry and knowledgeable school staff allow them to be; and
  3. The support is based on knowledge of, understanding about, and participation in the efforts of its public schools.

The following shall be the guidelines for policy adoption for the Pulaski County Special School District.

General Policies

Policies that are not personnel policies may be recommended by:

  • The Board or any member of the Board;
  • The Superintendent, Assistant Superintendent, any other administrator or employee of the District
  • Committee appointed by the Board; or
  • Any member of the public.

Policies adopted by the Board shall be within the legal framework of the State and Federal Constitutions, and appropriate statutes, rules, and court decisions.

Except for personnel policies, when reviewing a proposed policy, the Board may elect to adopt, amend, refer back to the person proposing the policy for further consideration, take it under advisement, reject it, or refuse to consider the proposal.

Licensed and Classified Personnel Policies

Personnel policies (including employee salary schedules) shall be created, amended, or deleted in accordance with State law:

(1) Board Proposals:

The Board may adopt a proposed personnel policy by a majority vote. Such policies may be proposed to the Board by a Board member or the Superintendent. The Board may choose to adopt the proposal, as a proposal only, by majority vote.

Following the adoption of a proposed personnel policy, the proposal must be presented to the appropriate Personnel Policy Committee (PPC). Such presentation shall be in writing, to all members of the Committee.

When the PPC has possessed the proposed personnel policy for a minimum of ten (10) working days from the date the PPC received the proposed policy (i.e., ten (10) workdays, not including weekends or state or national holidays), the Chairman of the PPC, or the Chairman’s designee, shall be placed on the Board of Director's meeting agenda to make an oral presentation to the Board to address the proposed policy. Following the presentation, the Board may vote at the same meeting at which the proposal is made, or, in any case, no later than the next regular Board meeting to:

  1. Adopt the Board's original proposed policy as a policy;
  2. Adopt the PPC's counter proposed policy as a policy ; or
  3. Refer the PPC's counter proposed policy back to the PPC for further study and revision. Any such referral is subject to the same adoption process as a proposed policy originating from the board.

(2) Personnel Policies Committee Proposals:

Either PPC may recommend changes in personnel policies to the Board. When making such a proposal, the Chairman of the PPC, or the Chairman’s designee, shall be placed on the Board of Director's meeting agenda to make an oral presentation to the Board.

The Board may vote on the proposed policy at the same meeting at which the proposal is made, or, in any case, no later than the next regular Board meeting. In voting on a proposed policy from the Personnel Policies Committee, the Board may:

  1. Adopt the proposal;
  2. Reject the proposal; or
  3. Refer the proposal back to the Personnel Policies Committee for further study and revision.

When the Board is revising the licensed and classified personnel salaries, the Board of Directors shall, as required by Arkansas law, review and approve by a written resolution any employee's salary increase of five percent (5%) or more for the employee.

A copy of all personnel policies shall be signed by the president of the Board of Directors and kept in a central records location.

All personnel policies must be sent to the PPC for the minimum ten (10) days regardless of the intended effective date of the policy.

Effective date of policy changes:

All personnel policy changes enacted during one fiscal year will become effective on the first day of the following fiscal year, July 1. This specifically includes any changes made between May 1 and June 30 to ensure compliance with state or federal laws, state rules, or federal regulations or the Division of Elementary and Secondary Education Commissioner’s Memos. In addition, changes to policies to maintain compliance with state or federal laws, state rules, federal regulations, or Commissioner’s Memos that are after June 30 but are adopted within ninety (90) days from the effective date of the legal change that created the need for the policy adoption shall become effective on the final date of adoption.

Changes made to personnel policies between May 1 and June 30 that are not made to ensure compliance with state or federal laws, state rules, or federal regulations will take effect on July 1 of the same calendar year provided no later than five (5) working days after final board action, a notice of the change is sent to each affected employee by first class mail to the address on record in the personnel file. The notice of the change must include:

  1. The new or modified policy or policies provided in a form that clearly shows the additions underlined and the deletions stricken;
  2. A statement that due to the change(s), the employee has the power to unilaterally rescind his/her contract for a period of thirty (30) days after the school board took final action on the policy (policies). The rescission must be in the form of a letter of resignation within the thirty (30) day period.

Except for policy changes to ensure compliance with changes in the law that are adopted within the ninety (90) day window, for a policy change to be made effective prior to July 1 of the following fiscal year, a vote must be taken of all licensed personnel or all classified personnel, as appropriate, with the vote conducted by the appropriate PPC.

If, by a majority vote, the affected personnel approve, the policy becomes effective as of the date of the vote, unless otherwise specified by the Board in requesting such vote. No staff vote taken prior to final board action will be considered effective to make a policy change.

All non-personnel policy changes may become effective upon the Board’s approval of the change, unless the Board specifies a different date.

The District's personnel policy committees shall annually review the District’s student discipline policies along with State and District discipline data. Based on the committees’ annual review, the committees may recommend changes to such policies to the Board of Directors.

Parents, students, and school district personnel, including teachers, shall be involved in the development of student discipline policies.

Cross References:

  • Policy 3.1—Licensed Personnel Salary Schedule;
  • Policy 8.1—Classified Personnel Salary Schedule

Legal References:

  • A.C.A. § 6-13-619(c)
  • A.C.A. § 6-13-635
  • A.C.A. § 6-17-201 et seq.
  • A.C.A. § 6-17-2301 et seq.
  • A.C.A. § 6-18-502

Date Adopted: 10/13/72
Revised: 7/13/82
Revised: 11/14/17
Last Revised: 6/26/19

1.10: Association Memberships

The Board shall be a member of the Arkansas School Boards Association and may be a member of the National School Boards Association and other organizations which, in the opinion of the Board, will be beneficial to the Board in carrying out its duties more effectively.

Legal Reference: A.C.A. § 6-13-107
Date Adopted: 07/13/82
Last Revised: 11/14/17

1.11: Board Member Training

Individuals who are elected to serve on the District’s board of directors are required to receive annual training related to board service. Board members who are elected to serve an initial or non –continuous term shall obtain a minimum of nine (9) hours of training by December 31 of the year following their election and a minimum of six (6) hours of training by December 31 of each calendar year thereafter. The initial nine (9) hours of training a board member receives shall include:

  • Training on how to read and interpret an audit report; and
  • Information regarding school safety and student discipline for board members elected after January 1, 2019.

Board members who have served on the board for twelve (12) or more consecutive months are required to obtain a minimum of six (6) hours of training by December 31 of each calendar year. Hours a board member obtains in excess of the required minimums may be carried forward through December 31 of the third (3rd) calendar year following the year in which the hours were earned.

A board member who has not previously received training on information regarding school safety and student discipline shall receive such training by no later than December 31, 2020.

The superintendent shall annually prepare a report of:

  1. The hours of training each school board member received during the previous calendar year; and
  2. hours of training, if any, a board member carried forward from a previous year that were eligible to be counted by the board member towards the previous year.

The superintendent will present the report to the Board at the Board's regular January meeting. A board member who failed to receive or carry forward the required number of hours of training, as indicated by the report, shall:

  1. Have thirty (30) days from the date of the January board meeting to complete the deficient hours of training; and
  2. Not participate in official business, except for school board training, until the board member obtains the deficient hours of training.

A board member who fails to receive the deficient hours of training within the thirty (30) days provided shall be removed from the board in accordance with Policy 1.2—Board Organization and Vacancies unless the failure to receive the required hours of training was due to the board member’s military service or a serious medical condition as indicated by a written sworn statement from the board member's treating physician. A board member who provides the necessary documentation demonstrating that the failure to receive the required hours of training was due to military service or a serious illness shall have until December 31 of the current calendar year to receive both the hours of training for the current calendar year and those the board member failed to obtain during the previous calendar year.

The training shall be focused on topics relevant to school laws, school operations, and the powers, duties, and responsibilities of the members of the board of directors. The responsibilities include, but are not limited to: legal requirements; role differentiation; financial management; improving student achievement; reading and interpreting an audit report; and the duties and responsibilities of the various levels of employees within the district as well as those of the board of directors and information regarding school safety and student discipline.

The district is responsible for maintaining a record of the hours of training received by each board member. Board members shall make a concerted effort to submit documentation of training they have received to the superintendent or the superintendent’s designee. In the absence of such documentation, the district shall attempt to obtain records of training received from training providers.

Such training may be obtained from an institution of higher learning, from instruction provided by the Division of Elementary and Secondary Education (DESE) or the Arkansas School Boards Association (ASBA), or from other providers approved by the DESE.

A statement regarding the number of hours of training received each preceding calendar year shall be:

  • Part of the district’s comprehensive school plan and goals;
  • Published in the same way as other components of the comprehensive plan and goals are required to be published;
  • Part of the annual school performance report required to be submitted to, and published by the DESE.

Board members shall be reimbursed, from school funds, for expenses relating to such training and Board members shall be paid a per diem stipend for days necessary to attend such training with the amount of such stipend to be determined by the Board in July of each year.

Legal References:

  • A.C.A. § 6-13-629
  • DESE Rules Governing Required Training for School Board Members

Date Adopted: 7/13/82
Revised: 11/14/17
Last Revised: 7/9/19

1.12: Committees

From time to time, in order to obtain and/or encourage public participation in the operation of the District, the Board may appoint committees, which may include members of the public, students, parents, and school employees, as well as members of the Board.

Any committee, which includes among its members a member of the School Board, shall operate according to the requirements of the Arkansas Freedom of Information Act.*

* Legal Reference: A.C.A. § 25-19-106
Date Adopted: 3/8/66

Revised:

  • 10/10/72
  • 7/13/82

Revised: 3/9/93
Last Revised: 11/14/17

1.13: Superintendent/Board Relationship

The Board’s primary responsibility is to develop, working collaboratively with the community, a vision and mission for the District. The Board formulates and adopts policies to achieve that vision and elects a Superintendent to implement its policies. The Board and the Superintendent and the relationship between them set the tone for the district to follow. The relationship is enhanced when both parties understand their roles and carry them out in an ethical and professional manner working to develop a relationship of mutual trust and respect.

The Superintendent and staff are responsible for administering the Board’s policies and will be held responsible for the effective administration and supervision of the District. The Superintendent is authorized to develop and implement administrative regulations to fulfill the Board’s policies, provided such regulations are consistent with the intent of the Board’s policies.

Date Adopted: 7/13/82
Last Revised: 11/14/17

1.14: Meeting Agenda

The agenda guides the proceedings of the Board meeting. The Superintendent shall prepare the agenda with consultation from the Board President. Other members of the Board who desire to have an item placed on the monthly agenda may do so by contacting the Superintendent or, in writing, the Board President by the date established in this policy and the item will be duly considered for inclusion.

The chairman of the PPC, or the chairman’s designee, shall be placed on the Board of Director's meeting agenda to make an oral presentation to the Board to address either a personnel policy proposed by the Board that the PPC committee has possessed for no less than ten (10) work days or a personnel policy that the PPC wishes to propose to the Board.

District patrons wishing to have an item placed on the Board meeting's agenda must submit their requests, in writing to the Superintendent1, at least five (5) days prior to the meeting of the Board. The written request must be sufficiently descriptive to enable the Superintendent and Board President to fully understand and evaluate its appropriateness to be an agenda item. Such requests may be accepted, rejected, or referred back to the individual for further clarification.

The Superintendent shall notify the Board President of all written requests to be placed on the agenda along with the Superintendent's recommendation concerning the request. No item shall be placed on the agenda that would operate to prejudice the Board concerning a student or personnel matter that could come before the Board for disciplinary or employment considerations or that is in conflict with other District policy or law.

Patrons who sign up for public comments or those whose written request to be placed on the meeting's agenda has been accepted shall have no more than three (3) minutes to present to the board. The speaker shall limit his/her comments to the approved topic/issue or forfeit his/her right to address the Board. The members of the Board will listen to the patron's presentation, but shall not respond to the presenter during the meeting in which the presentation is made. The Board may choose to discuss the issue presented at a later meeting, but is under no obligation to do so.

The Superintendent shall be responsible for Board members receiving copies of the Agenda with all accompanying pertinent information at least two (2) days prior to the meeting.

This policy’s advance notice requirements do not apply to special or called board meetings.

Cross Reference: 1.9—Policy Formulation

Legal References:

  • A.C.A. § 6-13-619(a)(2)
  • A.C.A. § 6-17-205(c)

Date Adopted: 3/8/66

Revised:

  • 10/10/72
  • 1/9/73
  • 5/19/78
  • 7/13/82

Last Revised: 11/14/17

1.15: Tort Immunity

The District, as well as its agents, officers, employees, and volunteers are immune from liability for negligence, pursuant to A.C.A. § 21-9-301. When allegations of negligence are raised, whether in litigation or not, the statutory grant of immunity will be asserted.

The School Board retains the right to settle claims for negligence, as authorized by A.C.A. § 21-9-301, but it shall do so only in the most extraordinary circumstances. If any claim is settled, the District and the School Board specifically do not waive immunity above the amount of the settlement, nor is that immunity waived for any other claim, at any time, regardless of whether it is similar in nature.

Date Adopted: 07/13/82
Last Revised: 11/14/17

1.16: Duties of Board Disbursing Officer

The disbursing officer, along with the superintendent, shall be responsible for signing, manually or by facsimile, all warrants and checks other than those issued for food service and activity funds.

In addition, the Disbursing Officer must pre-authorize the electronic transfer of funds. For non-recurring transactions, the authorization can be accomplished by a signed authorization or an email authorizing such a disbursement of funds. For recurring transactions, the Disbursing Officer may provide a one-time, signed authorization.

Cross Reference: 7.20—Electronic Fund Transfers
Legal Reference: A.C.A. § 6-13-618(c)
Date Adopted: 11/14/17

1.17: Nepotism

Definitions:

“Family or family member” means:

  1. An individual’s spouse;
  2. Children of the individual or children of the individual’s spouse;
  3. The spouse of a child of the individual or the spouse of a child of the individual’s spouse;
  4. Parents of the individual or parents of the individual’s spouse;
  5. Brothers and sisters of the individual or brothers and sisters of the individual’s spouse;
  6. Anyone living or residing in the same residence or household with the individual or in the same residence or household with the individual’s spouse; or
  7. Anyone acting or serving as an agent of the individual or acting or serving as an agent of the individual’s spouse.

“Initially employed” means:

  1. Employed in either an interim or permanent position for the first time or following a severance in employment with the school district;
  2. A change in the terms and conditions of an existing contract, excluding:
    1. Renewal of a teacher contract under A.C.A. § 6-17-1506;
    2. Renewal of a noncertified employee’s contract that is required by law; or
    3. Movement of an employee on the salary schedule which does not require board action.

New Hire of School Board Member’s Relative as School Employee

The district shall not initially employ a present board member’s family member for compensation in excess of $5,000 unless the district has received approval from the Commissioner of the Department of Education. The employment of a present board member’s family member shall only be made in unusual and limited circumstances. The authority to make the determination of what qualifies as “unusual and limited circumstances” rests with the Commissioner of the Department of Education whose approval is required before the employment contract is effective, valid, or enforceable.

Initial employment for a sum of less than $5,000 per employment contract or, in the absence of an employment contract, calendar year does not come under the purview of this policy and is permitted.

The board member whose family member is proposed for an employment contract, regardless of the dollar amount of the contract, shall leave the meeting until the voting on the issue is concluded and the absent member shall not be counted as having voted.

EXCEPTION: SUBSTITUTES

Qualified family members of board members may be employed by the district as substitute teachers, substitute cafeteria workers, or substitute bus drivers for a period of time not to exceed thirty (30) days per fiscal year.

A family member of a school board member having worked as a substitute for the district in the past does not “grandfather” the substitute. The thirty (30) day maximum limit is applied in all cases.

Existing Employees Who Are Family Members of School Board Members—Raises, Promotions Or Changes in Compensation

Any change in the terms or conditions of an employment contract including length of contract, a promotion, or a change in the employment status of a present board member’s family member that would result in an increase in compensation of more than $2,500, and that is not part of a state mandated salary increase for the employee in question, must be approved by the Commissioner of the Department of Education before such changes in the employment status is effective, valid, or enforceable.

Qualifications for Running for School Board Member Unchanged

The employment status of a citizen’s family member does not affect that citizen’s ability to run for, and, if elected, serve the school board provided he/she meets all other statutory eligibility requirements.

Legal References: A.C.A. § 6-24-102, 105
Date Adopted: 11/14/17

1.18: District Audits

The District’s annual audit serves as an important opportunity for the Board of Directors to review the fiscal operations and health of the district. As such, it is vital Board members receive sufficient explanation of each audit report to enable the members to understand the report’s findings and help them better understand the District’s fiscal operations.

The District shall have an audit conducted annually within the timelines prescribed by law. The audit shall be conducted by the Division of Legislative Audit or through the audit services of a private certified public accountant(s) approved by the Board.

The Board of Directors shall review each annual audit at the first regularly scheduled board meeting following the receipt of the audit if the District received the audit prior to ten (10) days before the regularly scheduled meeting. If the audit report is received less than ten (10) days prior to a regularly scheduled board meeting, the board may review the report at the next regularly scheduled board meeting following the ten (10) day period.

The Superintendent shall present sufficient supporting/background information relating to the report’s findings and recommendations which will enable the Board of Directors to direct the Superintendent to take appropriate action in the form of a motion or motions relating to each finding and recommendation contained in the audit report. Actions to be taken will be in sufficient detail to enable the Board of Directors to monitor the District’s progress in addressing substantial findings and recommendations and subsequently determine that they have been corrected. The minutes of the Board’s meeting shall document the review of the audit’s findings and recommendations along with any motions made by the Board or actions directed to be taken by the Superintendent or designee.

The Board of Directors is responsible for presenting the audit’s findings each year to the public .

Legal References:

  • A.C.A. § 6-1-101(d)(1)(2)(3)
  • A.C.A. § 6-13-620(6)(F)

Date Adopted: 11/14/17

1.19: Board Member Length of Term and Holdovers

The District has seven (7) Board of Directors members. Each member is elected for a term of service not to exceed five (5) years. Members may be re-elected to serve consecutive terms so long as the member continues to meet the eligibility requirements for board service.

A board member remains in office until the member’s successor has been sworn into office. In the event a board member’s term of office has expired and no one is elected to replace the member, or the individual elected fails to receive the oath of office within the time set in statute, the board member becomes a "holdover" and is treated as having been re-elected to office for another term; Board members may only serve one term as a holdover and may be re-elected to the board at the expiration of his/her term. Consequently, should no individual be elected to the position at the expiration of the holdover term, the position shall be declared to be vacant and filled in accordance with Policy 1.2—Board Organization and Vacancies and Arkansas law. Board members not wishing to continue as a holdover may resign from office and the position is to be filled in accordance with Policy 1.2.


Cross Reference: Policy 1.2— Board Organization and Vacancies

Legal References:

  • A.C.A. § 6-13-608
  • A.C.A. § 6-13-611
  • A.C.A. § 6-13-616
  • A.C.A. § 6-13-617
  • A.C.A. § 6-13-630
  • A.C.A. § 6-13-631
  • A.C.A. § 6-13-634
  • Arkansas Attorney General Opinion 2003-319
  • Arkansas Attorney General Opinion 2015-112
  • Arkansas Constitution Article 19, Section 5

Date Adopted: 3/8/66
Last Revised: 2/1/18

1.20: Duties of the Legislative Liaison

The Board of Directors recognizes the needs of the District require the Board to take an active role in the legislative process as it relates to legislation affecting this district and public education in general. To aid the Board in this endeavor, the Board shall elect one of its members to hold the office of Legislative Liaison. The duties of the legislative liaison are to:

  • Be the primary contact person for legislative updates from the Arkansas School Boards Association (ASBA);
  • Keep the other members of the Board up to date on legislative issues;
  • Make arrangements for the legislators whose representation zones cover the District to be contacted by either the liaison him/herself or by another board member on pending issues that would impact the District.

Cross Reference: 1.2—Board Organization and Vacancies
Date Adopted: 11/14/17

1.21: Date of Annual School Board Election

The annual school board election for the Pulaski Special School District shall be held on the first Tuesday following the first Monday in November.

Individuals wishing to run for office in the election may begin circulating petitions to collect signatures 90 days days before August 1.

Candidates may file their petition, affidavit of eligibility, and political practices pledge with the county clerk during a one-week period ending at 12:00 pm on August 1.

A copy of this policy will be provided annually to the county clerk at least one hundred (100) days before the day the candidate filing period opens for school elections held with the preferential primary election.

The Board will notify voters of the polling places and any changes in polling places since the last election through publication in a newspaper with general circulation in Pulaski County. The newspaper insertion will run not more than ten (10) days nor less than three (3) days prior to the school election. When a school board election is held and no candidate receives a majority of the votes cast for the position, a run-off election must be held two weeks following the general school election.

Legal References:

  • A.C.A. 6-14-102
  • A.C.A. § 6-14-111
  • A.C.A. § 7-7-203

Date Adopted: 3/8/66
Revised: 10/10/72
Revised: 7/13/82
Revised: 9/8/87
Revised: 11/14/17
Last Revised: 7/9/19

1.31P: School Board Member Code of Ethics

The Board recognizes that its duties and responsibilities suggest rules of conduct suited to its obligations. Accordingly, the Board agrees that the ethical school board member will:

  1. Recognize the integrity of his predecessors and the merit or their work
  2. Realize that he owes primary allegiance to the educational welfare of the people, especially children, of his community
  3. Recognize that it is his responsibility, together with fellow board members, to see that the schools are properly operated—not to operate them himself
  4. Function as a part of a legislative, policy-making-body—not as an administrative officer
  5. Work through the administrative employees of the Board—not over or around them
  6. Recognize that, except in the case of executive session, Board business may be legally transacted only in a legally called, open meeting
  7. Consider unethical and will avoid secret sessions of the Board members held without the presence of the Superintendent
  8. Avoid using his position on the school board as a stepping-stone to political power
  9. Respect the rights of others to have and express opinions
  10. Recognize that authority rests with the Board in legal session—not with individual members of the Board except as authorized by law
  11. Make decisions in Board meetings only after all sides of debatable questions have been presented
  12. Discourage the use of standing committees and insist that all members of the Board participate fully in Board action and delegate details to administrative employees
  13. Insist that special committees be appointed to serve only in an investigating and advisory capacity
  14. Vote for an executive session of the Board when there is a need for one
  15. Refrain from discussing the confidential business of the Board outside of the legally constituted Board meeting

Adopted: 7/13/82
Manual Adoption: 2/8/00
Revised: 11/14/17

1.32P: School Board Meetings

The Board will transact all business at official meetings of the Board. The Board recognizes its responsibility to conduct public business in an open and public manner so that patrons are aware of its performance and of its decision in making public policy. Therefore, every meeting, regular, special, or emergency, will be open to the public unless an executive session is held in accordance with state law. The Board will meet in regular open session on the second Tuesday of each month at 6 p.m. Except in extreme emergency situations, all meetings pertaining to personnel or personnel policies will be held after 5 p.m.

The Board will announce publicly the dates, times and places of its meetings. The Superintendent will provide notice to the members with copies of the agenda at least four (4) days prior to a regular meeting. Board members will be provided written notice of a special meeting at least twenty-four (24) hours before the meeting takes place. In the event of an emergency meeting, members will be notified by telephone at least two hours before the meeting. Notice will be given to the public at least two (2) hours before the meeting takes place.

Adopted: 3/8/66
Revised:

  • 10/10/72
  • 9/11/79
  • 7/13/82
  • 1/10/89
  • 10/12/93

Legal References: School Laws of Arkansas 25-19-101—107; 6-13-619
Cross References: BEA Regular Board Meetings, BEB Special or Emergency Board Meetings
Manual Adoption: 2/8/00
Revised: 11/14/17

1.33P: News Media Services at Board Meetings

The Board recognizes its responsibilities to the public it serves and believes that it can best serve an informed public. The Board, therefore, will welcome representatives of the news media at its regular and special meetings and at Board workshops and retreats. Board members approached by news media representatives for Board information will speak only for themselves and not the Board unless specifically charged by the Board to be official spokesman.

Adopted: 12/14/82
Revised: 3/9/93
Last Revised: 11/14/17
Legal Reference: Arkansas Statute 25-19-101—107
Manual Adoption: 2/8/00