School board leadership elections in July

On April 25, 2019 Sub. for S.B. 130 became the law in Kansas. The new law changes the date school boards elect their board president and vice‐president and changes the date when the board sets the annual meeting dates and locations.

The prior law required school boards to elect their president and vice president and set their annual meeting dates and times at the first board meeting in July.

The new law now requires boards of education to decide when they are going to elect their board president and vice president and set their meeting dates and times at the first meeting on or after the second Monday in January or select another date during the year at which to make these decisions.

The new law does not provide any guidance on how to handle the transition period between July 1, 2019 and January 2020. The board may want to discuss these options at their June board meeting or wait until their July board meeting to decide how the board wants to address the election of officers and establishing meeting dates during this transition period.

Board options

Following are the options boards of education may take at their July 2019 meeting:

  1. The board may vote to extend the terms of their current president and vice‐president until the designated January board meeting. The board has the statutory authority to make this decision if they have previously adopted the Home Rule Resolution.
  2. If the board wants to continue the practice of selecting their board president and vice‐president and setting their meeting dates at the July meeting, they can continue to do so using their Home Rule authority. However, the board would still have to vote at the designated January board meeting when they want to elect their president and vice‐president and establish the meeting dates and time or designate another date during 2020 to hold the election of officers and set meeting dates and times.

Considerations Moving Forward

  1. Boards must act to set the election of their officers and their meeting dates at their January 2020 board meeting. If the board decides to continue to make these decisions at their July organizational meeting, they would need to act to do so every year at their January board meeting.
  2. The intent of Sub. for S.B. 130 was to provide school boards with the flexibility to determine if they want to elect their board leadership in January or to give the board the option to designate another date at their January board meeting.
  3. The law still states that the terms of officers shall be for one year. Board motions to elect these officers should specify that they will serve in these roles for one‐year or until a successor is elected by the board as determined at the designated January board meeting.
  4. The board should also set their meeting dates and times for the remainder of 2019 and 2020 and reaffirm these dates and times at their designated January meeting.
  5. The board may want to discuss if they want to move all of the other routine July organizational items to January or retain them at the beginning of the district’s fiscal year.

Please feel free to call the KASB legal staff at 1‐800‐432‐2471 if you have any questions.

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