File No. 36201
This rule was published in the June 1, 2012, issue (Vol. 2012, No. 11) of the Utah State Bulletin.
School Community Councils
Notice of Proposed Rule
DAR File No.: 36201
Filed: 05/15/2012 03:27:18 PM
Purpose of the rule or reason for the change:
This rule was amended to reflect changes in the law from H.B. 128, School Community Council Revisions, 2012 Legislative General Session. The amendments also result from recommendations of the Legislative Audit, A Review of School Community Council Election Practices, released in January 2012.
Summary of the rule or change:
The amendments provide changes to school community council election procedures and membership.
State statutory or constitutional authorization for this rule:
- Subsection 53A-1-401(3)
Anticipated cost or savings to:
the state budget:
There is no anticipated cost or savings to the state budget. The amendments to this rule apply to school community councils.
There is no anticipated costs or savings to local government. The changes to the rule provide clear direction regarding school community council election procedures and membership.
There is no anticipated cost or savings to small businesses. This rule applies to public education and does not affect businesses.
persons other than small businesses, businesses, or local governmental entities:
There is no anticipated cost or savings to persons other than small businesses, businesses, or local government entities. The amendments to this rule provide clear direction regarding school community council election procedures and membership.
Compliance costs for affected persons:
There are no compliance costs for affected persons. Schools/school districts and school community councils have clear guidance in this rule regarding school community council election procedures and membership.
Comments by the department head on the fiscal impact the rule may have on businesses:
I have reviewed this rule and I see no fiscal impact on businesses.
Larry K. Shumway, State Superintendent
The full text of this rule may be inspected, during regular business hours, at the Division of Administrative Rules, or at:Education
250 E 500 S
SALT LAKE CITY, UT 84111-3272
Direct questions regarding this rule to:
- Carol Lear at the above address, by phone at 801-538-7835, by FAX at 801-538-7768, or by Internet E-mail at firstname.lastname@example.org
Interested persons may present their views on this rule by submitting written comments to the address above no later than 5:00 p.m. on:
This rule may become effective on:
Carol Lear, Director, School Law and Legislation
R277. Education, Administration.
R277-491. School Community Councils.
A. "Board" means the Utah State Board of Education.
B. "Candidate" means a parent or school employee who has filed for election to the school community council.
C. "Contested race" means the election of members to a school community council when there are more candidates than open positions.
D. "Days" means calendar days unless otherwise specifically designated.
E. "Develop school improvement plan and school trust
program and other programs" means to participate actively in
the creation of plans, including analysis of school assessment
data, development of School LAND Trust budgets, and review of
School LAND Trust expenditures under Section 53A-16-101.5(5)(a)(iv)
and 53A-16-101.5(6)(b)(ii). This may include establishing
subcommittees where needed or assigning work to
F. "Parent" means the parent or[
legal] guardian of a student attending [ the non-charter] public school[ or of a student who will be enrolled at the school in the
next school year].
G. "Parent or guardian member":
(1) means a member of a school community council who is a parent or guardian of a student who is attending the school; will be enrolled at the school at any time during the parent's or guardian's initial term of office; or was enrolled at the school during the parent or guardian member's initial term of office;
(2) may not include an educator who [
was] employed [ by] the school[ district in which the school is located unless the
educator's employment does not exceed an average of six hours
per week. The parent/guardian member includes a parent/guardian who
had or who will have a student attending the school during the
parent or guardian's initial term of service].
H. "School administrator" means
a school principal, school assistant principal or designee as
specifically assigned by the school [
I. "School community" means the geographic area designated by the school district as the attendance area with reasonable inclusion of the parents or legal guardians of additional students who are attending the school.
J]. "School employee member" means a member of a
school community council who is a person employed at a school by
the school or school district, including the principal.
K]. "Secure ballot box" means a closed container
prepared by the school for the deposit of secret ballots for the
school community council elections.
L]. "Student" means a child in public school grades
kindergarten through twelve counted on the audited October 1 Fall
M. "Students attending the school" for purposes
of this rule means students currently attending the school and
those officially enrolled to attend the school in the next school
] N. "USDB" means the Utah Schools for the Deaf and the Blind.
O. "USOE" means the Utah State Office of Education.
R277-491-2. Authority and Purpose.
A. This rule is authorized by Utah Constitution Article X, Section 3 which vests general control and supervision of public education in the Board and by Section 53A-1-401(3) which permits the Board to adopt rules in accordance with its responsibilities.
B. Local boards of education for school districts and the State Charter School Board for state-sponsored charter schools are responsible for school community council operations, plans, oversight, and training.
C. The purpose of this rule is to:
(1) provide procedures and clarifying information to school community councils to assist them in fulfilling school community council responsibilities consistent with Section 53A-1a-108(3);
(2) provide direction to school districts and schools in establishing and maintaining school community councils whose primary focus is to develop, approve, and assist in implementing school improvement plans, and advise school/school district administrators consistent with Sections 53A-1a-108(3) and 53A-16-101.5;
(3) provide a framework and support for improved academic achievement of students that is locally driven from within individual schools, through critical review of testing results and other indicators of student success, by establishing meaningful, measurable goals and implementing research-based programs and processes to reach the goals;
(4) encourage increased participation of the parents, school employees and others that support the purposes of the school community councils; and
(5) encourage compliance with the law[
in the election of school community councils, in meeting
reporting requirements, in complying with open and public meetings
R277-491-3. School Community Council Member Election Provisions.
A. Notice of the school community council
elections shall be provided at least [
21] days prior to the elections. The notice shall include the
dates and times of the election, the positions that are up for
election and instructions about becoming a candidate.
B. Parents may stand for election as parent members of a school community council at a school consistent with the definition of parent member in R277-491-1G.
C. Parents may vote for the school
community council parent members if their child(ren) are enrolled [
or will be attending the school in the next school year
when elections are held in the spring, consistent with the intent
to encourage the greatest participation possible of all available
parents. If elections are held at the beginning of the school year,
parents of students enrolled at the school may vote].
D. School community councils may establish procedures that allow for ballots to be clearly marked and mailed to the school in the case of geography or school distances that would otherwise discourage parent participation. Hand-delivered or mailed ballots shall meet the same timelines for voters voting in person.
E. Entire school districts or schools may allow parents to vote by electronic ballot. If school districts/schools allow voting by electronic means, the opportunity shall be clearly explained on the school district/school website including:
(1) directions for electronic voting;
(2) security provisions for electronic voting;
(3) statement to parents and community
members that violations of a school district's/school's
voting procedures may disqualify a parent's vote or invalidate
a specific school election, or both[
F. Ballots and voting are required only in the event of a school community council contested race.
G. School community councils are encouraged to establish clear and written:
(1) procedures that are consistent with state law, Board rules, and local board policies;
(2) procedures for the election of school community council chairs, co-chairs or vice chairs;
(3) timelines and procedures for school community council elections that may include receiving information from applicants in a timely manner; and
(4) additional clarification and procedures to assist in the efficient operation of school community councils consistent with the law.
H. Elections shall be[
held] no later than 30 days after the first day of
school. Voting for parent/guardian members shall extend for at
least three consecutive school days
I. If an election is held in the spring, the council shall
provide notice of the election defined in R277-491-3A to parents of
incoming students and establish a process to ensure that parents
who will no longer have children attending the school in the fall
are not eligible to vote in the election.
J]. School community council members who were duly elected
prior to [ June 15, 2011] shall be allowed to complete the term for which
they were elected. All school community council members shall
satisfy requirements of Section 53A-1a-108 in subsequent terms.
R277-491-4. School Community Council School/School Administrator Responsibilities.
A. A school administrator may not serve as chair or co-chair of the school community council.
B. A school or school district administrator shall not prohibit or discourage a school community council from discussing any issue or concern not prohibited by law raised by any school community council member.
C. The school [
community council chair] shall provide the following information to the
school community[ , with assistance from the school
(1) Notice of dates[
of school community council elections at least
[ 21] days before the elections are held[ ;]
2]) [ T]imely notice of school community council positions that are
up for election;
3]) [ I]nstructions for applying to become a school community
council member together with timelines for submitting information
and applications[ ;]
[ P]ost[ ing] the school community council meeting
information (time, place and date of meeting; meeting agenda and
minutes) on the school's website at least one week
prior to each meeting[ , and on the access door(s) of the school on the day of the
D. The school community council chair,
assisted by the school administrator, shall provide the following
information on the school website and in at least one other direct
delivery method ensuring that all parents are notified as provided
in Section 53A-1a-108[
(1) Notice of the school community council meeting
schedule, provided in the first 14 days of the school
(2) A summary of the school community council's actions
and activities for the first half of the school year, provided
mid-way through the school year;
[ A] summary of the annual[ expenditure] report [ of all] School LAND
Trust Program funds
[ provided to the school community and to the local board of
education in the fall of the school year following the school year
that the school plans were implemented; and (4) A list of the members of the school community council
and each member's direct email and phone number, if
E. The school community council chair,
assisted by the school administrator, shall act in compliance with
the Utah Open and Public Meetings Act, Section 52-4-101 et
(1) posting upcoming agendas and meeting
](2) posting minutes of the most recent meeting ;
(3) posting the agenda and location of the upcoming meeting on the school's website at least one week prior to the meeting;
(4) posting the agenda and location of the upcoming meeting
on the school's access door on the day of the
meeting; (5) providing timely written minutes of the meeting;
(6) recording the meeting, and other required or
F. School community council
responsibilities do not allow for closed meetings, consistent with
the purposes of Section 52-4-205].
G. School community councils shall become familiar with and
consider the following: (1) Satisfying the meeting recording process with
sensitivity for parents and community members whose primary
language is not English; and
(2) The limitations of open and public meetings in secure
or locked school settings and facilities.
R277-491-5. Parent Rights and Responsibilities.
A. Parents of students attending a school[
and parents whose children will attend the school in the
next school year (for spring community council elections)]
shall receive notice of open school community council positions and
of elections consistent with Section 53A-1a-108.
B. Parents of students attending a school
shall have access to schedules, agendas, minutes and decisions
consistent with Sections 53A-1a-108([
7]) and ([ 8]).
C. School community council parent members shall participate fully in the development of various school plans described in Section 53A-1a-108(3) including, at a minimum:
(1) School Improvement Plan;
(2) School LAND Trust Plan;
(3) Reading Achievement Plan (for elementary schools);
(4) Professional Development Plan; and
(5) Child Access Routing Plan.
D. Parents shall receive timely notice of school community council timelines and procedures that affect parent member elections, school community council meeting information and other parent rights or opportunities, consistent with state law, Board rules, and local board policy.
R277-491-6. Additional School Community Council Information and Provisions.
A. School community councils shall set the beginning terms for school community council members consistent with Section 53A-1a-108(5)(g).
B. Training for members of school community councils shall be provided under the direction of local boards of education, including providing applicable sections of the statutes and Board rules to council members.
C. School community councils shall report on plans, programs, and expenditures, including detailed descriptions of expenditures for professional development, at least annually to local boards of education and cooperate with the legislative and USOE monitoring, and audits.
D. School community councils may establish procedures and requirements for parent notification and election timelines that are not inconsistent with Sections 53A-1a-108, 53A-16-101.5, 52-4-101 et. seq., this rule, or local board policy.
E. Public schools that are secure facilities, juvenile detention facilities, hospital program schools, and other small special programs may receive all funds available to schools with school community councils if the schools demonstrate and document a good faith effort to recruit members, have meetings and publicize results as recognized and affirmed by local boards of education.
F. School community councils shall encourage greater participation on the school community council and may recruit potential applicants to apply for open positions on the council.
G. Local boards of education may ask school community councils to address local issues at the school community council level for discussion before bringing the issues to local boards of education. School community councils may be asked for information to inform local board decisions.
H. Local boards of education shall provide copies of statutory information (Section 53A-1a-108, School community councils authorized -- Duties -- Composition -- Election procedures and selection of members; Section 53A-1a-108.5, School improvement plan; Section 53A-16-101.5, School LAND Trust Program -- Purpose -- Distribution of funds -- School plans for use of funds) to school community council members.
I. Local boards of education, and the State Charter School Board for state-sponsored charter schools, shall report approval dates of required plans to the USOE. School community councils are encouraged to advise and inform elected local board members.
J. Local boards of education make decisions in governing school districts with superintendents and principals acting under the direction and in behalf of local board of education in all areas of governance, including implementing approved School Improvement and School LAND Trust Program plans.
KEY: school community councils
Date of Enactment or Last Substantive Amendment: [
August 8, 2011]
Authorizing, and Implemented or Interpreted Law: Art X Sec 3; 53A-1-401(3)
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For questions regarding the content or application of this rule, please contact Carol Lear at the above address, by phone at 801-538-7835, by FAX at 801-538-7768, or by Internet E-mail at email@example.com.