Sunday, November 9, 2008

Four year trustee terms might violate Texas Education Code deadline

The rush to change Dallas ISD Trustee terms to four years at the Board meeting this month -Thursday, November 20, 2008 - appears to violate the Texas Education Code which requires such changes to be made by December 31, 2007.

This was intended for school districts with certain election problems. It was not intended to be used solely for the personal political motivations of elected Trustees to lengthen their terms.

No opportunity has been provided for specific public input - such as a public hearing on such an important change in the election of Trustees.

Section 11.059 (e) - Senate Bill 670 - authorized a school district Board of Trustees to adopt a resolution changing the length of terms of its Trustees not later than December 31, 2007:





Sec. 11.059. TERMS.

(a) A trustee of an independent school district serves a term of three or four years.

(b) Elections for trustees with three-year terms shall be held annually. The terms of one-third of the trustees, or as near to one-third as possible, expire each year.

(c) Elections for trustees with four-year terms shall be held biennially. The terms of one-half of the trustees, or as near to one-half as possible, expire every two years.

(d) A board policy must state the schedule on which specific terms expire.

(e) Not later than December 31, 2007, the board of trustees may adopt a resolution changing the length of the terms of its trustees. The resolution must provide for a term of either three or four years and specify the manner in which the transition from the length of the former term to the modified term is made. The transition must begin with the first regular election for trustees that occurs after January 1, 2008, and a trustee who serves on that date shall serve the remainder of that term. This subsection expires January 1, 2013.

Added by Acts 1995, 74th Leg., ch. 260, Sec. 1, eff. May 30, 1995.
Amended by: Acts 2007, 80th Leg., R.S., Ch. 17, Sec. 1, eff. April 25, 2007.

More - Click Here

The Texas Secretary of State has an explanation of the process for obtaining Justice Department pre-clearance approval of a school district plan to change the term of office - Senate Bill 670
Click Here