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S.133

Introduced by   Senator Condos of Chittenden District

Date:

Subject:  Education; state board of education; legislative members

Statement of purpose:  This bill proposes to add four legislative members to the state board of education.

AN ACT RELATING TO ADDING LEGISLATIVE MEMBERS TO THE STATE BOARD OF EDUCATION

It is hereby enacted by the General Assembly of the State of Vermont:

Sec. 1.  FINDINGS

(a)  Public elementary and secondary education is a major responsibility of the state of Vermont, comprising approximately one-third of the annual state budget.

(b)  The education of our children is one of the most important functions carried out by Vermont government.

(c)  Publicly elected legislators serve on the boards of all publicly funded higher education institutions including the University of Vermont, the Vermont State Colleges, and the Vermont student assistance corporation.  Yet, there is no legislative representation on the state board of education.

(d)  Therefore, it is the intent of this act to ensure that elected officials are represented on the board which manages and oversees the operation of all Vermont publicly funded elementary and secondary schools.

Sec. 2.  16 V.S.A. § 161 is amended to read:

§ 161.  APPOINTMENT OF MEMBERS; TERM; VACANCY

(a)  The state board shall consist of ten 14 members.  Two of the members shall be secondary students, one of whom shall be a full member and the other of whom shall be a junior member who may not vote.  Four of the members shall be legislative members appointed and serving pursuant to subsection (b) of this section.  All nonlegislative members shall be appointed by the governor with the advice and consent of the senate.  In the appointment of the nonstudent members consideration shall be given, the governor shall give consideration to the selection of such persons as shall adequately represent all sections of the state.

(1)  Upon the expiration of the respective terms of those members of the board previously appointed by the governor, excluding the student members, the governor shall, biennially in the month of February with the advice and consent of the senate, appoint members thereto for terms of six years.  The terms shall begin March 1 of the year in which the appointments are made.  A member serving a term of six years shall not be eligible for reappointment for successive terms.

(2)  In the event of any vacancy occurring in the nonlegislative membership of the board, the governor shall fill the vacancy with a qualified person whose appointment shall be for the unexpired portion of the term.

(3)  Biennially, the board shall choose a member of the board to be its chair.

(4)  Annually, using an application process that is open and accessible to all eligible students, the governor shall appoint a Vermont secondary school student who will continue to be a secondary student for at least two years following taking office, to serve on the state board for two years, beginning on July 1 of the year of appointment.  The student member shall not vote during the first year and shall be a full and voting member during the second year of his or her term.

(b)  Four members of the board shall be legislators, two of whom shall be representatives appointed by the speaker of the house and two of whom shall be senators appointed by the committee on committees.  Legislative members shall serve two‑year terms and may serve up to three full terms.  Vacancies for any cause shall be filled in the same manner as the original appointment, and the appointed member shall serve for the remainder of the term. 

Sec. 3.  16 V.S.A. § 162 is amended to read:
§ 162.  REMOVAL OF BOARD MEMBERS

After notice and hearing, the governor may remove a nonlegislative member of the state board for incompetency, failure to discharge his or her duties, malfeasance, illegal acts, or other cause inimical to the welfare of the public schools; and in case of such removal he, the governor shall appoint a person to fill the unexpired term.

Sec. 4.  EFFECTIVE DATE; TRANSITIONAL PROVISIONS

(a)  This act shall take effect on passage and legislative members shall be appointed and begin serving as soon as possible following passage of this act.

(b)  Legislative members appointed in 2005 shall serve until new members are appointed pursuant to this act at the beginning of the 2007 biennium.  Following expiration of terms in 2007, members appointed in 2005 shall be eligible to serve for up to three more terms.



Published by:

The Vermont General Assembly
115 State Street
Montpelier, Vermont


www.leg.state.vt.us