Presentation is loading. Please wait.

Presentation is loading. Please wait.

School District Unification: Legal Questions and Answers Chris Thomas Director of Legal Services Arizona School Boards Association.

Similar presentations


Presentation on theme: "School District Unification: Legal Questions and Answers Chris Thomas Director of Legal Services Arizona School Boards Association."— Presentation transcript:

1 School District Unification: Legal Questions and Answers Chris Thomas Director of Legal Services Arizona School Boards Association

2 What We Will Cover Background: How Did Things Get This Way and What Problem are We Trying to Fix? Background: How Did Things Get This Way and What Problem are We Trying to Fix? SB1068/SB1164: The Charge and The Process SB1068/SB1164: The Charge and The Process Current Law on Unifying School Districts Current Law on Unifying School Districts FAQs: FAQs: –funding (taxes, overrides, bonds, small school weight, desegregation funds, career ladder) –salary schedules –Property division/Contract Obligations –Merging Into One Governing Board –Voting Rights Act Issues Your Questions Answered Your Questions Answered

3 TYPES OF DISTRICTS Only elementary until 1893 Only elementary until 1893 Union high schools created in 1893 Union high schools created in 1893 Unified school districts authorized in 1975 Unified school districts authorized in 1975 Historically some of the elementary and high school districts operated as unified districts with a common board of trustees Historically some of the elementary and high school districts operated as unified districts with a common board of trustees

4 NUMBER OF SCHOOL DISTRICTS : just under : just under : five years after statehood : five years after statehood : : 230 Examples of other states: Examples of other states: –California –New Mexico - 89 –Oklahoma - 649

5 CURRENT ARIZONA SCHOOL DISTRICT ORGANIZATION 115 elementary school districts of which 10 are transporting districts 115 elementary school districts of which 10 are transporting districts 17 high school districts including 1 joint technological district 17 high school districts including 1 joint technological district 89 unified school districts 89 unified school districts 221 total districts plus 221 total districts plus 6 accommodation districts 6 accommodation districts

6 OTHER STATES ORGANIZATION Arizona is one of 19 states to have both independent elementary school districts and independent high school districts Arizona is one of 19 states to have both independent elementary school districts and independent high school districts California: 618 elementary, 107 high school California: 618 elementary, 107 high school Illinois: 413 elementary, 112 high school Illinois: 413 elementary, 112 high school Minnesota: 57 elementary, 11 high school Minnesota: 57 elementary, 11 high school Montana: 343 elementary, 154 high school Montana: 343 elementary, 154 high school

7 What Problem Are We Trying to Solve? Research shows that the better the articulation and alignment of curriculum K-12, the better for student achievement Research shows that the better the articulation and alignment of curriculum K-12, the better for student achievement –AZ State Academic Standards created, refined and put into place in early 90s, AIMS test to measure Concern for increasing dollars devoted to classroom instruction Concern for increasing dollars devoted to classroom instruction –Study that says optimum size for districts – for business efficiencies – is 30,000 students –Are larger districts better for students? No research – lots of research showing smaller schools are more successful No research – lots of research showing smaller schools are more successful

8 The Push for District Consolidation/Unification Mid 1970s – Legislative Commission to force consolidation; disbanded without making a recommendation after contentious public hearings Mid 1970s – Legislative Commission to force consolidation; disbanded without making a recommendation after contentious public hearings Late 1980s: Incentive funds to encourage districts to voluntarily unify or consolidate Late 1980s: Incentive funds to encourage districts to voluntarily unify or consolidate – monies 2000: Legislation that removed requirement that decision to unify/consolidate go to the voters – vote of boards was enough 2000: Legislation that removed requirement that decision to unify/consolidate go to the voters – vote of boards was enough Evolution of ASBA Position on Issue Evolution of ASBA Position on Issue –Support local control, assisting those districts that chose to unify; highlight topic at ASBA conferences –Locally approved vs. locally initiated and approved: change to the ASBA agenda after 2004 legislative session

9 SB ASRDC: The Charge Passed in 2005; in House; in Senate; signed by Governor; Laws 2005, Chapter 191 Passed in 2005; in House; in Senate; signed by Governor; Laws 2005, Chapter 191 ASBA Opposed based on new Political Agenda ASBA Opposed based on new Political Agenda Set up 13 person Arizona School District Redistricting Commission to review all elementary districts and consider: Set up 13 person Arizona School District Redistricting Commission to review all elementary districts and consider: –Combining with other elementary districts to form unified district; or –Combining with other elementary districts and a union high school district to form a unified district. –Commission cannot look at consolidating districts that are already unified nor look at combining an elementary district or a high school district with an already unified district

10 SB ASRDC: The Process Commission met in regular meetings since Summer 2005 Commission met in regular meetings since Summer 2005 First recommendations came out in Fall 2006 First recommendations came out in Fall 2006 Officially sent to affected districts for comment in April 2007 (required) Officially sent to affected districts for comment in April 2007 (required) Affected districts had until September 15 to comment on plans Affected districts had until September 15 to comment on plans Commission were to consider recommendations of the governing boards in forwarding final plan to Governor by December 31, 2007 Commission were to consider recommendations of the governing boards in forwarding final plan to Governor by December 31, 2007 Governor MUST sign report and file recommendations with Secretary of State (no discretion) Governor MUST sign report and file recommendations with Secretary of State (no discretion)

11 SB ASRDC: The Process Commission were to consider other factors such as: Commission were to consider other factors such as: –Relevant academic and scientific research regarding school size, school district size, fiscal implications and legal issues –Geographic boundaries and travel time of students –Unorganized territory where at least 1% of population attends school in unified district –Use of regional service plans to consolidate costs –Transition issues: 9 member board in large or urban districts; allow existing board members to serve out remainder of terms; assimilation of legal liabilities by new unified district of former districts

12 SB1068: Elections Issues November 2008 Ballot: County School Superintendent shall call election within boundaries of new unified district November 2008 Ballot: County School Superintendent shall call election within boundaries of new unified district Publicity pamphlet also prepared by county superintendent and must includes arguments for the plan from the commission as well as any arguments in opposition submitted by governing boards of affected districts or any elector that wishes to submit an argument Publicity pamphlet also prepared by county superintendent and must includes arguments for the plan from the commission as well as any arguments in opposition submitted by governing boards of affected districts or any elector that wishes to submit an argument Cost of election must be paid by each district affected in proportion to each districts registered voter total compared to the total in the entire unified district Cost of election must be paid by each district affected in proportion to each districts registered voter total compared to the total in the entire unified district

13 SB1068: Elections Issues A Majority in each affected district is required to approve the plan A Majority in each affected district is required to approve the plan –If one says no, they all say no, even if an overall majority says yes –Controversy on the effect of two-question possibility when breaking up a union high school district into several districts

14 SB1068: Extra Funding for Unification/Consolidation Costs Cut Eliminated funding to cover costs of unification – voluntary or recommended Eliminated funding to cover costs of unification – voluntary or recommended –Used to allow for 10% funding over Revenue Control Limit in first year after unifying; 7% in second year after unifying; 4% in third year Now only amount associated with routine formalities such as changing of letterhead, stationary or similar issues Now only amount associated with routine formalities such as changing of letterhead, stationary or similar issues

15 Issues Discussed But Never Acted On Reinstatement of Cost Reimbursement Reinstatement of Cost Reimbursement Small School District Adjustment Tweaks Small School District Adjustment Tweaks Expand authority of Commission to recommend elementary districts merge with already unified districts Expand authority of Commission to recommend elementary districts merge with already unified districts Expanding SFB authority to build high schools in unified districts that dont currently have a high school Expanding SFB authority to build high schools in unified districts that dont currently have a high school Equalization of funding between high school districts and elementary districts on per pupil basis, resulting in more uniform salary schedules Equalization of funding between high school districts and elementary districts on per pupil basis, resulting in more uniform salary schedules

16 Current Law on Unification Important: Any unification that is approved by the voters will have to follow existing statutes Important: Any unification that is approved by the voters will have to follow existing statutes –If there is a conflict between existing statute and the current charge of the commission, statute will likely prevail Two Main Statutes on books: §§ and Two Main Statutes on books: §§ and

17 A.R.S Allows one or more elementary districts and a high school district with coterminous or overlapping boundaries to establish a unified school district Allows one or more elementary districts and a high school district with coterminous or overlapping boundaries to establish a unified school district Does not apply if some of high school facilities would remain outside of new unified district (that would be driven by ) Does not apply if some of high school facilities would remain outside of new unified district (that would be driven by ) NO ELECTION REQUIRED (if voluntary) NO ELECTION REQUIRED (if voluntary)

18 A.R.S (continued) Student Counts: for the first year, the student count is count of all the school districts that have unified Student Counts: for the first year, the student count is count of all the school districts that have unified Any elementary district not part of unified district but in the former high school district boundaries must pay tuition for students attending high school in the new unified district Any elementary district not part of unified district but in the former high school district boundaries must pay tuition for students attending high school in the new unified district –Must include part to cover bond indebtedness of former high school –No fee to cover overrides New governing board charged with creating new policies New governing board charged with creating new policies

19 A.R.S (continued) Teacher Pay: Teacher Pay: –According to policy, in the first year of operation of the new unified district, each certificated teacher must receive at least same base compensation as before –Also, each certificated teacher must receive full credit for years of service –NO requirement that all teachers be brought up to the highest level of pay among the former districts –Any reductions in salary in 2 nd year would have to follow prescriptions of § (reduction in force)

20 A.R.S (continued) Overrides continue; can request a new override based on new combined revenue control limit (must follow ); if approved, new override replaces existing override Overrides continue; can request a new override based on new combined revenue control limit (must follow ); if approved, new override replaces existing override ALL ASSETS AND LIABILITIES of former districts are assumed by the new district ALL ASSETS AND LIABILITIES of former districts are assumed by the new district

21 Formation of new district by subdivision of existing district – Election required Election required Must get petition of 10% of qualified voters in area of new district or 50 whichever is more (again, only if voluntary) Must get petition of 10% of qualified voters in area of new district or 50 whichever is more (again, only if voluntary) Governing board seats to be decided as in § Governing board seats to be decided as in §15-448

22 § – Division of Property The district that will be divided must produce a projected list of assets by the end of the fiscal year in which the election is held The district that will be divided must produce a projected list of assets by the end of the fiscal year in which the election is held Governing boards of existing districts should divide property by September 15 of year in which new districts become operative Governing boards of existing districts should divide property by September 15 of year in which new districts become operative If the governing boards cant do that, the county attorney must divide assets by October 1 If the governing boards cant do that, the county attorney must divide assets by October 1

23 FAQs - Funding Taxes: How are the tax rates reconciled between previous district and new district? Taxes: How are the tax rates reconciled between previous district and new district? –New district governing board will set the tax rate (based on new Revenue Control Limit) –Primary taxes on overrides will continue until expiration of the override based on budget limit of former district before unification For a subdivided union high school district with an override, it is unclear whether that override will continue (depends on whether other districts had them); authorization expires at earliest time For a subdivided union high school district with an override, it is unclear whether that override will continue (depends on whether other districts had them); authorization expires at earliest time

24 FAQs: Overrides and Bonds Can overrides and bonds already approved be continued? Can overrides and bonds already approved be continued? –Yes, but only under the limitations that were set forth when they were passed and they would have to expire naturally or be renewed under the new district

25 FAQs: Funding Career Ladder: Career Ladder: –What if a district that receives career ladder unifies with a district that doesnt have it? (A district may increase its Base Level amount by up to an additional 5.5% if it participates in a pay for Career Ladder; however, enrollment in that program has been closed) (A district may increase its Base Level amount by up to an additional 5.5% if it participates in a pay for Career Ladder; however, enrollment in that program has been closed) Answer: This is truly unsettled: ASDRC says that State Board can expedite approval of new application – has received legal advice from Leg. Council on this; we believe this would take legislative approval Answer: This is truly unsettled: ASDRC says that State Board can expedite approval of new application – has received legal advice from Leg. Council on this; we believe this would take legislative approval Cost to state general fund would be significant – should be included in final Commission report Cost to state general fund would be significant – should be included in final Commission report

26 FAQs: Salary Schedules How would a new unified district merge the salary schedules of its employees from the previous districts? How would a new unified district merge the salary schedules of its employees from the previous districts? –The new board would have the power to make new policy; no certified person can make less –NOT a given that lower paid will make more –There is no proposal to infuse addl funds into system and high school weight will continue

27 FAQs: Property Division/Contract Obligations Under (K) all assets and liabilities of unifying districts are assumed by the new district; if breaking up a union high school district it would depend on division agree to by new unified districts or by county attorney under (D) Under (K) all assets and liabilities of unifying districts are assumed by the new district; if breaking up a union high school district it would depend on division agree to by new unified districts or by county attorney under (D) ASDRC now has authority to consider effect of buy-out of superintendent contract (no authority to buy out though) ASDRC now has authority to consider effect of buy-out of superintendent contract (no authority to buy out though)

28 FAQs: Merging Into One Governing Board Under and , all governing board members would serve until the next general election when all seats would be up for election as a 5 member board (in an election of new unified district) Under and , all governing board members would serve until the next general election when all seats would be up for election as a 5 member board (in an election of new unified district) –Top 3 vote getters have 4-year terms –Next 2 vote getters have 2-year terms Where a high school district is split to form more than one unified district, the board members of the high school district will sit as members of the unified district in which they reside until the next general election Where a high school district is split to form more than one unified district, the board members of the high school district will sit as members of the unified district in which they reside until the next general election

29 FAQs: Board Representation of New Unified District Could the district adopt a ward system that would provide guaranteed representation from areas of all former districts? Could the district adopt a ward system that would provide guaranteed representation from areas of all former districts? –Right now, no. The ward system authorized in statute (and currently in use in only one district) has been declared unconstitutional –Problem of One Person, One Vote Equal Representation –ASDRC has authority to consider ward system in recommendations but would need law to change

30 FAQs: Voting Rights Act Concerns Voting Rights Act: Federal law that protects minority voter rights; AZ – due to past indiscretions -- must get clearance from US Dept. of Justice for any plan that may affect minority voting rights Voting Rights Act: Federal law that protects minority voter rights; AZ – due to past indiscretions -- must get clearance from US Dept. of Justice for any plan that may affect minority voting rights –Concern is dilution in strength of minority voters; where majority minority district merges with majority Anglo district this occurs

31 FAQs: District Names How will new unified district name be chosen? How will new unified district name be chosen? –New school board will decide; they have two years to do it under ASDRC plan (to allow for new representative board to be in place)

32 FAQs: School Facilities Could the merger of districts require or hinder the building of a new school? Could the merger of districts require or hinder the building of a new school? –All school buildings paid for from state funds must be built according to standards of Students FIRST and approved by School Facilities Board using formulaic criteria; the same formula would be applied in this situation –ASDRC: now has in its authority ability to consider this in making recommendations

33 Restrictions restricts those persons acting on behalf of a school district from attempting to influence the outcome of an election restricts those persons acting on behalf of a school district from attempting to influence the outcome of an election Districts are now restricted since unification plans are being forward to the ballot Districts are now restricted since unification plans are being forward to the ballot Board members and school employees: can do and say anything as long as not acting in an official capacity or during work Board members and school employees: can do and say anything as long as not acting in an official capacity or during work

34 A.R.S. § Similar to many states - meant to keep public funds from being used to influence important public policy decided at the ballot Similar to many states - meant to keep public funds from being used to influence important public policy decided at the ballot Keep children out of electoral/political debate Keep children out of electoral/political debate Substantially revised in 2003 Legislative Session (Laws 2003, Chapter HB2279) Substantially revised in 2003 Legislative Session (Laws 2003, Chapter HB2279)

35 A.R.S. § A. A person acting on behalf of a school district shall not use school district or charter school personnel, equipment, materials, buildings or other resources for the purpose of influencing the outcome of elections. A. A person acting on behalf of a school district shall not use school district or charter school personnel, equipment, materials, buildings or other resources for the purpose of influencing the outcome of elections.

36 A. -- The Break Down A person acting on behalf of: person must be acting with express or implied consent A person acting on behalf of: person must be acting with express or implied consent Personnel: persons employed by district - salaried or non-salaried volunteers included Personnel: persons employed by district - salaried or non-salaried volunteers included Equipment: copiers, bulletin boards, fax machines, computers, mailboxes, furniture, vehicles, postage meters and internet connections - also district communication networks - newsletters, web pages, etc. Equipment: copiers, bulletin boards, fax machines, computers, mailboxes, furniture, vehicles, postage meters and internet connections - also district communication networks - newsletters, web pages, etc.

37 A. -- Break Down #2 Materials: supplies or tools, including paper pens, postage, labels Materials: supplies or tools, including paper pens, postage, labels Buildings: includes owned or leased, playing fields, parking lots, walls, fences Buildings: includes owned or leased, playing fields, parking lots, walls, fences Resources: credit, money or accounts Resources: credit, money or accounts Influencing the outcome of: communication as a whole unambiguously urges a person to vote in particular manner Influencing the outcome of: communication as a whole unambiguously urges a person to vote in particular manner Election: includes all, including events leading to election Election: includes all, including events leading to election

38 A.R.S. § B. An employee of a school district or charter school who is acting as an agent or working in an official capacity for the school district or charter school may not give pupils written materials to influence the outcome of an election or to advocate support for or opposition to pending or proposed legislation. B. An employee of a school district or charter school who is acting as an agent or working in an official capacity for the school district or charter school may not give pupils written materials to influence the outcome of an election or to advocate support for or opposition to pending or proposed legislation. –ABSOLUTE: no materials given to students –NOTE: also applies to lobbying!

39 A.R.S. § C. Employees of a school district or charter school may not use the authority of their positions to influence the vote or political activities of any employee. C. Employees of a school district or charter school may not use the authority of their positions to influence the vote or political activities of any employee. –No coercion of any kind allowed whether blatant, subtle, direct or indirect

40 A.R.S. § Other sections: Other sections: –D. Free speech rights protected –E. Attorney General must come up with guidelines by January 1, 2004 –F. AG or County Atty can sue in Superior Ct. –G. Court imposed fines of $500 per violation plus any amount expended (no reimbursement from insurance) –H. Attorney acting on behalf of district can request opinion by AG or County Atty about whether a practice might violate §15-511

41 What is NOT Covered - Lobbying Political Advocacy or Lobbying Effort Political Advocacy or Lobbying Effort –with exception of use of students taking home materials! Districts not precluded from having broad advocacy campaign in favor of or in opposition to state or federal legislation Districts not precluded from having broad advocacy campaign in favor of or in opposition to state or federal legislation Still must be wary of using public funds for non-public purpose Still must be wary of using public funds for non-public purpose –appearances matter

42 Free Speech Specifically mentioned in § that free speech rights trump statute Specifically mentioned in § that free speech rights trump statute Doesnt matter: Arizona and Federal Constitutions apply regardless of statute reference Doesnt matter: Arizona and Federal Constitutions apply regardless of statute reference First Amendment rights, however, are not absolute when in employment or school contexts; First Amendment does not confer a right to use public resources for speech First Amendment rights, however, are not absolute when in employment or school contexts; First Amendment does not confer a right to use public resources for speech

43 Free Speech Free speech rights in § context depend on who speaker is Free speech rights in § context depend on who speaker is –Board members in individual capacity as elected officials, Constitution gives them near absolute right of speech; wide latitude given on issues of public policy (Bond v. Floyd, 1966) as elected officials, Constitution gives them near absolute right of speech; wide latitude given on issues of public policy (Bond v. Floyd, 1966) –Board members as a collective fewer rights; do have certain rights given under for report on override election fewer rights; do have certain rights given under for report on override election board resolutions in favor of election probably prohibited board resolutions in favor of election probably prohibited

44 Free Speech –Administrators, Teachers and Other Employees Public employees can speak freely OUTSIDE of the classroom unless, by doing so, they significantly disrupt the efficient operation of the school district Public employees can speak freely OUTSIDE of the classroom unless, by doing so, they significantly disrupt the efficient operation of the school district Teachers have greater right of free speech while not on duty-bound time, even if on campus Teachers have greater right of free speech while not on duty-bound time, even if on campus Rules ARE DIFFERENT and more restrictive if the speech in question is directed at students, in part because students are a captive audience Rules ARE DIFFERENT and more restrictive if the speech in question is directed at students, in part because students are a captive audience

45 Some Guidelines: The Black (or what you definitely CANNOT do) Campaign materials cannot be sent home with students under ANY circumstances Campaign materials cannot be sent home with students under ANY circumstances –this includes newsletters where only a part of newsletter contains message No requirements on employees to take part in campaign support - even if on their own time No requirements on employees to take part in campaign support - even if on their own time Campaign funds should never be collected on school property Campaign funds should never be collected on school property

46 Some Guidelines: The Black (or what you definitely CANNOT do) NO use of school copiers, paper, pens, media equipment, school web sites, buildings, property or school personnel NO use of school copiers, paper, pens, media equipment, school web sites, buildings, property or school personnel PTOs/Teacher associations must also pay full value for any resources used - if election is discussed at any meeting on school premises, and discussion is meant to influence election, rental charges must apply PTOs/Teacher associations must also pay full value for any resources used - if election is discussed at any meeting on school premises, and discussion is meant to influence election, rental charges must apply

47 Some Guidelines: The Black (or what you definitely CANNOT do) Paid political consultants to give advice on how to pass measure Paid political consultants to give advice on how to pass measure No payment to employees for time spent on campaign activities No payment to employees for time spent on campaign activities –this includes if teacher is on paid assignment as union representative or is official representative on PTO or site council and election campaigning takes place Passage of resolution in favor of a ballot proposition (except overrides (B)(9) Passage of resolution in favor of a ballot proposition (except overrides (B)(9)

48 Some Guidelines: The Black (or what you definitely CANNOT do) Do not permit candidates and reps to announce candidacy or advocate for election or defeat of opponents in school buildings except in public forums Do not permit candidates and reps to announce candidacy or advocate for election or defeat of opponents in school buildings except in public forums No petition circulation - individual employees can circulate during non-duty time, outside classroom or at school sponsored extracurricular event where they have no duties No petition circulation - individual employees can circulate during non-duty time, outside classroom or at school sponsored extracurricular event where they have no duties

49 Some Guidelines: The Black (or what you definitely CANNOT do) No campaign signs, banners, stickers etc. in school district buildings No campaign signs, banners, stickers etc. in school district buildings No political buttons on school personnel, or on board members (at a board meeting) No political buttons on school personnel, or on board members (at a board meeting) No use of mailboxes, or phone - even if school allows some personal use of these resources No use of mailboxes, or phone - even if school allows some personal use of these resources

50 Some Guidelines: The White (or what you definitely CAN do) For overrides (pursuant to §15-481) For overrides (pursuant to §15-481) –May use staff, equipment, materials and buildings to distribute informational report mentioned in statute at the district office or at public hearings Factual information as to impact of ballot measure (fiscal impact) Factual information as to impact of ballot measure (fiscal impact) Responses to questions - OK, must be neutral with no clear and unmistakable pleas to vote one way or another Responses to questions - OK, must be neutral with no clear and unmistakable pleas to vote one way or another

51 Some Guidelines: The White (or what you definitely CAN do) Individual board members can actively campaign for election issues Individual board members can actively campaign for election issues –good practice to disclaim that they are not acting on behalf of board but not required to do so (appearances bring scrutiny however) –includes meetings with civic organizations or writing op-ed pieces for newspaper School employees can do same School employees can do same –if during non-duty time –strongly urged to disclaim not acting for district

52 Some Guidelines: The White (or what you definitely CAN do) Administrators, staff and other school employees can encourage staff, the public and board members to vote in the election without urging a particular vote Administrators, staff and other school employees can encourage staff, the public and board members to vote in the election without urging a particular vote Superintendents can speak on behalf of override but must take leave to do so Superintendents can speak on behalf of override but must take leave to do so School buildings can still serve as polling places School buildings can still serve as polling places Private vehicle bumper stickers OK Private vehicle bumper stickers OK

53 Some Guidelines: The White (or what you definitely CAN do) Candidate or ballot question forums can be held on school grounds but all viewpoints must be represented and fairly treated Candidate or ballot question forums can be held on school grounds but all viewpoints must be represented and fairly treated –ALL viewpoints must have opportunity to participate - must make effort to include all Continue to communicate to your community about the good things happening in the district Continue to communicate to your community about the good things happening in the district –But watch: type and timing of mailings - shouldnt be done with eye toward influence

54 Some Guidelines: The White (or what you definitely CAN do) Individual Statements of Opinion by board members in support of election Individual Statements of Opinion by board members in support of election –contrast with opinion of board Voter registration material can be made available - should be done all the time to avoid appearance of advocacy effort Voter registration material can be made available - should be done all the time to avoid appearance of advocacy effort –Vote by mail requests –Get Out The Vote Efforts

55 Some Guidelines: The White (or what you definitely CAN do) Assistance from paid consultant with mechanics involved in getting measure on the ballot Assistance from paid consultant with mechanics involved in getting measure on the ballot Bumper stickers in favor or in opposition to a ballot question or candidate can be on an individuals car on school grounds but not on a public vehicle Bumper stickers in favor or in opposition to a ballot question or candidate can be on an individuals car on school grounds but not on a public vehicle Hold meetings with your employees to explain these rules! Hold meetings with your employees to explain these rules!

56 Important Note AG or County Attorney must prove that violation was KNOWINGLY made in order for violation to be found AG or County Attorney must prove that violation was KNOWINGLY made in order for violation to be found –Can protect employee and district by having well articulated and disseminated policy prohibiting use of resources to influence election

57 Some Tips Hold informational meetings discussing these rules with your employees and distribute rules Hold informational meetings discussing these rules with your employees and distribute rules –caution that success of ballot measure might hinge on bad publicity on part of district –important since penalties now fall on individual not the district –penalties will be severe: reimbursement could be substantial

58 Some Tips Retain a contract attorney for the district to answer questions or make sure you have a county attorney who will make themselves available to answer questions that demand quick response Retain a contract attorney for the district to answer questions or make sure you have a county attorney who will make themselves available to answer questions that demand quick response If you make a mistake, self disclose to the county attorney or attorney general and make the needed corrections in policy If you make a mistake, self disclose to the county attorney or attorney general and make the needed corrections in policy –dont let your enemies report you

59 Questions? Chris Thomas


Download ppt "School District Unification: Legal Questions and Answers Chris Thomas Director of Legal Services Arizona School Boards Association."

Similar presentations


Ads by Google