|In 2002 language was added to ss. 1001.452 requiring every school advisory council to have bylaws which would establish several procedures. These procedures include: minutes being kept (as public records) quorums, written notification of voting issues, scheduling of meetings, and replacing members who miss meetings. Some districts give sample bylaws for schools to modify to their own needs. Other districts have made one bylaw template that the schools in that district just fill in the name of their SAC. Other districts have very little guidelines or help for their schools.
Bylaws are necessary for SACs because those bylaws govern how, when, who, what, where of School Advisory Councils. When discord occurs and one asks DOE for assistance, the advise is always to check district policy and guidelines and then to review their own school bylaws.
When bylaws are vague, often it is left for interpretation that may seem subjective to parents and community members. Certain common areas that I have been questioned about repeatedly include confusion over elections (how are they done, notifying, etc...), training of SAC members, the use of 'alternate' members, duties of SAC, and/or how SAC "assists" the principal in the school budget.
Name of Council
Purposes, Basic Policies, Governance
Duties & Obligations – address:
School Improvement Funds
School annual budget
Membership & Election (how many members from each peer group, or are alternates used and how?)
Election procedures (how elections are done)
Appointment procedures / ‘balanced’ membership
51% non-school employed membership
Absent / Replacement procedures (2 meetings!)
Decisions / Meetings (i.e. voting if consensus can not be reached)
Advance Notice of Vote & Meetings
Special or Ad Hoc Committees
Officers & Election (Executive Board)
Positions, duties, procedures for elections and term of office
Duties, Meetings & Quorum of Executive Board
Emergency decision procedures
Amendments or Revisions of Bylaws
Fiscal Year, Parliamentary Authority
Many bylaws include the use Robert's Rules of Order. I have included several resources and a short 'cheat-sheet' for common terms used in Robert's Rules of Order on this webpage.