SAC Membership

Sample SAC membership attendance form template
Opinions & Research on "Balanced SAC"
2007 Auditor General Reports: SAC members,SI Funds, Open Gov't
2007 & 2004 AG Report non-compliance re: SAC, SI funds & Recognition funds
DOE SAC Frequently Asked Questions

 

"FREQUENTLY ASKED SAC MEMBERSHIP QUESTIONS"

  1. Who are the members of SAC? What about the Principal?

  2. Define "Certified Student Services Personnel" (teacher members) as per FL statutes.

  3. Why are SAC members appointed?

  4. How are the SAC members determined?

  5. Who monitors SAC membership composition & what if SAC is not compliant?

  6. What is a "balanced" SAC?

  7. May an elementary student or an Assistant Principal be an official SAC member?

  8. Are Community/Business members required?

  9. What is the allowable difference % between composition of SAC and student composition?

  10. Memo from DOE General Counsel regarding balanced SAC membership

  11. Statute that establishes SAC membership composition - 1001.452

  12. Sample of an election packet used by Volusia County for the election process

  13. Statute 1012.01, School Employees:  The statute that defines a teacher, a staff member or an Assistant Principal (which is "administration") - click here.


1.  Who are SAC members? Is the principal a member? What about appointments to SAC?  
There must be a procedure for appointing SAC members-sentence [1]
The members are described in sentences [4] & [5]
The Principal must be a member-sentence [5] 
Further clarifications- [6] & [7] for students in middle & jr. high, Vo-tech & adult education

1001.452 District And School Advisory Councils.-
(1)(a)  [1] "The school board shall establish an advisory council for each school in the district, and shall develop procedures for the election and appointment of advisory council members." ...[4] A majority of the members of each school advisory council must be persons who are not employed by the district.     [5] Each advisory council shall be composed of the principal and an appropriately balanced number of teachers, education support employees, students, parents, and other business and community citizens who are representative of the ethnic, racial, and economic community served by the school.    [6] Vocational-technical center and high school advisory councils shall include students, and middle and junior high school advisory councils may include students.     [7] School advisory councils of vocational-technical and adult education centers are not required to include parents as members."

 

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2.  Define "Certified Student Services Personnel" as listed under the role of Teachers.
  1001.452 (1)(a) "For the purposes of school advisory councils and district advisory councils, the term "teacher" shall include classroom teachers, certified student services personnel, and media specialists."   DOE explains this to mean "speech therapist, physical therapist, etc. (anyone with special training who is not defined as instructional staff).

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3.  Why are some SAC members appointed?
1001.452 District And School Advisory Councils.- (1) (a) ... "Each advisory council shall be composed of the principal and an appropriately balanced number of teachers, education support employees, students, parents, and other business and community citizens who are representative of the ethnic, racial, and economic community served by the school.  and...

Title IV, Ch 24 State Lotteries, 24.121
No funds shall be released for any purpose from the Educational Enhancement Trust Fund to any school district in which one or more schools do not have an approved school improvement plan pursuant to s. 1001.42(16) or do not comply with school advisory council membership composition requirements pursuant to 1001.452 (replace 229.58(1)). Effective July 1, 2002, the Commissioner of Education shall withhold disbursements from the trust fund to any school district that fails to adopt the performance-based salary schedule required by s. 1012.22(1).

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4.  How are the SAC members determined?
1001.452  District And School Advisory Councils.
(1) (a)  "The school board shall establish an advisory council for each school in the district, and shall develop procedures for the election and appointment of advisory council members" 

"Council members representing teachers, education support employees, students, and parents shall be elected by their respective peer groups at the school in a fair and equitable manner as follows: 
       1.  Teachers shall be elected by teachers. 
       2.  Education support employees shall be elected by education support employees. 
       3.  Students shall be elected by students. 
       4.  Parents shall be elected by parents. 
The school board shall establish procedures for use by schools in selecting business and community members. Such procedures shall include means of ensuring wide notice of vacancies and for taking input on possible members from local business, chambers of commerce, community and civic organizations and groups, and the public at large."

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5.  Who monitors SAC membership composition & if SAC membership composition is not compliant, what then?
Title XLVIII 1001.42 Powers and duties of district school board.-
17. (c)  Develop policies for periodically monitoring the membership composition of school advisory councils to ensure compliance with requirements established in s. 1001.452.  and...

Title IV Executive Branch, Chapter 24 State Lotteries, 24.121 Allocation of revenues and expenditure of funds for public education.-- 
(5.d)  No funds shall be released for any purpose from the Educational Enhancement Trust Fund to any school district in which one or more schools do not have an approved school improvement plan pursuant to s. 1001.42(16) or do not comply with school advisory council membership composition requirements pursuant to s1001.452 (replacing 229.58(1)).

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6.  What is a "balanced" SAC?
The word "balanced" has yet to be officially defined.  Independent auditors interpret the law as they understand it.  The Auditor General does not give guidelines on balanced and statutes do not address 'balanced.' Thus some districts get in trouble for a 15% deviation while others have recommendations from their auditors for a deviation maxiumum of 20%.   See:  Memo from Florida's DOE General Council on 'balanced' SAC

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7.  May an elementary student or an Assistant Principal be an official SAC member?
  No, they are not teachers, nor the staff, nor the principal, nor middle/junior/high school/vo-tech students.  They would be considered "public attendees" which are welcome to attend and give input just like any other member of the public. 

However, if an assistant principal who was a parent of student at that school was elected by parents to represent parents, they would be counted 2x in categories... once as a parent but again as a school board employee counting towards the 50% cap of SAC membership.
DETAILED FACTS: School Improvement Plans are "web based" which means that a school administrator will logon to the state SIP website with a user name and password and input into designated areas the content that is needed.  So, SIP plans are rather "standard".  With that said, on the last page of the SIP is an area regarding SAC.  The state asks if the SAC membership is compliant.  The SIP language is, "SAC Membership Compliance The majority of the SAC members are not employed by the school district. The SAC is composed of the principal and an appropriately balanced number of teachers, education support employees, students (for middle and high school only), parents, and other business and community members who are representative of the ethnic, racial, and economic community served by the school."  The state Department of Education SIP template, therefore, does not allow for elementary students to serve on SAC as members.

District and State Audits of the School Districts are completed by independent auditors.  The auditors have only the law to use as guideline so it is often interpreted differently.  According to my research, 2 audits of every school district is provided on the Auditor General web site, several counties have been 'flagged' or 'alerted to make changes' regarding both elementary students on SAC and Assistant Principals.  

1001.452 "[1a] "“Each advisory council shall be composed of the principal and an appropriately balanced number of teachers, education support employees, students, parents, and other business and community citizens who are representative of the ethnic, racial, and economic community served by the school.”  Technical centers and high school advisory councils shall include students, and middle and junior high school advisory councils may include students. School advisory councils of technical and adult education centers are not required to include parents as members."

Then further down is: (same law)

"For the purposes of school advisory councils and district advisory councils, the term "teacher" shall include classroom teachers, certified student services personnel, and media specialists. For purposes of this paragraph, "education support employee" means any person employed by a school who is not defined as instructional or administrative personnel pursuant to s. 1012.01 and whose duties require 20 or more hours in each normal working week."

So you can see, with the first paragraph I used…"a (meaning one) principal" and education support employees and teachers as the ‘employed' school members. The same law then clarifies what is a teacher and what is an education support employees. Furthermore ss.1012.01  states:

(3) ADMINISTRATIVE PERSONNEL.--"Administrative personnel" includes K-12 personnel who perform management activities such as developing broad policies for the school district and executing those policies through the direction of personnel at all levels within the district. Administrative personnel are generally high-level, responsible personnel who have been assigned the responsibilities of systemwide or schoolwide functions, such as district school superintendents, assistant superintendents, deputy superintendents, school principals, assistant principals, career center directors, and others who perform management activities. Broad classifications of K-12 administrative personnel are as follows:

……………..(c) School administrators.--Included in this classification are:

1. School principals or school directors who are staff members performing the assigned………

2. Assistant principals who are staff members assisting the administrative head of the school. This classification also includes assistant principals for curriculum and administration.

The auditors  must interpret the law to determine that assistant principals are not faculty nor are they staff and the only other administrator named is the principal - all of which is not the AP.  See my documentation - February 2004 Auditor General School Board District Audits - complete with links   
I also researched district policies via the internet and this report details my report regarding elementary students serving as voting SAC members.

ELEMENTARY STUDENTS AS VOTING SAC MEMBERS....
The law specifically addresses school levels, yet omits elementary level, which would lead us to conclude that elementary students are precluded to be members - although participating and attending meetings is appropriate. This would be a typical FCAT type question when one reads a short story and has to gather the main point of the story or main ideas.  Legislators would have specifically stated elementary students if they were to be on SAC.  In fact, it would have made the law even easier to write....just state all schools must have students on SAC.  Instead, they elaborated on the various levels.  Remember, students must be elected by students.  I see many districts adding the wording 'when appropriate' which is highly illegal in my opinion.  I think someone should disallow a superintendent or school board member from voting - based on my assumption of 'when appropriate' I will allows them.  It waters down the law and is insulting to our intelligence.

AND

1001.03 Specific powers of State Board of Education
(14) UNIFORM CLASSIFICATION SYSTEM FOR SCHOOL DISTRICT ADMINISTRATIVE AND MANAGEMENT PERSONNEL.--The State Board of Education shall maintain a uniform classification system for school district administrative and management personnel that will facilitate the uniform coding of administrative and management personnel to total district employees.

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8.  Are Community/Business members required?
Yes, community members are required. The state statutes require the school district is responsible for establishing procedures that will ensure business and community members!

1001.452:  "A majority of the members of each school advisory council must be persons who are not employed by the school. Each advisory council shall be composed of the principal and an appropriately balanced number of teachers, education support employees, students, parents, and other business and community citizens who are representative of the ethnic, racial, and economic community served by the school. " ....

"The district school board shall establish procedures for use by schools in selecting business and community members that include means of ensuring wide notice of vacancies and of taking input on possible members from local
business, chambers of commerce, community and civic organizations and groups, and the public at large."

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9.  What is the allowable difference % between composition of SAC and student composition?
DOE recommends a maximum of 10%.  However, the auditor general decides this.  In an audit of Escambia County in 2000, the auditor accepted a maximum of 25%.  Composition of SAC should mirror the representation of the community (area around the school) and there are consequences for not complying with the law.    Document, Document, and DOCUMENT (need I say more?) the SACs attempts to involve parents/community of various ethnic, race and socio-economic groups.  This documentation will be necessary in case of audit for non-compliance with SAC composition. Pictures of the marquee would be a good example with dates, keep copies of parent newsletters or flyers that were used, etc...
NEW!  SEE a Memo from the General Council, DOE on 'balanced' SAC
   
 
   
   
 
     
 

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