The Guilford County Board of Education is the successor to the three previously existing non-consolidated boards of education of Guilford County, High Point City, and Greensboro City (the “predecessor Boards”) and is vested with all of the powers and responsibilities accorded to the Predecessor Boards and with all the powers and responsibilities provided by State law for local boards of education.
In accordance with Chapter 115C of the General Statutes of North Carolina, the official title and corporate name of the Board is "The Guilford County Board of Education" (hereafter referred to as “the Board”).
Purpose, Powers and Duties
Section 2.1 Purpose
The Board, in accordance with N. C. Gen. Stat. §115C-40, represents a body corporate with powers to enable it to acquire, hold, and transfer real and personal property, to build and repair schoolhouses, to institute and defend legal actions and suits, and to exercise other rights and privileges as may be necessary for the management and administration of the public schools in Guilford County, North Carolina.
Section 2.2 Powers and Duties
The Board, which has the authority and responsibility to establish policies for the administration and supervision of public schools in Guilford County, shall be vested with all of the power and authority permitted by law, including but not limited to those enumerated by N. C. Gen. Stat. §115C-36 through 115C-47 and throughout Chapter 115C of the N. C. Gen. Statutes. The Board shall act as a legislative body in the determination of policies for the control, operation, maintenance and improvement of the school system. On certain occasions, as required by law, the Board shall serve as a judicial body to hear complaints and appeals of administrative decisions from employees, pupils and/or patrons.
Section 2.3 Board Job Description
The job of the Board is to represent the citizens and taxpayers and to lead the district by setting policy and requiring excellent organizational performance. To distinguish the Board’s own unique job from the jobs of the Superintendent and staff, the Board will concentrate its efforts on the following:
- Determining and using proactive strategies to ensure constructive two-way dialogue between the Board and students, staff, parents and the community about issues, hopes and goals related to public education and the school system.
- Developing written governing policies, which, at the broadest levels, address:
a. Goals and results desired for the students of Guilford County, including those organizational issues which impact these goals.
b. The expectations which define the relationship between the board and Superintendent, to include the establishment of practical, ethical and legal boundaries within which all staff activity and decision-making will take place and be monitored; and including the Superintendent’s expectations of effective Board behaviors.
c. How the Board will conceive, carry out and monitor its own work; and
d. How authority is delegated and its proper use monitored; the Superintendent’s role, authority and accountability.
- Ensuring Superintendent performance through monitoring progress of the Board’s goals and Superintendent’s compliance with federal, state and local laws.
- Ensuring Board performance through Board self evaluation at the annual retreat and/or at other appropriate times.
- Ensuring that the accomplishment of defined goals is the focus of organizational performance.
Section 3.1 Election and Terms
The requirements for membership on the Board and the terms for each of the members of the Board are governed by Chapter 78 of the 1991 Session Laws of the North Carolina General Assembly and by N. C. Gen. Stat. §115C-37.
Section 3.2 Eligibility for Board Membership
Eligibility for Board membership is governed by the North Carolina Constitution and the North Carolina General Statutes.
Section 3.3 Vacancies
All vacancies in the membership of the Board by death, resignation or other causes shall be filled in compliance with Section 6 of Chapter 78, 1991 Session Laws of the North Carolina General Assembly. Vacancies shall be filled by vote of the majority of the remaining members of the Board present and voting for the remainder of the unexpired term. In instances in which the member being replaced was elected from within a single member district, the Board must appoint a resident of the district where the vacancy exists.
Section 3.4 Removal of Board Members
A member of the Board may be removed in accordance with North Carolina General Statutes, including but not limited to N. C. Gen. Stat. §115C-39.
Section 4.1 Officers
The members of the Board shall elect from its membership at the first business meeting in December of each year the following officers: a Chairman and a Vice Chairman. All officers shall be elected for a period of one (1) year but shall be eligible for reelection by the Board. The Superintendent shall serve as the ex-officio Secretary of the Board as provided by N. C. Gen. Stat. §115C-276.
Section 4.2 Duties and Powers of Officers
The Chairman shall preside over all meetings of the Board; appoint members of committees in consultation with the Vice Chairman; execute all contracts and other documents on authority by and in the name of the Board; call meetings of the Board; and perform all other functions delegated by the Board. The Chairman of the Board ensures the integrity of the Board’s processes and normally serves as the Board’s official spokesperson.
Accordingly, the Chairman has the following authority and duties:
- Monitor Board behavior to ensure that it is consistent with its own rules and policies and those legitimately imposed upon it from outside the organization:
a. conduct and monitor Board meeting deliberations to ensure that issues are discussed in a manner consistent with Board policy.
b. ensure that Board meeting deliberations are fair, open, and thorough, but also pertinent, timely and orderly, carefully balancing efficiency with the stylistic differences among individual board members.
c. chair Board meetings with all the commonly accepted authority of that position as described in Robert’s Rules of Order and in accordance with law,
- Make all necessary interpretive decisions about policies related to governance or Board-Superintendent relations, except where the Board specifically delegates such authority to others, using reasonable interpretation of the provisions in those policies, but refrain from exercising any authority as an individual to supervise or direct the Superintendent.
- Facilitate the annual evaluation of the Superintendent, with the assistance of the Board attorney or other staff as necessary.
- Represent the Board to outside parties in announcing Board-stated positions and in stating decisions and interpretations within the areas assigned to the chairman, delegating this authority to other Board members when appropriate, but remaining accountable for its use, and informing the Board on a regular, timely basis (at least monthly) of such representation.
- Sign all contracts authorized by the Board; and
- Communicate appropriate information to fellow Board members in a timely fashion.
In the absence or inability of the Chairman, the Vice-Chairman shall have all of the powers and duties of the Chairman; shall consult with the Chairman regarding the appointment of members to committees; and perform any other functions delegated by the Board.
The Secretary shall keep an accurate record of the proceedings of the Board meetings; shall sign all contracts and other documents as authorized by the Board; and shall perform such other duties as directed by the Board and prescribed by N. C. Gen. Stat. §115C-276.
Operation of the Board; Committees
The Board will operate as a committee as a whole. In the event that the Board determines that a matter is appropriate for consideration by a standing, special or ad hoc committee, the Chairman, in consultation with the Vice Chairman, shall appoint members. The committee will elect a chairman. Such committee shall be discharged upon completion of their final report to the Board or upon majority vote of the Board members present and voting.
Board Committee Principles
Board committees, when used, will support the work of the Board and reinforce the wholeness of the Board’s job, and never interfere with delegation of authority from the Board to the Superintendent.
- Board committees are to assist the Board to do its job, not to direct or advise the staff. Committees ordinarily will assist the Board by addressing specific areas or concerns, gathering information and making recommendations for Board consideration. In keeping with the Board’s broader focus, Board committees will not have direct dealings with staff operations unless specifically given that authority by the Board.
- Board committees may not speak or act for the Board except when formally given such authority for specific purposes. Committee expectations and authority will be stated carefully by the Board to assure that committee authority will not conflict with authority delegated to the Superintendent.
- Board committees may not exercise authority over the Superintendent or staff. Any direction to the Superintendent related to a committee recommendation must come from the full Board.
- All Board committee meetings are open to the public, except as otherwise provided by law.
- The foregoing applies only to committees that are formed by Board action, whether or not the committees include Board members. It does not apply to committees formed under the authority of the Superintendent.
Section 5.1 Regular Meetings
The Board shall hold two Regular Monthly meetings, which shall generally be held on the second Tuesday night of each calendar month and the fourth Thursday night of each calendar month (except November and December) at 6:00 p.m. at 712 N. Eugene Street, Greensboro, North Carolina, unless otherwise determined and announced by the Board. The location of the Board meetings shall be made known to the public by a notice, which shall be prepared and disseminated by the Board Secretary. Any regular meeting having a quorum of the Board members present may recess to any other place within Guilford County as may be chosen by a majority of the Board members present at such meeting. Consistent with the requirements of State law, Board meetings shall be open to the public, except those portions of the meetings that might be conducted in closed session.
Section 5.2 Special Meetings
Special meetings of the Board may be called by the Chairman or by the Vice Chairman if the Chairman is absent or unable to act or by any six (6) members of the Board on their own initiative. The call for a meeting shall be in writing, shall designate the time and place of the meeting, which shall be within Guilford County, and shall be signed by all persons calling the meeting. The person or persons calling a special meeting, or the Board Secretary at the direction of said persons, shall notify each member of the Board in writing of the time and place and purpose of the special meeting at least forty-eight (48) hours in advance of the meeting unless such notice requirement is waived by each member of the Board.
The business to be transacted at any special meeting of the Board shall be confined to such matters as have been communicated to members and officers of the Board as a part of announcing the meeting.
Section 5.3 Quorum
Six (6) members of the Board in attendance at meetings shall constitute a quorum for the transaction of business. A member is present when physically in attendance at the meeting. Any member who has withdrawn from a meeting without being excused by a majority vote of the remaining members present shall be counted as present for purposes of determining whether a quorum exists. A majority vote of those Board members present is necessary for the adoption of any motion or resolution.
Section 5.4 Participation by Electronic Means
In extraordinary circumstances, Board members may participate in an official meeting by electronic means such as telephone conference. This may occur only after the following:
- .A majority of the Board can be and is present in the Board meeting room for the official meeting.
- No more than _2__board members at any meeting may be approved to participate by telephone conference at any one meeting;
- The Board member requesting to participate by telephone conference notifies the Chair in advance in time to assure that full participation in the business of the Board can be arranged for the board member participating by telephone conference;
- The Board member must be able to be heard by the public and must be able to hear all of the business before the Board prior to casting a vote on any motion; and
- Under no circumstances will a Board member be permitted to participate in a closed session electronically unless the Board member participates by videoconferencing or other method of visually observing those present in the room with the Board member.
The Secretary to the Board shall provide Board members with a written agenda for the meeting. A request to have an item of business placed on the agenda must be received at least four (4) working days before the meeting. Any Board member, may, by timely request, have an item placed on the agenda. Any Board member may request an item be placed on the agenda at the time of the meeting; however, an affirmative vote by a majority of the Board to amend the agenda is required to place the matter on the agenda at the meeting in progress. The Board will attend to consent agenda items as expeditiously as possible. An item may be removed from the consent agenda only upon approval of a majority of the Board.
Section 5.5 Closed Sessions
All meetings shall be open to the public unless, consistent with the requirement of State law, a meeting is closed to the public by majority vote of a quorum.
The Superintendent is a statutory officer as provided by the N. C. Constitution and State law and shall be elected by the Board as provided by law. The authority and many of the duties and functions of the Superintendent are prescribed by law, including, but not limited to, those enumerated in N. C. Gen. Stat. §115C-276.
Adoption and Amendment of Bylaws
Section 7.1 Adoption
Adoption of these Bylaws shall be by affirmative vote of at least six (6) members of the Board and said adoption of the Bylaws was recorded in the minutes of the meeting of the Board held on October 17, 1993.
Section 7.2 Amendments
Bylaws will be reviewed periodically, and no less than every three years. Amendments to these Bylaws may be proposed by any member of the Board at any meeting of the Board for decision at a subsequent meeting of the Board. Adoption of amendments shall be by affirmative vote of at least six (6) members of the Board. No such amendment shall be retroactive but shall become operative at the time of the Board approval or at such time in the future as the Board may designate.
Section 7.3 Procedures
Procedures for Board operations will be governed by Suggested Rules of Procedure for Small Local Government Boards, 2d ed., Institute of Government, University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill, 1998.
Revised 2/26/98, 1/20/01, 8/12/03, 3/9/04, 5/9/06, 1/22/11
Draft Revisions to Board 12/9/03; 1/25/04, 3/29/06