School Committee

Section 4-1. Composition; Eligibility; Election; Term.

(a) Composition – There shall be a School Committee consisting of seven members, six of whom shall be nominated and elected at large, and the Mayor who shall serve as the seventh member of the School Committee. The Mayor shall also serve as the Chairman thereof with full power to vote. The School Committee shall exercise control and management of the public schools of the City. (Mayor as ex-officio Chairman approved by the voters November 5th, 1996; see Resolution #3745 and Chapter 148 of the Acts and Resolves of 1996).

(b) Eligibility – Only voters shall be eligible to hold office of School Committeeman.

(c) Election and Term – The terms of School Committeemen shall be two years, beginning the first secular day in January after election and until their successors are qualified. No person shall hold the office of school committee member for more than three consecutive terms. (Establishment of term limits approved by the Legislature, September 24th, 1999, Chapter 82 of the Acts and resolves of 1999 and adopted by the Voters November 2nd, 1999).

Section 4-2. Organization.

The School Committee shall annually organize by the election from among its members a Chairman, a Vice Chairman and a Secretary. The Vice Chairman shall preside at all meetings of the committee in the event of the absence or the disability of the Chairman.

Section 4-3. General Powers and Duties.

The School Committee shall have the powers and duties which School Committees have under the General Laws and may have such additional powers and duties as the City Council may, by ordinance, from time to time assign.

The powers of the School Committee shall include, but not be limited to, the power to:

(1) appoint a Superintendent;

(2) appoint all other officers and employees connected with the schools, except as otherwise provided by this Charter, fix their compensation and define their duties, make rules concerning their tenure of office and discharge them;

(3) furnish all school buildings with proper fixtures, furnishings and equipment; and

(4) make all reasonable rules and regulations consistent with law, for the management of the public schools of the City and for conducting the business of the Committee.

Section 4-4. Location and Erection of Schools; Approvals Required.

No site for a school building shall be acquired by the City unless the approval of the site by the School Committee is first obtained. No plans for the construction of or alterations in a school building shall be accepted, and no work shall be begun on the construction or alteration of a school building unless with the approval of the School Committee and the Mayor. The Mayor shall notify the School Committee in writing prior to or at the time of each change in plans after work is begun. This section shall not require such approval for the making of ordinary repairs.

Section 4-5. Prohibitions.

No member of the School Committee shall, during the term for which he was elected, hold any other compensated City office or City employment under the jurisdiction of the School Committee, nor shall he be eligible for appointment to any compensated City office or City employment under the jurisdiction of the School Committee until one year after the term for which he was elected has expired. This provision shall not prevent a City officer or employee, under the jurisdiction of the School Committee, who has taken a leave of absence from such duties in order to serve as a member of the School Committee from returning to such office or employment following such services as a member of the School Committee.

Section 4-6. Filling of Vacancies.

If a vacancy occurs in the office of School Committeeman, whether by failure to elect or otherwise, the remaining School Committeemen shall, within twenty-one days following the date such vacancy is declared to exist, act to fill the said vacancy. The School Committee shall elect as acting School Committeeman whichever of the defeated candidates for election to the School Committee who received the highest number of votes at the last regular City election immediately preceding the date the vacancy is declared to exist and who received at least twenty (20) percent of the total votes cast for the office at such election, and who remains eligible and willing to serve. There being no such person, the School Committee shall choose from among the voters an acting School Committeeman to serve the balance of the unexpired term. If such choice is not made as hereinbefore provided within the said twenty-one days, the choice shall be made by the School Committeeman senior in length of service, or if there be more than one such, by the School Committeeman senior both in age and in terms of service. Any person so chosen shall be sworn and commence to serve forthwith. No vacancy shall be filled, in the manner hereinbefore provided, if a regular City election is to be held within one hundred twenty days following the date the vacancy is declared to exist.

Section 4-7. Budget Hearing.

(a) At least thirty (30) days before the meeting at which the School Committee is to vote on the budget request which it will submit to the Mayor for inclusion in the budget he is required to submit to the City Council, the School Committee shall cause to be published in a local newspaper a general summary of their proposed budget. The summary shall indicate specifically areas of increase from the present budget, if any, and the reasons for such changes and a notice stating (1) the times and places where complete copies of their proposed budget will be available for public examination, and (2) the date, not less than seven nor more than fourteen days following such publication, and the place at which a public hearing will be held by the School Committee on their proposed budget.

(b) The School Committee shall submit its annual budget to the City Council for approval in the following format: Expenditures for each individual school building in the City, including administration, if any, shall be broken down categorically by line item. Example: Teacher salaries, custodial salaries, teacher aide salaries, teacher supplies, maintenance supplies, etc.